03/01/2012

By Ben Weiner, CEO, Conjungo

It wasn't that long ago that technology was pretty much out of the realms of most peoples' and organisations' budgets. These days, unless I'm pretty much mistaken, all companies have some form of IT. This means that regardless of size and budget, companies can produce professional documents, budgets etc. This gives the market to some extent a 'level playing field' so you won't notice (as long as the user is reasonably capable) whether a document has been produced by a multi-national corporation or someone in a bedroom.

So while cost has reduced and technology has become more readily available, one of the key barriers to tech being used more effectively is i) education — if you don’t what a particular technology does, you won’t buy it ii) training.

People hate change, and many are still fearful of a new product or software solution. People get used to working in a particular way or using a system that has always worked, at least for them.

Furthermore some people are worried about not being able to understand how to use new systems or worried that they be made to feel ignorant. Training and good training is absolutely critical.

Training courses can be undertaken in different ways, whether on-line and having the advantage of flexibility, time wise or in a class room type in environment. Some prefer the latter because they have the ability to interact and ask questions and share experiences of other people. Likewise having a more formal approach can be more effective.

Choosing the right organisation with the capability and people with great facilitation skills is critical. Before embarking on buying a new ICT system take time to consider how important the training elements are. Most tech companies promote a complete solution, from providing hardware, software, installation, cabling, training and other services. It often makes sense to buy from one organisation on the basis of ‘keeping it all under one roof’. However, there are many good companies that focus purely on training and so should be considered too.

The upshot of this is that while most people will take time and energy and budget to purchase the right systems and solutions for their organisations, not all will be as rigorous when comes to the training element. While I hate to be a bore, I can not over emphasise the need for decent training not just when a new system is implemented but as an ongoing practice. There’s always something new to learn and knowledge means that people can maximise systems, become more effective and hence be part of an organisation that facilitates a greater sense of ‘ownership’ and encourages efficiency which equates to a healthier bottom line.


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