Consumerization of IT

Consumerization of IT, in regards to HR self-service in particular, is not a new topic in the analyst world. Countless reports and studies have been done on the subject, and in my mind, the conversation draws parallels to mobile.  Not in terms of the actual technology, but rather in terms of adoption.  It's not a question of if you're going to do it, but rather a question of when and how.  Well that, or risk becoming irrelevant at some point.    

 

There is this paradigm I feel that is dying a slow death in the enterprise world.  If you have a huge budget for change management, support staff, and training when you are rolling out new capabilities to your employees, you're doing it wrong!  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $100.  In fact, you can flush that $100 down the drain (that'll buy you only about 5 hours worth of a first-level support rep's time anyway).

(Smart Routines leave request screen – a great example of HR modernization leveraging SAP)

Applications in the consumer space would have failed miserably if they required training.  Can you imagine if Twitter or Google required 3 hours of training to get the hang of?  When you're doing your banking, do you prefer calling into automated phone systems?  Or would you rather take care of that balance transfer on your bank’s website yourself?  I know I cringe every time I realize I have to call an 800 number versus quickly doing something online.

 

Why then, would you want make your employees use systems which weren't designed with them in mind?  There is this expectation building every day on how easy applications should be to use, and that expectation follows employees into the office.  Every time someone needs help figuring out where they need to go (hello information architecture), how something works, or has to ask any question really, it can create ripples of inefficiency and frustration.  Now multiply that over and over again and you start getting a picture of the impact routinely used applications can have on your organization.

 

Just to give a practical example, one of our customers initially released self-services to their staff using a popular self-service platform, which was largely rejected by its 7,500 employees and resulted in 6,000 support tickets being opened. They evaluated the issues around user experience, and decided to go with Sitrion the second time around. Using our software saw a huge improvement, with hardly an incident - saving them close to $300k in early support costs alone.  This doesn't take into account lost productivity over time or the SAP investment they were finally able to realize.  You know you've done a good job enabling self-service when it's the preferred method of getting things done (and actually increases employee satisfaction).

(Smart Routines leave request capability in SharePoint with mash-up of SAP & Exchange calendar data)

Gartner just published a report forecasting that by 2016 20% of organizations will work on making their self-services more consumer-like.  While that's certainly a large jump up from the current 5%, the reason it's not a higher number certainly isn't for lack of want or need.  It's just not an easy thing to do.  So if you're serious about taking your organization's productivity to the next level, give our Smart Routines solution a look.  Or feel free to give us a call.  We can bring a lot of expertise (and wins under our belt) to help you get to that next level of productivity.  Eventually you'll have to do something about it, on your own or otherwise.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Sigler, Director of Solutions Architecture

Tom has 10+ years of experience in enterprise IT, with a background in portal development and solution architecture.  He hails originally from San Antonio, Texas, with a degree in information systems @ UTSA, but now hangs his hat in San Francisco, CA.  Over the past four years, Tom has been helping Sitrion customers be successful with their enterprise social computing deployments, as well as facilitating the design, development, and roll-out of Sitrion’s business solutions.

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