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Organizations who want to maximize the return on their Google Apps investment inevitably find that effective change management is the key to their success. According to research by Google, Prasci, and Willis Towers Watson, transition goals are far more likely to be achieved using proven change management methods than doing things on the fly or with little planning. Results from surveys also showed that effective management helped companies outperform their peers financially by significant margins.
Overall, data from Google showed that excellent change management gave a 120% return on investment for companies switching to Google Apps. More importantly, however, it showed that advanced planning provided the most efficient path towards business objectives. Organizations that carefully analyzed how their employees would be affected during every stage of the transition process were able to prevent problems with implementation and adapt to changing conditions more quickly.
Communication and Training
If your company is planning to switch to the Google Apps platform, clear and robust communication and training will be keys to getting the greatest return on investment. This starts with the leaders of your organization expressing the importance of your transition through announcements, email, and any other effective forms of communication within your company. Once employees realize how important change is to people at the top, they’ll be committed to making their training work even if they’re normally resistant to change.
After executive sponsorship, advanced work was cited as the second most effective change management strategy according to Google research. The more work that gets done ahead of time, the less your transition team has to worry about when the official switch takes place. Companies that have already made the move to Google Apps have found the taking a proactive approach to every potential issue saves a lot of time and money. If your transition is nothing more than an afterthought, you’re likely to encounter huge problems on the user level.
As an IT professional, migrating data is likely to be one of your biggest concerns, but the technical process is relatively easy compared to user issues at every level of your organization. Anticipating problems and coming up with solutions in advanced through training or effective communication will be essential to getting the most out of Google Apps from day one. Solutions, however, aren’t free.
Companies often resist spending money on any type of IT project, but the proper funding of change management will more than pay for itself during and after your transition to Google Apps. Respondents to Google’s survey on this issue found that professionals who felt they got adequate funding for change were better able to reach their objectives compared to those who felt their funding was lacking. In fact, as spending increased above the satisfactory level increased, so did the benefits.
The Hidden Benefits of Change Management
Return on investment with technological innovations like Google Apps are most often measured in efficiency, costs, and productivity, but there are also hidden benefits to effective change management in your organization. One of the most important is the quality of your work environment. When people use your new platform with ease and lack of stress, they’ll be far happier doing their jobs. While this benefit is hard to measure, it can improve your company in a variety of ways.