For IT teams, it’s important to regularly assess the digital tools within the tech portfolio to understand how employees are utilizing them. A key way to do this is to look at apps and workplace software through the lens of business systems—or a set of procedures, steps, or practices designed to achieve a specific result. Building a robust set of business systems furthers many big picture organizational goals. Strong systems drive efficiency and consistency (in other words, compliance) across the business. They help streamline processes, make crucial work get done quicker, and drive better business outcomes faster.
In today’s digital workplace, almost every department—from sales to marketing to engineering—has its own set of business systems. But although these systems may exist outside their specific department, the most effective IT leaders make an effort to form cross-functional partnerships with these departments to optimize them using product-led principles and tactics.
Building continuous feedback loops for business systems
What constitutes a business system can vary widely. Perhaps an HR team wants to automate elements of employee onboarding or the job application process. Or a sales team wants to hone some aspect of account creation management. No matter what the specific goal, a business system is designed to create a “short cut,” or a path to completing a given task or workflow in a way that’s easier, better, and more efficient for the employee and organization alike. For this reason, the most forward-thinking IT leaders don’t treat business systems as static, rigid objects, but rather as processes that can always be improved.
In order to ensure a given business system is delivering maximum value, IT leaders should leverage a digital adoption solution to build continuous feedback loops with users. They can leverage powerful analytics to come up with baseline completion times and rates, for example. Using these rates, they can create goals for improving the metrics and measure progress over time. They can also use analytics to understand how employees navigate business systems, and where in a given workflow or process they may be getting stuck or be in need of greater support.
Depending on what they find, IT can work with their cross-functional partners to either change the system by adding or removing steps or shifting elements in some way, for example by changing an app or tool in which some part of the system depends. They can also add support elements delivered as in-app guidance to the individuals or segments of employees who may be struggling at a given point in the system. In this way, digital adoption solutions make business systems less brittle and more effective—and they help IT teams and their partners leverage workplace software to its fullest potential.
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Optimizing system design through feedback and data-backed insights
IT leaders are helping companies build business systems that can adapt and evolve with the needs and goals of the organization. To do it effectively, they’re employing a product-led mindset that treats business systems not as fixed frameworks, but rather as evolving processes driven by tech that can be continually improved. With a digital adoption solution’s powerful analytics, they can see and understand crucial metrics around how employees are working through and between business systems—including how long it takes them to complete a given workflow or process, how the most productive people are leveraging business systems, and where employees are frequently encountering friction.
They can also use a digital adoption solution to see how their technology spend translates to results. Are given software components of business systems generating the value intended? Are employees using them to generate greater value? Or does a given app amount to a stumbling block for employees, or a piece of shelfware that hurts systems more than it helps? Having actionable insights around these and other core system questions will help IT teams hone the design of existing and new systems so that employees feel empowered to work more effectively—and so the company as a whole gets the most bang for its buck.
Setting expectations and driving better compliance
One of the key purposes of effective business systems is to normalize and regularize processes for employees. By streamlining and improving workflows, these systems also effectively guide and set expectations for employees about the best ways of working.
Compliance matters to companies for a host of reasons. From a regulatory perspective, a security perspective, and an efficiency perspective, ensuring employees are working and completing processes in desired ways goes a long way toward driving greater consistency and resiliency in the business. And driving this compliance becomes much easier with the power of a digital adoption solution.
Digital adoption solutions also let IT teams understand how work happens within and across business systems. By examining workflow paths and completion rates, IT can better understand how well employees are working in desired ways, and take steps to support them from a place of empathy if they see any issues. That may mean sending a segment of employees a reminder or other type of support within the app to demonstrate or communicate the desired way of working. It may mean deploying an in-app poll or survey to see if the current state of compliance makes sense to employees or if it’s time to reassess based on new goals or ways of working.
No matter what the issue, however, product-led IT managers can optimize business systems for employees by meeting them where they are—in the software where work happens.