The IT manager is the gatekeeper of all things digital in an organization. And as the gatekeeper, he or she is in charge of making sure every bit of technology is functioning as it should.
Because this is such a monumental responsibility in a modern company, it’s reasonable for an IT manager to be reluctant about rocking the business technology boat unless there is a very good reason to do so.
Here are five concerns your IT manager has about implementing new technology in the workplace.
Concern 1: Determining Roles and Responsibilities
Implementing new technology in the workplace requires a lot of cooks in one digital kitchen. In their Harvard Business Review article, professors Dorothy Leonard-Barton and William A. Kraus defined four members an implementation team needs to be successful:
1. The Sponsor – A fairly high-level employee who understands the politics of the company and ensures the project receives proper resources
2. The Champion – A diplomat who garners support for the implementation from the workforce
3. The Manager – An employee in charge of managing administrative details of the project
4. The Integrator – An individual who addresses conflicting priorities and aligns the group through exceptional communication
While there are only four categories of team members, that doesn’t mean a single individual will fill the role through the entire implementation. And even if there is a person assigned to each role, the implementation can still be slowed down if one of the implementation team members doesn’t have adequate authority or organizational power to keep the project moving forward.
Concern 2: Resistance
Even if, without a doubt, a change will be a positive one, it’s still scary. And when the change is something major that impacts an employee’s day-to-day schedule at the office, you can assume he or she will be especially averse.
The technical aspects of implementing new technology in the workplace are already challenging. So if you add in the knowledge that, in addition to overcoming every other obstacle in this list, an IT manager has to not only convince up to a few hundred employees technology is a good thing but also get them to actually use it, it’s easy to see why they’d prefer to keep things as they are for as long as possible.
Concern 3: Security
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), companies are subject to seven different types of security attacks, such as:
- Accidental exposure
- Data on the move
- Employee error, negligence, improper disposal and/or loss
- Hacking, which includes phishing, ransomeware/malware and skimming
- Insider theft
- Physical theft
- Unauthorized access
In 2017 alone, there were 1,579 confirmed data breaches that resulted in nearly 180 million records being exposed. And according to Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average financial impact of a data breach on a business in the U.S. is a staggering $7.35 million.
Implementing new technology in the workplace unfortunately means providing new access points for potential attacks. Therefore, it’s in the best interest of IT managers to keep the number of those access points as low as possible.
Concern 4: Complexity of the Tech Stack
In its 2016 Software Usage and Waste Report, UK-based IT software and services provider 1E revealed that the average organization wastes 37 percent of its software. This amounts to $259 per desktop. And for a mid-market enterprise with 250 employees, that equates to nearly $65,000 in wasted spend every year.
It’s an understandable deterrent for any IT manager. And when you consider how exponentially more complex tech stacks have become over the past decade, it’s just another reason IT managers hesitate adding new technology to the company’s existing infrastructure.
Concern 5: Required Maintenance and Updates
Say the IT manager has successfully implemented the new technology. It’s been properly integrated into the existing infrastructure and, by some miracle, the manager has achieved nearly 100 percent employee adoption. The only problem is that the implementation is only the first step. Now the technology has to be maintained, updated, tested for vulnerabilities, evaluated for bugs and errors – the list goes on and on.
Unless the technology is cloud-based, all of these requirements are going to be costly and undoubtedly time-consuming. The IT manager has to determine whether the benefit the business will receive from the new technology justifies the resources needed to maintain it. And if they’re wrong, there could be major consequences.
Smart business leaders understand two things about implementing new technology in the workplace: 1) it isn’t a cakewalk, and 2) their IT manager would probably prefer to just eat cake and not lead the implementation. When you recognize why your IT manager is hesitant, you can proactively address their concerns and give them what they need to succeed.
Learn more about how to help your IT manager implement technology in the workplace that makes life easier for everyone.