Companies across Europe are wasting millions on investments for IT products and services. Are you one of them? There’s a chance you are and you don’t even realise. The obvious question to follow is ’what’s the cause of all this waste?’ It seems the main reason is that a lot of technology purchases are either being misused or ignored by employees. Why is this?
Is it perhaps because it’s not fit for purpose? Are you giving employees what they really want and need? Did you consult them throughout the buying process? If you did, then it’s definitely the first step to getting their buy-in and making sure they will use the technology you’ve invested in. But to ensure that your employees are fully behind new technology purchases communication is not enough, there’s also a real need for education.
Training programmes are the natural starting point. However, ’training’ is a broad term and it’s not enough to concentrate on just one aspect, such as efficient document storage, in the hope that this will lead to a return on all IT investments. Instead, training has to be structured across the whole business, clearly demonstrating how technology can enhance productivity and increase profitability, while highlighting the impact of misguided technology purchases to the entire organisation. Education initiatives also need to be regularly repeated and updated as business tools continue to adapt and evolve.
One group of employees that often feels left out is remote staff – either those travelling or homeworking – who are simply never there when the training sessions take place. With the number of global remote workers expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2015, this has never been more timely. Are you prepared to meet the needs of your ever-expanding mobile workforce? While the majority of employees feel that their company has adequate systems for remote access, just over half of these workers feel that information gets lost because of how it’s stored and one in three believe that it’s difficult to maintain version control of documents. This is clearly an area for improvement and designing a good training programme – accessible for those who aren’t office-based – could be the answer.
To ensure you receive an ROI on your organisation’s information investments, taking stock of IT infrastructure and how it’s used – both in the office and remotely – is essential. Once IT decision makers understand exactly what they’re working with, the benefits of training cannot be denied, as two thirds of those who have received tuition state that they are able to use the technology to its fullest capability when managing their information. Investment is not just about purchasing new solutions – there’s also a need to assess the entire business and the behaviours of employees to identify where enhancing productivity can increase profitability.