“It’s not about the technology…” Well I’m afraid it is!

By November 4, 2015Blog posts

Ever heard anyone saying “it’s not about the technology, it’s about the culture and the behaviour change”?

Particularly in the context of collaborative technology? Well, while it is of course about those things, it is also very much about having the right tools to do the job, so you need to get involved in the tool selection if you can.

Plenty of clients come to us wanting to ‘drive adoption’ of some form of technology, more often than not given to them by IT, and the selection of which they (IC, HR and the rest) have had little involvement in. In these instances we do our best to retro-fit the strategic narrative, potentially re-launch the tech and manage the change. We do our very best, but so often we wish we’d been able to help the organisation make the right tech choice in the first place. Time and again these days we see wrong decisions being made, for example when buyers are ticking boxes, (mobile, tick, social, tick, cloud, tick..) without looking into the detail. And I’m afraid it really is horses for courses.

Things work so much better when people / business teams work with tech teams and really align business requirements with user requirements and tech roadmaps. This doesn’t always lead to the lowest tech outlay, but it will lead to the greatest value and achievement of genuine desired outcomes on all sides.

We are currently working on an amazing integrated working project, connecting parts of our National Health Service at the moment. Stakeholders are spread across such diverse infrastructures, devices, and day to day situations that their use cases can probably only truly be delivered by Jive. Certainly with the speed and agility with which we are working. Comms, the CIO, everyone was involved in the decision process and they’ve made the right choice.

In a similar way, when Virgin Trains came to us for help to select and then launch an enterprise social network (ESN) we identified that Yammer was the most appropriate tool, given their tech team’s Office 365 roadmap and the specific rail related mobile use cases surfaced through our research. Den Carter is going to be talking about this project at SMiLE London on Monday (9 November).

Then of course we see situations where companies are already ‘IBM shops’ and have helped them to harness the massive potential of, say, IBM Connections to great effect, truly benefiting from connecting applications up across their IBM infrastructure. Same goes for Google Apps etc etc.

The reality is that it can be tricky. We work in this space and there are new solutions, vendors and applications coming along every day. On the surface many of these tools seem to offer the same things, to tick the same boxes. But if you are the end ‘business owner’ in comms or HR, or wherever, I strongly recommend you get involved in discovering and even influencing your options. In this digital age all of us need to wear each others’ hats a little more often. Don’t be afraid to wear your tech hat, and of course there are independent experts out there who can help you get your head round it all.

Get it right and you will be part of something truly exciting. Get it wrong, and you’ll risk flogging a dead horse. Good luck!

Author: Nick Crawford

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