Strategies For Getting Employees On Board With IT Modernization

Implementing new enterprise technology is the primary component of most IT modernization strategies. Organizations embarking on this journey often anticipate technical roadblocks. After all, developing and deploying new computational infrastructure is no easy task – especially when this involves decommissioning legacy systems and moving the data within those fixtures to modern machines. However, many fail to foresee another complication that can be just as impactful as any migration-related glitch: employee pushback.

Internal resistance can torpedo enterprise IT projects, even those that produce finished products. Take enterprise resource planning systems as an example. More than one-quarter of ERP implementations with kickoff dates in 2016 failed, according to research from Panorama Consulting. Why? Many adopters failed to address the end user, focusing entirely on the solution instead. Firms looking to implement new enterprise solutions as part of IT modernization efforts must avoid such situations and keep in mind that user adoption ultimately determines success. 

Just how do companies on this path get employees to embrace new technology? There are various battle-tested strategies that can facilitate such acceptance.

"Internal resistance can torpedo enterprise IT projects."

Select systems with the user in mind
Project teams tasked with evaluating vendors and selecting software often focus on solutions that check all of the operational boxes. However, user-friendliness is rarely included in this collection of ideal features, as employers assume they can will workers to employ the system no matter how unwieldy it may be. This strategy rarely pans out, Harvard Business Review reported. Employees will simply ignore platforms they believe slow down with their established workflows or are too difficult to use.

With this in mind, project leaders must consider the end user when selecting systems. Some experts even suggest allowing workers to actively participate in the process via surveys or early trials. This small strategic adjustment facilitates true success, leading to the adoption of usable technology that moves the organization forward and eases the lives of its employees.

Get executives onboard
Business leaders often operated above the fray, using their seniority and established professional credentials to avoid processes or initiatives that those lower on the totem pole must embrace. This often includes enterprise technology, as leaders greenlight massive IT improvement programs without actively taking part. While this behavior has little effect on the resulting solution, it does impact how it is perceived in the lower echelons, according to HBR. Employees party to internal IT shifts with no visible executive support often meet these changes with dismissive attitudes. 

C-level personnel must instead lead by example and use their influence within the organization to catalyze support for new technology. How? Actively partaking in the planning process is the first step. The knowledge they gain here can be useful during the second phase, which involves using the new solution publicly. This change in executive behavior goes a long way toward developing sustainable user buy-in.

Offer continued support
Simply stoking support among employees during the development and deployment phases is not enough. Organizations hoping to successfully achieve long-term IT modernization must keep those fires burning for years to come. Continued education is an effective method for achieving this goal, according to Entrepreneur. Effective platforms change over time as the business evolves. When these shifts occur, employees often require assistance in the form of training sessions or supplemental support materials. Businesses that provide these tools play host to informed system users who stay engaged with the digital tools they use daily. Those that fail to do so find themselves managing money pits, as employees lose interest and go back to their old ways.

Embarking on the IT modernization journey disrupts everyday operations and catalyzes conflict. Organizations can prevent this tension from devolving into resistance by taking the above steps to ensure workers are on board with new technology. Of course, collaborating with seasoned external partners is also a strong strategy, as top-notch vendors can make it easier to keep employees calm, even as they wrestle with changing workflows.

Here at Inventu, we ease the IT modernization journey with the Flynet Viewer, a screen integration solution that allows developers to build advanced, secure applications and meets employer and staff expectations in a way that feels both familiar and simple. Are you ready to bring your internal systems up to speed? Review our product page to learn more about the Inventu Flynet Viewer and the other solutions in our portfolio.