Once you have decided on which online technology that you will implement, it is now time to design the integration of your new online technology.
This is best done through a project management approach which has someone in charge of the integration process. This will ensure that a number of key components of the integration process are happening at the same time. This will also ensure that key milestones are established and effectively managed to ensure the new online technology is being fully utilised.
Consider these four design aspect for integrating your new online technology:
Which implementation strategy will you use?
The integration of online technology requires careful consideration of how it will be implemented so that there are:
- no interrupts to the business, especially to customers
- no bugs or loss of data when the new online technology goes live, and
- strategies to ensure that key stakeholders are fully informed and trained
There are four ways to implement your new online technology:
- Piloting – where the new online technology is trialled by a small group of people for a short period of time to gauge how it will impact the business
- Parallel Rollout – where the new online technology is implemented at the same time as the existing system is running to gauge its impact on the business before changing over to the new system
- Phased Rollout – where the new online technology is brought in incrementally over a period of time to gauge its impact on the business before the old system removed
- Direct Changeover – where the new online technology fully replaces the existing system, usually after a successful pilot has occurred
2. What policies and procedures are needed?
Concurrently, an investigation of the policies and procedures to support the effective implementation and use of the new online technology is very important.
Policies and procedures are important intellectual property and risk management tools in a business as they ensure that the business can function effectively regardless of the people running it. The investment in time to write or update policies and procedures is also quickly recouped through improved productivity and through the consistent approach by everyone delivering your products/services.
The best way to write and share policies and procedures is using a collaborative writing system such as Google Docs (inside Google Drive). Google Docs allows you to create your policies and procedures so they can be easily accessed by your staff from anywhere and from any device, and so you can also allow your staff to edit them, so they can always be quickly up to date.
3. What skills are needed?
When considering the skills needed to effectively use the new online technology it is best to take a workforce development mindset.
As part of your decision making about which new online technology you should use, you set yourself a key goal about how you would like the new online technology to improve your business eg generate more revenue or be the best at what you do. When considering the skills needed to use the new online technology, keep this goal in mind, as it will ensure you consider all of the skills needed for your online success.
A workforce development approach involves:
- identifying the skills needed to achieve the goal of your new online technology
- mapping these skills against the current skills in your organisation to identify any skill gaps, and then
- determining how skill gaps will be addressed eg: internal/external training, recruiting new staff, or outsourcing to contracts
4. What ongoing management and maintenance is required?
The integration of the new online technology will only be truly successfully when it is fully functional and an established component of your business. However, like any technology, ongoing management and maintenance is an important part of its success.
This is done by regularly reviewing the effectiveness of the new online technology through system checks and reviews. Key considerations of system and security updates is required, as are the processes needed to ensure that new staff can easily gain access to the online technology, and exiting staff are quickly removed from use.
Assigning a person or a team who is accountable for the management and maintenance of the new technology will ensure that it is always fully utilised. It will also allow this person/these people to manage and implement processes for any ongoing risks to the business such as the system ‘going down’ for a period of time.
Designing the integration of a new online technology can make or break its success, so to ensure that your investment into the new online technology is fully realised, take the time to do this stage well to ensure your online success.
If you would like to learn how to be successful online contact us now (email or 0400 732 270) to find out more about how you can take these simple steps to your online success.