Cloud collaboration suites such as Office 365 and Google Suite have introduced us to new ways of working. We now have the ability to work, share, talk, chat, message, edit, and so much more, all through a single integrated toolset, from anywhere and on any device. This has revolutionised the way that businesses work, cutting their ties to a fixed desk, giving them the freedom to become more effective and efficient.
While this all sounds fantastic, most businesses are now looking to upgrade their disparate productivity and communication tools to a single integrated cloud-based solution, but there is a challenge.
How many companies that use these cloud collaboration solutions, still provide their users with the standard Office suite on their computer as default?
How many of those users still write a document in Word, or a spreadsheet in Excel, and email it around to people for review and comment?
How many still travel hundreds of miles for an hour-long meeting, or have expensive conference calls, rather than have a ‘free’ video conference without having to go anywhere near a station?
How many even realise that a new piece of amazing functionality has been released for the suite, or how it could potentially revolutionise the way they work?
We know we should be doing it differently, we’ve received the training that tells everyone how fantastic it is to collaborate on a document, or to have a virtual meeting, yet we still continue to work in the old way.
Even those people who try and evangelise are dragged down by the rest of the team continuing to work how they always used to.
Managing the Business Change
Typically, internal Change Management has little control over the changes that are released for a collaboration suite, and often cannot influence their content, or control when they are made available to their business.
Cloud Collaboration tools need to be implemented, and then managed, as a business transformation exercise, embedding new ways of working within teams. It is important to train a team, and not just individuals, understanding how they currently work and how they can benefit from the tools. Then identify champions in those teams, with full backing of their managers, who will continue to drive forward the collaboration agenda.
The key becomes understanding the contents of the release and ensuring that any update, or new functionality, is communicated out to the business and support teams, updating any collateral and training material, appropriately.
Using a network of champions can help provide a conduit for any functionality, allowing teams to quickly start taking advantage of it. Bringing the champions together on a regular basis will allow them to share their ways of working, and take ideas back to their teams.
Business Change communications need to be a continuous exercise, and one that is embedded into business culture from when an employee first joins the company. If Business Change is a one off exercise, people revert back to form, and the business efficiencies that Cloud Collaboration tools introduce don’t get realised.
Managing the information flow for the regular release of new functionality, for the collaboration suite, into the business becomes the key to helping the continued adoption of new ways of working.
If you would like to find out how iCore can help you with Change and Release Management for Cloud Collaboration tools, then contact us on 0207 868 2405.