Change can be scary. You can feel thrown off if you wake up an hour earlier or later, and now consider the effect of an IT overhaul on your company.
It can be exciting, if you factor in the improvements that it will bring, nevertheless, still exhausting. Before you put it off for another quarter (or year), just think of all the new data that will accumulate, in the meantime, and how it will just make it that much more difficult later.
While many new companies hire consultants to help them set up their systems intelligently from the get-go, we aren’t all so lucky. There are many older companies that already have systems set in place from a different time, and while it might have been progressive for that time, it’s no longer seen that way. However, do not lose hope. Look for a firm that provides IT consulting services for clients like you: a company looking to transition seamlessly, not build something new from scratch.
Find the Right Team
There’s no hiding it- this is a big job. You might need to dedicate a few members of your team to this project, along with hiring on consultants and freelancers. Your current employees can communicate current pain points, present business practises, suggested changes, while your outside hires will have experience with these transitions as well as a fresh eye for evident solutions.
Schedule Time and Dedicate Budget
Perform a cost analysis for your case- will this transition help you achieve new goals? More sales? Less time spent on busy work? Better customer service? If you see the value, then you know that this project is indeed worth it, but remember that nothing is free. There will be transitional growing pains, however, it will be totally value-giving at the end. Save some funds for this project and for times when you might have to scale back on operations in order for some things to “Click” into place.
Expect Some Hiccups
Do not assume that it will be smooth sailing. This will help you deal with any delays or hiccups that come up during the process. Backup all your data to numerous centres and celebrate the wins that do occur. This will be a tough process for many people but letting them know that you appreciate their work will give them the endurance they need to power through and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Once it is all done and set in place, invest in educating yourself and your staff on all the features of your new IT system. If you’re going to improve it, make sure that it is being used to its full potential. Develop training systems, cheat sheets, an open forum for questions, or whatever you find appropriate. Your consultants will be able to help you with this step, so let them take the lead as the “Experts” in this case.
Switching IT systems is a big step, often in the right direction. Set yourself up for success and you’ll find it!