Fast user adoption of new IT tools or systems is crucial to any organization since this is the ultimate test if they have invested in the right tools. Sometimes IT departments focus on the features and tech when buying new tools, and tend to neglect assessment of the user readiness.
It can certainly be a struggle to choose a new system that everybody in the organization can operate and benefit from since it should often cover many different features to be used by users in different positions and with different IT skills and on different devices. This is definitely also the case with Office 365.
However, failing to acknowledge user adoption as very important, can lead to various unpleasant scenarios:
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Even Facebook is often used as shadow IT when employees on their own forms a group based for employees, where sensitive data might be shared or discussed.
First and foremost, shadow IT. Users often turn to Dropbox or Google Drive when they need to share content, even internally with colleagues. The IT department has no control over what is shared with who and who might have access to the content.
Even Facebook is often used as shadow IT when employees on their own forms a group based for employees, where sensitive data might be shared or discussed. This may seem harmless, but what happens when an employee leaves the company to work for a competitor and they are still a member of the group. Again, the IT department has no control over what is shared with who and who might have access to the content. In many cases, they are not even aware that the Facebook group exists.
Lack of internal collaboration. Sending collaborative documents as email attachments to team members means that every team member has their own personal copy and new content must be collected by someone and stitched in the original document.
Expected productivity gains can be reached because of some or all of the above reasons. Then, what is the new tool or system worth. Some systems are even so difficult to use, that training of certain user groups is futile. Often they just need a simplified version of the system, that demands little or no training, and basically just contains the basic features that they need to get work done. Read our other article about how to avoid SharePoint Online end-user training.
Our analysis shows that most users engage in shadow IT because they feel that have to, in order to get their daily tasks done. One way to avoid shadow IT is to level with the users and thoroughly analyze their needs and equally important, their IT skills. Easy as it may sound, the reality is often full of compromises and trade-offs to make ends meet.