Cloud technologies provide ‘out of the box’ solutions built on standard practices, are much quicker to implement, (weeks or months rather than years) and don’t require complex upgrade projects, quarterly updates are provided by the vendor. So surely extensive business change management effort is indeed eliminated. Or is it?
At OrganisationsWork, we believe that the increasing predominance of cloud technology does require a fundamental adjustment to the way we introduce new technologies if companies are going to achieve their expected benefits. Broadly this means bringing forward critical business readiness activities and putting in place an effective structure for rolling out the new functionality delivered quarterly into the wider business. Almost like turning traditional change management practices on their head!
Below are some key insights we have gleaned from talking with companies who have transitioned onto cloud technologies try this website.
Simplified common processes should be designed and agreed beforehand, with a very clear view of any critical areas where a compromise could be tricky for business outcomes. These areas should be the exception rather than the rule!
- Why? Should a debate be required around standard process versus tailoring, it can be done quickly and with clarity around the required business outcomes and the impact of deviating from the software as a service standard.
Involve your key stakeholders early in this process.
- Why? You will have been through a design process together and will have the additional benefit of having established an informed group for quick and effective decision making, once the project is formally underway.
Complete role analysis upfront.
- Why? SAAS solutions typically rely on standard roles, which may well be different from your own organisational set up, particularly where a department is delivering a service either to external or internal customers. Having foresight of any required changes can ensure sufficient time is available for any discussions around potential role changes.
Start communicating why you are moving to a cloud solution early and what it will mean for the business.
- Why? Cloud technologies are different and you have bought into a common solution shared with other clients. They are constantly evolving and will mean on-going changes (and benefits). The wider business will have concerns about what this means for data privacy and security as well as how they will be impacted by on-going functionality updates.
Working directly with your systems integrator or service provider, implementation time frames are fast. With the pre-work completed above, any design decisions can be made quickly and business rollout activities successfully completed. Take a look at the learning from Telefonica’s Success Factors Rollout for some valuable insights.
The real work begins after go live ..
Go live is now a beginning. For business teams, it can mean assuming responsibilities that had previously sat with their IT Teams. Once up and running, your software provider will deliver quarterly releases bringing new functionality. This requires an on-going effort to review and assess the new functionality and manage the impact on your current operations.
It is about putting in place a simple process to assess and manage the quarterly functionality releases. This could mean operationalizing your pre-project activities. It also requires working alongside your IT team to ensure that your solution remains in line with your organisation’s wider technology strategy.
In conclusion, we believe that cloud technologies do demand a different approach to business change management. They reinforce the need to instil a constant culture of change, which will help to develop your people’s resilience to the constant technological change required for successful business today.
If you have already transitioned to the cloud, has this been your experience? Have you had to change your fundamental approach to change? Are there additional items you would add to the points we have made above? If you would like to discuss any of these ideas, please leave us a comment below or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.