No enterprise wants to invest in a new software solution if the project is likely to be doomed from the outset. Every stakeholder, from those in the highest echelons of enterprise leadership to the boots-on-the-ground project participants tasked with managing the rollout, needs to feel confident that their deployment is destined for success.
For some types of enterprise software solutions, the risks involved in making a transition are high. As many as 69% of new customer relationship management (CRM) systems, for example, don’t deliver the benefits that were expected from the investment.
When it comes to upgrading modern device management, however, the uncertainties are far fewer. A full 100% of our customers, more than half of which are major enterprises named within the Global 2000 list of the world’s largest public companies, have reported complete satisfaction with our products over the past two years.
Nonetheless, it can be challenging for IT directors, administrators and other members of the IT operations team to generate buy-in for the move to modern device management across the whole of the enterprise. Even when you’re well aware of the benefits of streamlining task management, easing content delivery and speeding up the process of applying software patches, it’s sometimes hard to explain them to decision-makers without technical backgrounds. Nor is it always easy to describe how endpoint management efficiencies translate into business benefits for the enterprise as a whole.
As John Kotter, award-winning author, Harvard Business School professor, and world-renowned authority on change management has observed, as many as 70% of attempts to implement major changes within an organization will fail – even if the benefits are clear, and the drawbacks close to nonexistent. There are any number of reasons for this: stakeholders may fail to recognize the urgency of accomplishing the initiative in question, or informational silos may leave key decision-makers without access to an enterprise-wide perspective on the situation. It’s common, too, for organizations to develop habits, such as reliance on outdated manual processes – that don’t benefit anyone, but are retained simply because they’re familiar.
With that in mind, we’d like to offer a few tips to help you strengthen your case for making positive change. While every enterprise is different, these strategies have been successful in numerous other companies, so there’s good reason to believe they’ll work for you, as well.
Recognize and collaborate with the appropriate stakeholders.
Executive leadership’s primary goal is to facilitate business growth and improve financial results. Reducing costs and creating efficiencies are solid strategies for achieving this larger aim, so this audience is likely to be receptive to models that demonstrate how quickly labor and infrastructure cost savings will offset the per-client licensing costs of the software.
Recruiting a champion in the C-suite who wholeheartedly supports the software purchase can make it easy to get other stakeholders on board. But even if you don’t have the ear of C-level executives, you can still present the business case for making the investment to mid-level managers and IT directors who may carry more influence across the organization.
Don’t neglect the importance of end user experience when you’re looking for stakeholders. Endpoint management has the potential to impact productivity for every single one of the enterprise’s employees, so anyone who has suffered the consequences of a network slowdown due to bandwidth degradation during software delivery may be an unexpected ally for your project.
The majority of enterprise executives are already aware that implementing the right technology solutions can boost agility, lower costs and improve the company’s ability to innovate. So why haven’t you already made the move to modern device management?
In many cases, non-technical leadership may simply be unaware that a solution exists. Or, they may not understand how its capabilities differ from the functionalities included with other products that the enterprise has already licensed.
Excessive reliance on outdated processes—often, merely because they’re familiar—can be another root cause of reluctance to change. Be sure to seek out a vendor whose customers consistently rate the quality of support provided as excellent or best in class to mitigate the risks inherent in adapting to a new solution.
Build the business case.
We’re all human. When making decisions, we might be driven by logic, emotion or a mix of both factors. Solid business decisions, however, are informed by quantitative data and based on careful reasoning.
To present the business case for purchasing an modern device management solution, you’ll need to gather estimates of your enterprise’s current spending on content distribution server infrastructure, maintenance and administration, power and storage. You’ll also need to determine how much endpoint management time could be saved, and how much that labor is costing the enterprise. By comparing these figures with the proposed investment in the new solution, you’ll be able to calculate probable cost savings for the first year and beyond.
Communicate clearly and be prepared to listen to objections.
Though your goal is to generate buy-in, your role isn’t that of a salesperson. Rather, you share management’s goal of enhancing the profitability and efficiency of the enterprise. Be prepared to engage in open discussion and dialogue about how you formed your opinion of the solution in question. What other products did you consider? How did you vet these options? How can modern device management contribute to larger digital transformation efforts, and what’s at stake in modernizing IT infrastructures?
Ultimately, the considerations involved in implementing modern device management should be part of a broader conversation about how modern technology strategy needs to be part of the business’s plan for future profitability and growth. Properly understood, IT operations isn’t merely a cost center, but instead has the potential to fuel day-to-day productivity across the entire enterprise, both today and in the weeks, months and years to come.