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Change management: driving digital culture

  • Posted on September 22, 2015

Change ManagementThis blog was co-authored by Andrew Blevins, Digital Workplace Managed Services at Avanade.

As the VP of Managed Services for Avanade Australia, I have the privilege of being across many client conversations about the future of their workplace, and how managed services fits into that future. The challenge for Avanade is to cast a new net for managed services – we must deliver innovation and value during all phases of engagement, from origination through to run.

Take, for example, the change management innovation that the team in Australia has been driving. It’s a unique proposition in our marketplace, acknowledged as such by Microsoft and our clients. It allows managed services to take a seat at the top of the innovation table. We challenge our clients to consider the impact of their digital workplace rollout up front. Any expectation of immediate employee adoption and improved behaviours are just not realistic.

Our experience tells us that driving the adoption of service-based technologies like a digital workplace requires careful transition and that the success of the change is heavily influenced by the culture of the organisation, rather than the technology itself.

And this is where Avanade Managed Services can make a tangible difference compared to any other partner in this space. We ensure that our clients’ employees are equipped to adapt to the technology and adopt behavioural changes by setting appropriate goals, incentivising the right behaviours and, most importantly for our clients, we measure our success. This, of course, is vital when an organisation is required to realise, or accelerate, the return on their technology investment by making a material bottom line impact or improving talent retention.

So how do we do this? Firstly, we recognise that our clients are unique. We therefore design behavioural change management services around their specific needs (accepting, of course, that lights-on activities supporting availability and break-fix are fundamentals).

The real value is in the granular identification and measurement of those behavioural identifiers. An example might be: how many employees per department are adopting the use of a cloud storage technology? If trends are not on target, why not? What work needs to be done to meet those targets? Is additional training required? Does the partner need to provision an adoption champion within underperforming departments? Using our Digital Insights portal, Avanade can proactively measure and manage all of these scenarios. And much, much more.

Avanade Managed Services is attracted to the concept of an employee’s digital literacy – their “fluency” in technology. Digitally literate employees can more easily adapt to the behavioural change driven by the technology, but they will still require “champions” of the change and strong influence.

What else do we look for? A leader who will encourage others to take the next step with them, at various levels within the organisation. We recently brought these concepts to a global mining company. Our ideas on adoption and digital literacy were presented upfront and differentiated us right from the start. Our vision resonated with the client.

We described digital workplace (or, indeed, any “As a Service” offering) as a tide coming in, the technology washing over the organisation in waves of additional features, functions and all requiring their own measure of adoption. It was up to us as the managed services partner to ensure that the tide was a gentle one, where no wave comes crashing down. With increased adoption comes increased employee confidence and, even, real and tangible excitement.

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