Should we invest in a new collaborative tool? Yammer? Office 365?
I had an interesting conversation over a coffee with a company that builds technology for the financial services industry. Two folk from IT, and two from Human Resources. The chat was focused on helping them to solve a challenge they had around the adoption of collaborative technology (in this case Yammer).
As the conversation progressed, a great question came out of left field. “If you have established use on a tool… how do you decide when to change to a similar technology, and when?”
The specific example used was Confluence (from Atlassian) and Yammer. For most technology teams answering this question – irrespective of the technology (Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, DropBox, Salesforce, Dynamics CRM) they would almost straight away dive into a feature war – Yammer can do this… but Confluence can do that. We get this from Vendor A… but Vendor B has this new thing. In most feature face-off situations you will go around in circles – and ultimately not in a position to make a decision with 100% confidence.
To be honest, though, there is an easy way to create the context to answer this question with confidence.
Asking the right questions
- Do you understand the purpose / what is in it for individuals, teams and the company when they use this technology to improve the way they work?
- Does the new alternative enable those people to significantly improve the way they work?
- Is the pain of breaking up established collaborative behaviours worth the upside?
For me – technology will always improve and there will always be new features that have the potential to deliver more value. But that value of your cloud-based productivity or collaborative solution needs to be assessed in the context of the bigger picture for your workforce. If the cost/pain of change is too much compared to the value unlocked – then don’t change. If the upside – the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) – is clear for your technology team AND the individuals and teams in your business – then if the finances stack up jump right in.
Most organisations only consider the second point in the list above. Because the vendor will give you the answer to that question. The rest requires stakeholder engagement, requirement analysis and ultimate consideration in a business case. We can help you make an informed independent assessment based on your unique operating environment – reach out today for a chat