How old is the accounting system you use now? Or how about the CRM you’re still chugging away on. Your customer service platform? Were any of these built in the last decade?
Seriously, how old is your software?
There are a lot of employees out there suffering through clunky, outdated systems because it’s too expensive to build or buy something new. Not to mention the hours of lost productivity as you design new processes to incorporate all the standalone software you use.
As sad as it is, a lot of companies are going to stick with the systems they know, even if they’re held together by duct tape and chewing gum. One of the biggest issues with legacy systems, however, is that collaboration features were never built in. So not only is it tough to work in individually, it’s also tough to work in as a team.
I think I can help you. But first, let’s find out how bad your situation is.
1. You can't ask a team member a question in your legacy system
Say you have a proprietary accounting system. You find a questionable invoice in need of review. How do you ask your team about the invoice?
- Do you have to export the invoice, click over to your email, attach the file and then email your team?
- Do you have a share button or message button that you click in the system that allows you to directly message your team members?
Yes to #1? If you have to download the invoice, attach it to an email and send it off into space, then wait for a response from your team, your system is not collaborative.
If you said no to both of these, your system is not collaborative and I’m slightly concerned that you can’t download documents. You should take a look at that.
2. You’re always bugging people to use it
Do you have trouble getting your team to use your legacy system?
If you’re always encouraging and reminding people to use your legacy system, you might have a lemon on your hands. While there’s certainly a period of adoption and transition involved when onboarding new team members, a successful one eventually catches fire and becomes the instinctual go-to source for collaboration, answer seeking, document sharing and the like. It’s concerning that this is your legacy system. If they’re not using it, it’s not working.
To overcome this continual need to remind employees to use your legacy system, seek out a platform with a more social user experience that you can integrate with the legacy system. Employees are already familiar with using social-oriented platforms for hours a day — from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and LinkedIn.
A social collaboration tool adopts the key qualities of these platforms — commenting, sharing, liking, tagging, news feeds and more. Implementing a social collaboration tool with a UX employees can relate to will make adoption much easier, and they’ll be more likely to use it.
3. It’s too complicated
A lot of times people mistakenly confuse “complex” with “powerful.” This is an unfortunate assumption that leads to management choosing overly complicated solutions in the hopes that they will solve all their problems. Without extensive training or an IT support team, however, the only thing an overly complex system usually ends up doing is bogging things down and driving users away.
If your current system isn’t user-friendly and intuitive, you might need to give it the boot. A social intranet that solves several key needs and is easy to learn and use, rather than one that touches on a laundry list of wants — and creates an overwrought process — is a much better choice for any organization. Otherwise, you’re just throwing money down the drain — and making your employees unhappy.
4. It’s not a complete platform
This point might seem like it’s the antithesis to the one above, but as previously mentioned, a platform doesn’t have to be complicated to be robust. A system that is both social and complete is your ticket to successful employee adoption and engagement, better collaboration and improved efficiency. The social component makes it more appealing to use (while promoting bonding and camaraderie, which is good for employee satisfaction), and a platform that is feature-rich gives employees incentive and reason to do more and more of their work on the system.
Picture this: if your legacy system had a social interface as well as online chat, file sharing, document collaboration, video, blogging capabilities and more, where else would your employees need to go to collaborate and get stuff done? This is the key to adoption of a successful system. If your current platform is feature-deprived, it’s time to re-think things.