You’ve probably heard the old carpentry adage that advises, “measure twice, cut once.” That phrase could apply to many professionals (barbers immediately come to mind), but at its core, it means something that any professional can take to heart: Take the time to prevent mistakes before they happen and are irreversible.
Global IT management is no different, and an organization that takes steps to avoid the following mistakes can reap benefits including better KPIs, lowered costs, and improved customer satisfaction.
Mistake #1: An inside-out approach to global rollouts
Enterprise-level IT integrations involve informing and coordinating with many different entities. It’s dangerous to approach large-scale changes by only considering the viewpoint of your organization’s headquarters.
Wholescale IT upgrades or installations affect everyone who will be involved with the use of that technology, from your executive strategists and in-house project managers to the technicians at job sites and the global partners you utilize in executing deployments. All stakeholders need to be aware of the changes being made and commit to the new solution so long as it actually benefits all involved.
It's vital to look past the surface-level savings
and analyze the overall ROI
Approach global IT implementations holistically, and remember that going global requires thinking local. Identify and define the issues an integration is intended to solve, determine how it will affect current processes (if it makes those processes more complex or difficult, perhaps it isn’t that valuable of a solution), and get everyone reading from the same playbook by using clear terminology. This way, you save time and avoid redundant actions and cost overages that arise from having to go back to the drawing board.
Mistake #2: Rushed implementation
Once your organization commits to an intensive global IT implementation, the temptation is strong to finish it as quickly as possible. However, this opens the door for sloppy execution and missed or neglected goals. Avoiding a failed IT integration involves more than giving it more time to be enacted; it starts with careful strategy and continues with attentive oversight.
As mentioned above, first outline the improvements that a solution is intended to provide. Keep your strategy looking ahead, even if the primary motivation is fix issues that have caused trouble in the past for your global IT support and field services team.
Identify potential partners—such as a field service management platform partner—to assist with speedy implementation without overextending your in-house staff. Lean on them to fill in the gaps of implementation, such as training end users and managing the technicians and contingent workers handling installations on the ground, and monitor the success of each rollout through and beyond the last mile.
With an IT integration partner, you can swiftly carry out your implementations without missing key elements that can get overlooked by trying to hit the same timeline on your own.
Mistake #3: Failing to adapt to modern PM/PC
Project management and coordination (PM/PC) is evolving rapidly alongside technology. Improved methods of executing IT projects are being established, led by the increasing usage of international on-demand workers, cloud-based field service management software, and partners who can set up and manage that software.
Any global IT integration will be undermined by failing to update your PM/PC standards and processes alongside it. Cutting-edge project management and coordination leverages the worldwide pool of freelance technicians for staffing IT deployments, establishes means for unified communication and knowledge sharing among all stakeholders and workers involved, and allows for a means to set clear project parameters (scope, scale, and defining documentation like statements of work and service-level agreements).
These features are quickly becoming essential for global IT management, and finding the right field service management platform (and provider) is an important consideration.
Mistake #4: Equating cheaper solutions with overall savings
Reducing and controlling costs is a top-of-mind concern to organizations with global IT needs. There will always be attractive solutions that promise to deliver outcomes at a lower price. But it's vital to look past the surface-level savings and analyze the overall return on investment that these implementations will ultimately provide.
Take a good hard look at what implementation entails for the various other parts of your organization. Will your project managers have to carry a heavier workload? What will training your employees and acclimating them to a new technology entail? Will this solution solve one issue yet ignore—or worse, create—another one elsewhere? Is this solution sustainable? Always keep a wide view of how any implementation will affect your permanent IT integration processes and goals. Make decisions based on the value a solution will provide years down the road as well as in the immediate future.
Consider the lifetime value of the partnerships you make as well. An organization shouldn’t just invest in solutions when looking to improve their global IT capabilities. It should also look to forge relationships that can assuredly deliver outcomes, solutions, or insight into international strategy. Look beyond the initial cost of implementation to glean all the benefits that may come with a solution that seems too pricey at first glance. Thus, it’s important to find partners who are transparent in the solutions they provide, the reasoning behind their pricing, and how they can assist in making inroads into new capabilities of scope, scale or specialty.
If you notice that your organization may be on the verge of making some of the above mistakes, don’t panic. Global IT strategy, management, and support is in a period of rapid evolution, and most organizations are grappling with how to adapt and thrive in this changing IT landscape. By taking the time to consider these avoidable mistakes, your organization can maximize the positive impact of your future rollouts and be confident in making the best decisions from here on out.