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Minimising risk of new technologies crucial, says Concur

By Shannon Williams, Wed 16 Dec 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Implementing the wrong technologies can be disastrous for businesses, and with access to new systems becoming easier and easier, the risks of failing technologies are growing.

That’s according to Concur, who says even implementing the right systems can critically disrupt business operations if not managed effectively.

According to Matt Goss, managing director for Concur ANZ, when considering new technology, businesses must choose a system that can be implemented easily. He says businesses must also develop a change management strategy that considers the company’s culture, values, and business goals.

“Implementing a new expense management system, for example, affects all employees,” Goss says. “In some cases, it may need a significant shift in mindset for employees who may believe that the old way of managing expenses was fine, or who may be wary of new technology,” he explains.

“If staff refuse to use the technology and don’t understand its benefits, then the investment is simply wasted. So, the business should schedule training to show employees how to lodge expenses using their mobile phones and other devices,” Goss says.

“Any training should highlight how the new technology will make life easier, rather than overwhelm them, in order to ensure organisation-wide adoption,” he adds.

“An engagement strategy is essential to ensuring your business’s technology investment yields returns.”

Concur says there four key questions businesses need to ask when creating a strategy:

Who should be involved in developing a change management strategy?

It’s important to have a change management leader who can own and drive the process, Goss says. Internal corporate communications teams are often appointed to this role.

Who is the audience for change management activities?

The target audience for change management activities is generally broken down into two main segments: the internal project team, and the external organisation.

“Understanding the target audience or audiences, and tailoring messaging specifically for each group, can increase the project’s chances of success,” Goss says.

What should be included in a change management toolkit when preparing for a global implementation?

According to Goss, the larger and more geographically-dispersed the organisation, the more important it is to have a comprehensive and transparent change management plan in place.

An effective change management toolkit should include:

  • project overview: project drivers; timeline; and deployment schedule
  • overview of project communication and training material
  • release schedule
  • customisation guidelines
  • embedded communication documents
  • frequently asked questions

What are some key change management success metrics?

Organisations should measure the effectiveness of the change management project to ensure successes can be repeated and challenges can be overcome in future projects,” Goss says.

“Even before the project begins, it’s helpful to have some key success metrics in place.”

Goss says these may differ depending on the organisation’s goals but can include:

  • post-launch survey satisfaction levels
  • a decrease in help desk calls
  • rate and percentage of employee adoption
  • on-time launches
  • reported ease of use
  • time it takes to complete the travel and expense
  • time it takes to process expense reports by back office staff
  • number of expense reports processed over a standard time (day, week)
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