Name a successful organisation that doesn’t use ROI in its decision making. Even cash-rich businesses appraise expected returns. New start-ups might be working in an informal seat-of-the-pants way, but the entrepreneurial mind behind them has a shrewd understanding that if you lay out cash wisely, it works.
Any investment should take a business forward, help it grow, expand into new markets, develop new products – all exciting stuff, which is possibly why investment in IT support is lagging behind. Where’s the excitement, and where’s the profit? What’s the return on paying for heads whose role is to plod through technical issues or give users pointers on the functionality of software? When extra headcount is hard to justify, it’s no surprise, that many organisations attempt a business transformation project without adequate resource.
We’re not advocating throwing funding at a support desk, or even building the best, most effective and efficient helpdesk in the world. The days of phoning someone, having a job entered into a queue and an issue solved within a 48-hour promised service window, are over. Global society has become used to instant solutions. When we want to know something, we Google it. When we want to fix something, we watch YouTube. We might have first found live chat on an e-commerce site, but that has quickly become the expectation. We carry incredibly powerful technology in our pockets – the era of permanent connection and tech-savvy users is here. In that culture, any business that expects its employees to wait for assistance – or training – will find employee engagement with the technology they need on the wane.
Self-service is part of our lives now, and organisations have an opportunity to exploit this to everyone’s benefit. Instead of waiting weeks for an expensive and disruptive training course, employees can use embedded resources to learn a new system – at the point of need, wherever it suits – and enjoy the experience. Instead of repeatedly answering the same question, the IT team could be focusing on more strategic issues and exploring new technology. These are the ideas that take businesses forward and, surely, represent a better return on investment.
There is still a role for support desks. There is still a role for traditional training courses, but they are no longer the only option. When implementing new cloud-based SaaS applications, they’re too slow and don’t represent good value for money. The projected ROI on that new software will have been subject to scrutiny. It’s a shame that many organisations allow the returns to be diluted by being underprepared. Planning the adoption process upfront can save a fortune. The right adoption support can save the expense of extra headcount on the helpdesk and stop your valued employees from becoming labour turnover statistics.
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