I just read an interesting study on CIO Insight which looked at how the success of enterprise software deployment was measured and evaluated. There are some great details, but one of the the bottom line conclusions is that if your users are not using, then the project is seen as unsuccessful by C suite management.
Nearly 72% of the 353 IT executives surveyed identified effective usage as the dominant driver of business value, while the key driver of software success was business benefits realization (cost savings, revenue generation, etc.)
And it makes sense. If the users don’t use the software, it can’t produce any benefit.
So, it begs the question, how does one get their end users to adopt new software? Here are a few suggestions:
- Make it a part of what they are already using. Or at least make it look like what they are already using. If you have a SharePoint installation and you can integrate it within the user’s site then they are far more likely to adopt it because they already use it.
- Identify and recruit “power users” into the process early. These folks are probably already being relied upon by their colleagues to help with the current system, so educating them early allows them to train and be a free resource (well, free to IT) to their co-workers.
- Get the business line manager’s buy in to drive adoption among their people. The survey showed that IT gets the blame for poor adoption nearly 60% of the time, but may not have much control over the end user.
These findings parallel our own experiences across many hundreds of implementations. For example, our Active Directory Self Service product delivers the most value when end users are both updating their own AD attributes as well as creating and managing Active Directory groups.
With that in mind we engineered GroupID Self Service to be easily integrated as a WebPart in SharePoint, to be customized to look and feel like a company’s own intranet, and to be so simple and intuitive that an end user doesn’t require any training at all.
We don’t often run into an adoption problem, so our IT customers can spend their time measuring and reporting on the business impacts of Group ID, which more than 75% of their peers defined as the key measure of software success.