Rolling out new software in an organization is not a trivial matter. In most cases, the return on investment is not achieved quickly enough or is not achieved at all because users do not make optimal use of the features. That is why we will be taking a look in this article at a typical software implementation, analyzing its pitfalls, and then providing three suggested ways to overcome them.
An Article by
Software that is rolled out in companies is often not used beyond its basic features, and the great potential it has to offer remains largely untapped.
A typical example of software implementation
For some time now, everyone has been talking about the digital transformation. However, events of the past year have once again demonstrated to us how important it truly is and in how it is falling short in many areas (with working from home and homeschooling coming to mind in particular).
Many companies, especially those in Germany’s sector of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are struggling with the digital transformation of business processes. General hurdles to progress include lack of capacity, insufficient specialized knowledge, and barriers to investment. However, if you are a company looking to expand internationally and localization is going to be an issue for you, there is often no way around upgrading your software landscape.
When a department needs new software, it goes through a selection process – at best in collaboration with a colleague from IT. Then the software is implemented, tested, and rolled out. After the rollout, everyone who is to work with the software receives training at best – and nothing more.
Is this a situation familiar? After implementation and training, you are still not up to speed. New software is often initially associated with more frustration than fun.
From then on, you are like a student who has just left home and moved into their first dorm: all on your own and quite overwhelmed. The administrator in your company attempts to answer any questions the employees might have, who otherwise have to “muddle through” but at some point might just get stuck and give up.
And not to forget: you still need to attend to hosting, updates, and maintenance!
Money for software thrown out the window
Due to chaotic and poorly planned software implementations, the organization often uses little more than the basic features of the newly acquired programs. The full potential that the salespeople demonstrated so beautifully in the return-on-investment (ROI) calculation remains unused – simply because no one knows exactly how to really take advantage of it.
The rollout of new software in the company is indeed a challenging project:
88% of companies in the EU do not fully exploit the opportunities presented by the new software (Sage study involving 600 IT decision-makers from SMEs). Reasons for this include overlapping features (35%), features that go unused (36%), lack of training (25%), and inadequate IT support (20%). Each year, a total of 9.6 billion euros are wasted through unused software.
Each year, 9.6 billion euros are wasted on unused software in the EU.
The IT capacities of an SME can quickly reach their limits, which is why you should make use of the services of the software provider. They can help you face a wide range of challenges. In cooperation with the provider, you can ensure that the conditions described above do not come about in your company.
Suggested solutions for a successful software rollout
The first way to successfully roll out new software is to pay attention already during the selection process to what support services the provider has in its portfolio. This includes both response times to questions or problems with use of the software and the number of training sessions offered for the relevant software (on-site as well as virtually). This point is particularly important, because many questions can be answered in advance if there is proper training during or shortly after the rollout. The employees also learn how to use the software in the best possible way. This will help the company achieve ROI faster.
Many software providers offer helpful support and services that can free up your internal resources.
2. Managed services
Managed services are services that a software provider can provide to your business. They are usually recurring IT services that are defined in advance and contracted on the basis of a service level agreement (SLA).
They make it possible for the company to work more efficiently and cost-effectively. Typical services might include monitoring, storage, security services, and network services. The provider can also evaluate on a regular basis whether the full potential of the software is being utilized in the day-to-day work of the organization.
There are many obvious advantages to managed services, chief among them being that the company can concentrate on its core business while also reducing the strain on its internal IT resources. However, it is important not to confuse managed services with outsourcing – but what exactly is the difference?
Managed services involve having individual areas and IT services taken care of by a provider. Outsourcing includes a great deal more than that: responsibility for IT tasks or even entire departments are given over to be performed outside the organization. Nevertheless, outsourcing does not always have to be on such a large scale for a company to benefit from such an arrangement.
For example, a common and recommended measure is leaving the hosting of software to the experts. Many providers are willing to take on this responsibility for a fair fee, which can save your company time as well as a great deal of stress.
The bottom line
Rolling out new software in a company is a challenge in many respects. It is possible for many things to go wrong along the way, with non-achievement of ROI being the worst-case scenario. To prevent this from happening while conserving valuable resources at the same time, it is a good idea to work together with the provider right from the start and to create synergies along the way.
The provider can help you make the software rollout successful. The three approaches are support, managed services, and outsourcing. It is best to ask potential providers what services they offer at the very beginning so you can get a good idea of what they are and can make an informed decision.
The right software for your translations
Are you also in the process of putting your translation management on a solid new footing? Then we recommend the white paper “Structured System Selection”, which will provide you with valuable assistance in selecting the right translation management system (TMS) for your company. The advice it provides ranges from requirements the TMS should meet to tips for making your organization more receptive through to an eight-step plan for selecting the right solution.