It is common to take great care in the implementation of new technology. But one very influential factor that is often overlooked is the human impact of change. AIIM members tell us that managing change is often a more significant roadblock than even the most complicated tangle of technology.
The Key Drivers of Change
According to AIIM research, 79% of organizations realize that they must transform in order to survive. As a result, capabilities like Artificial Intelligence, Business Process Automation, and collaborative systems are being rapidly introduced. Our members indicate that these are the top drivers for change: 1
- Increased efficiency and productivity – 56%
- Greater innovation and problem solving – 45%
- Better levels of customer service – 38%
Overall, organizations today are looking to move the needle when it comes to organizational performance.
The Challenges Change Brings to Information Management Teams
The key to gaining advantage from digital transformation is turning technology innovation into process improvements that boost the performance of the organization. But that’s difficult to do if people are not onboard. Most people automatically resist change, and to make matters worse, rapid innovation in technology is forcing people to face change at an ever-quickening pace. This makes the challenge of effectively managing change one that can often sidetrack your efforts.
If people resist change it’s unlikely that even the best technology strategies will have meaningful success. But if you recognize and understand the human implications of change, as well as the technological hurdles that must be overcome, you will be more likely to be successful.
The Skills Required to Meet Change Demands
How can you mitigate the negative effects of people’s reactions as you implement changes in technology, processes, and workflow? Here are some skills to help you meet the challenge of change.
Be a Change Agent – If you are implementing new technological systems and new ways of working you are a change agent. Beyond the technical aspects, one primary role is to educate your teams, co-workers, and sponsors. Everyone must clearly understand what is needed in order to make the change successful. Communicate the resources that you need, the barriers that stand in your way, and the people that must be enlisted in the change initiative.
Be a Change Enabler – This starts with ensuring that you have dedicated sufficient resources to manage change. In addition to putting effort and money into things like hardware or software, don’t forget to set aside proper time and resources to deal with the reactions of people who are the target of change. It’s imperative that you establish a vision for the future and then enact specific tactics to achieve that vision.
Be a Change Sustainer – Even the most innovative change will not survive and thrive if it’s not sustained over time. Once a change has been put into place ‘change sustainers’ are needed to assure that the new process continues to perform as it should and work to leverage the advantages of the improvements put into place over time.
Bringing It All Together
One big concern with the digital workplace today is that the technology is moving faster than people’s capacity to adapt and keep up. The role technology has in introducing change in the enterprise cannot be overestimated. Organizations that are not adept at managing and instilling change will be handicapped and much less able to compete against more agile competitors. Use these principles to improve your success, and look for technology providers and partners who have the skills, perspective and experience to help you successfully navigate change in addition to overcoming the technical roadblocks to success.
- AIIM 2019. “Implementing Digital Workplace” Information Watch Report.