Recently, I bumped into a software sales executive who had been selling software since the late ‘80s. So, I asked him what was easier: selling software now or back then. He said “back in the ‘80s, it was easy to sell the idea of what your software could accomplish and ride the faith of the client and the developer who thought they could make it happen.
But more often than not, the “idea” did not become a reality and millions of dollars were wasted on products that were never even implemented (let alone worked). Going into the late ‘90’s and 2000’s, the dreams of what technology could do continued to build and companies continued to get burned by falsehoods usually sold to most senior people in the company for large lump sum payments. Perhaps worse, was the time lost between starting to create a goal and realizing it was not going to be accomplished – the untold cost of lost potential in these companies”. By now, executives have smartened up and stopped believing in those million dollar price tag promises. They have also learned that they’re not the only ones using software now – it must be easy to use so that their workforce can actually use it as well.
Software used to be sold to and built for the ‘top of the pyramid’ in the company, but now we realize that it’s used and purchased by a broad range of stakeholders. Now, more questions are being asked about how important usability and integration are with other corporate systems. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has completely changed the industry. For the first time, companies are in control, and as a result, are demanding simplicity and usability instead of modules and bloated functionality. True SaaS companies, including eCompliance, understand that our customers can leave us at any time and begin using a competitor’s product so we need to ensure that we continue to innovate, create user friendly software and provide professional services that are unmatched in the industry.
Technology is changing for the better; customers are getting better designed products at fairer terms and prices, and more value compared to the last 25 years. A new challenge has come. Now organizations must work with technology companies in defining the adoption plan to ensure that the value of the technology is maximized and realized in as short a time as possible. At the end of the day, many organizations look at the following criteria to evaluate the next internal project:
- Is it aligned with corporate goals or objectives?
- What is the return on investment and does it meet some minimum threshold?
- Is there a high degree of confidence that this business decision will achieve corporate goals and the expected ROI?
Properly defining and executing great employee adoption of new technology are major factors in ensuring question number 3 above is answered in the affirmative. Rollout and onboarding plans should be simple enough to be easily communicated to many stakeholders and flexible enough to change without sacrificing the objective. Usually, 3 simple phases is enough. Your plan should fit on a single piece of paper and should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time bound. At the same time, we, as technology companies, must ensure our products don’t fall flat and realize the fullest potential of what technology can do to support the goals of our clients.