I love technology, but I am NOT one of those people who stand in line outside the Apple Store for the latest version of the iPhone. And when it comes to technology changes for your business, you should not be one of those people standing in line for the latest and greatest either.
Slow the pace of change in Information Technology
It is easy to want to grab the bright, shiny new thing in technology, especially if your competitor or your friend has it. But it's the wrong thing to do. Too much change too quickly can stress an organization beyond its limits. Take time with your change.
We recently worked with a client who was still running – believe it or not – a 1989 mid-range IBM 1 series system. Incredible. Ronald Reagan was in the White House when their system was new. Somehow through the years, with Band-Aids and baling wire, they kept adding to the system and patching it together. They got the job done.
They finally got the money and the time together to retire the old system and put in a new application that runs on Windows servers.
And as soon as we were done, they asked, "Why don't we redo our website now? And can we put in a new accounting system?"
They were like a POW who was freed after years in captivity. Once starving, the former prisoner now begins to scarf everything in sight. Of course, his system won't handle it. It's the same with your staff.
When you give them a new operating system, give them six months to get used to it before you embark on a new transaction system. Your staff needs time to adjust. And by the way, your staff still has to do their daily job.
On a much smaller scale, think about those first few days after you get that new phone. It's uncomfortable. You don 't know where things are. You have to transfer your music, your apps, your photos. And by the way, there will be five system updates in the next year and a new version of the phone in 24 months.
On the business scale, it is up to the person in the C-level office to set a reasonable pace for change. Here's what you should be considering:
- Do you have system issues? Analyze. Where are they coming from? What's the source of the problem? If you try to change everything at once, you won't know where the problem starts.
- System stability. If your system is older, is it stable enough to accept add-ons.
- Don't change everything at once. For instance, don't think about changing your computers and the application system and the servers. Take these changes one at a time. Let the first change take hold. Let everyone get used to it. Then make the next change.
Slow the pace of your IT change. Your staff will thank you for it. Your customers will appreciate that you've installed new technology to improve responsiveness and productivity. They don't have any patience for "Sorry, it's a new system we don't know how to _____ ." (fill in the blank)