Our top four tips for a seamless Information Management technology rollout

IT decision makers seamlessly rolling out Canon Information Management Solutions

Deciding to invest in new technology to improve the flow of information across an organisation is one thing. Successfully rolling it out with minimal disruption, while keeping costs down, is quite another.

It’s important to get it right, because disastrous tech implementations make headlines – for example the abandoned NHS patient record system described as ‘the biggest IT failure ever seen’1 or Sainsbury’s botched warehouse automation system, which was later abandoned at a cost of £150m2 .

Our new research surveyed thousands of IT decision makers (ITDMs) to understand how business processes are evolving. It showed that during new technology implementations, compatibility with existing architecture was voted the number one challenge experienced by ITDMs.

These issues can be fatal to a new technology project, at a time when many businesses are looking to become more digitally mature. We even found that 10% of respondents have been forced to abandon an implementation entirely within the last couple of years.

In this article, we’ll outline four areas for ITDMs to consider when implementing new technology. Getting these elements right offers the chance for a smoother and more rewarding rollout, so businesses can start seeing the benefits of their new systems.

IT decision makers thinking about rolling out Canon Information Management Solutions

1. Think long term

As part of our research for the report, we asked ITDMs about the challenges they faced the last time they undertook a strategic technology implementation. Integration with their existing IT estate was the most commonly cited problem, at 28%.

That’s why when ITDMs consider a new investment, compatibility also emerged as the most important consideration during the procurement process – even over and above the capabilities of the technology itself.

But given the time, cost and challenges associated with rolling out entirely new solutions, our advice is to approach procurement strategically, prioritising scalable technologies that allow you to add further capabilities as the business evolves without major new implementations.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask

We asked ITDMs about the level of support they had in their last major technology implementation. 61% said they used a third-party vendor in some capacity.

It’s interesting that not all businesses take the same approach when looking for outside assistance. 34% look for a baseline level of support which gives them the confidence to then manage the task themselves. 35% look for a collaborative partnership in which responsibility for the project is shared. And finally, 30% of ITDMs prefer to work with a partner who will take on full responsibility for the project from start to finish.

It really depends on the needs and capabilities of the organisation. Large organisations with over 5,000 employees are more likely to choose full collaboration, which is unsurprising given the complexity of implementing new technology in enterprises of that size.

The key takeaway is that there’s no one size fits all strategy – each business needs to consider where its own strengths and weaknesses lie before bringing in external support.

3. Don’t sit on the fence

The right choice for you depends on your organisation’s priorities.

For example, our research showed businesses that managed their last major technology implementation in-house reported the least compatibility issues and delays – so if speed is your greatest priority, this might be the best option. However, with this comes a cost of less ongoing support, as a fifth felt there was a lack of communication with vendors, and one in seven had a lack of after-sales support.

Those ITDMs who opted for full collaboration with a third-party had a greater chance of reporting no challenges (21%). Choosing this route also meant better after-sales support and communication, and crucially, just 5% had to abandon the project – almost half the rate of in-house implementations. One downside that our research pointed to was a slight uptick in the rate of functionality issues.

What’s clear is that trying to take a mixed approach to support, either with a third-party being responsible initially then carrying out the roll out in-house, or vice versa, could be asking for trouble. Over 90% of ITDMs who took this route reported challenges, and significantly more were forced to abandon the project. This approach also led to higher rates of issues such as technology not being fit for purpose, or low employee adoption of new systems.

What will be obvious to any ITDMs who have navigated these challenges is that not all partners are equal.

4. Find the right partner

Selecting the right partner for a major technology implementation is not an easy decision. There’s a lot depending on it.

A good partner can work with ITDMs and different lines of businesses to mitigate some of the compatibility and timescale risks associated with large and complex projects. But the opposite is also true. As we have seen, compatibility issues and delays can actually be exacerbated by full collaboration.

What does this tell us? It’s crucial that ITDMs work with a partner with deep solutions integration expertise and specialist knowledge of the technology ITDMs are looking to adopt. Prospective partners need to be able to bring various solutions together neatly, orchestrating the solutions to work in concert.

A successful implementation also requires an in-depth understanding of business processes – especially how documents and information are processed in an organisation – in order to remove any friction.

Ultimately, the best partner should inspire confidence so that ITDMs can commit wholeheartedly to an automated future, unlocking benefits from improved security and compliance, increased productivity, and an exceptional customer experience.

IT decision makers thinking about rolling out Canon Information Management Solutions

There are no instant fixes to make new technology implementations easy. By nature, it’s a challenging process, with compatibility issues creating an ever-present concern.

But those businesses that are already more digitally mature, with a company culture that embraces new technology and new ideas, are well placed to succeed. And if ITDMs plan for the future, bring in the support that they need, and find a partner that’s able to provide the right support, they’ll have the best possible chance of a successful rollout that seeds benefits across their organisation for years to come.

At Canon, we have over 30 years’ experience with business process engineering, plus implementing and orchestrating solutions. We’ve already supported over 2,700 customers across Europe with improving their Information Management and we specialise in the automation of workflows and digital document management – so wherever you are in your Information Management journey, we’re ready to help you move to the next stage.

Download our report now to discover more about the common pitfalls businesses face during technology rollouts – and how organisations are harnessing technologies such as automation for better information management.

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