Gordon Moore said it in 1965 and it still holds true – technology increases at an exponential rate. If you’re trying to keep your business up with technology, it may be a good idea to take it slowly. Cards Technology CEO Sam Card shares some best practices when you’re considering adopting new software for your business.
Q: What advice do you have for business owners who want to adopt new technology?
Sam Card: Stay away from the latest and greatest applications. They’re usually fraught with problems – bugs, compatibility issues – and they’re expensive to fix. They have unknown, unexpected behaviors. Wait until they’ve been tested for a while.
Also, be sure to involve your IT support early in the process. It can be very problematic to make an executive decision about technology without talking to your IT team. When IT is involved from the start, they can make sure the new applications are compatible with your systems before you make a substantial investment of time and money.
Take your time. Not rushing will make implementation a whole lot smoother.
Q: How does a business owner encourage staff to use new technology, especially those staff members who are hesitant to adopt?
Sam Card: To get staff on board, whether they’re not tech savvy or don’t want to change, takes support from the top. They have to see their manager, or upper management using the new technology. Upper management has to use the new software themselves to show the value. When implementing new technology, make a plan to ensure the correct priorities are set and everyone is aware of what the change is and why it’s taking place. Share the business reasons for the new technology and how the new tool will be of value to the organization as a whole.
It’s a good practice to implement new software with a pilot program. Have a small number of people start with it and try it out for about a month. This way, any issues can be worked out before the entire company switches over. The pilot participants can help the others when the software is rolled out to everyone. Also, the software vendor and your IT support partner can troubleshoot any problems on a small scale during the pilot program.
Some people fear change of any kind, so if you can make them comfortable with change, transitions are much smoother. Assure your staff that even if they were the go-to person for the software being phased out, they are still valuable. It takes time to trust new software. Even if your old software had to be updated every month and it always went sideways causing downtime, its behavior is still “comfortable” to users. Once the new software behaves as expected repetitively over time, people will trust it.
Whether your co-workers are down the hall, across the country or on the sand at Bethany Beach, Microsoft Office 365 has the capabilities to bring them together for meetings, training and work sessions. Geographic boundaries and varying time zones slip away as team members converse, collaborate and convene to move businesses forward with an environment laced with ease, flexibility and security.
Two Office 365 applications stand out when it comes to increasing group collaboration – SharePoint and Teams. In this article, we share tips on how to use SharePoint and Teams for collaboration. To learn more, contact us about our Microsoft Office Customer Immersion Experiences.
Best known for its online file storage capabilities, SharePoint allows users to access files from wherever they are via an internet browser. You are able to share files inside and outside your organization, co-authoring with colleagues or partners. Co-authoring allows multiple people to work on a Word document, Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation at the same time.
To begin co-authoring in Word, one person sends the other an email which has a link that opens the document in your web browser.
Select Edit Document > Edit in BrowserWhen one of your teammates or partners is also working on the document, you can see their presence as well as the edits they are making.
Whereas SharePoint has collaboration space on team sites created for each project a group is working on, Teams provides a single area for a group to communication and organization information. Within this single Teams area, you can set up Tabs so group members can easily navigate to the resources they use throughout the day – and it’s all in one place.
Communicating in the workplace isn’t always simple. It can be hard to know who to ask what or the status of a report or presentation. With Microsoft Office
365 SharePoint and Teams, your work groups will be sailing along with effective collaboration and co-authoring. For a personal, hands-on experience
where you can explore Office 365 apps at your own pace, focus on the tools and solutions you want, and work with Cards Technology experts in person,
contact us at 410-208-3933 or online.
Previously, we discussed best practices in adopting new software for your business. Here, CEO Sam Card answers questions about how to make sure your staff can effectively use your new software so you realize the benefits of it sooner, rather than later.
Q: Why is it important to train staff on new technology?
Sam Card: Formal training sets employees up to be more successful in their jobs. Just like when they onboard, they watch some videos, they shadow someone – they know exactly what they’re supposed to do. It’s the same with new software. The more they know about it, the more successful they will be.
Most businesses have software that is specific to their line of work along with general computer programs like Office or Windows. It’s a bear to try to teach every staff member every program. So, it’s a good idea to identify which job roles need to know which software programs.
Line-of-business software vendors should have training materials available, so they will handle training your staff. For general computer software, the first thing you need to do is make sure to hire people who are comfortable with computer use.
Training pays off because employees will get the most value out the tools at their disposal.
Q. What are the consequences of not training your staff in new technology?
Sam Card: Without training, employees may use the new software but could be using it improperly and then the app doesn’t work properly. These missteps could mean that they can give up on the new and go back to doing things the way they did before. If staff aren’t using your computer applications, you might have internal communications problems or processes that aren’t being followed so that leads to inefficient operations.
It’s really important for your company’s leadership to not only use the new software themselves to set a good example, but also to make sure everyone knows why the new app has been chosen. Share the business reasons with your staff and they will be more open to the change.
Q. What types of training does Cards offer their clients?
Sam Card: At Cards Technology, we provide technical training when clients migrate to Office 365 and on new operating systems like Windows 10 and getting the most out of new features as they are released. We host Microsoft Customer Immersion Experiences where people can take a deep dive into Office 365 in a live, hands-on seminar. We show them how to use the different programs and give overviews of the capabilities each app has. We also have an online cybersecurity awareness course available for staff members and I deliver executive presentations about responsible and strategic IT management for business owners.