Boosting productivity by investing new systems and technology is only half the story. Getting staff up to speed is the other.
You wouldn’t buy a $4000 laptop just to read emails. By the same logic, you shouldn’t upgrade software, like a document management system, without taking advantage of its new features and processes.
Technology consulting firm Smithink found accounting firms are struggling to realise the benefits of major system upgrades according to Accountants Daily. Largely due to firms failing to educate staff on the improvements to their new systems.
As Xero’s Australian managing director Trent Innes said, firms need to understand they are reshaping their workflow when introducing new technology. It’s not just a simple version upgrade.
Take Microsoft Office 365 for example. Transitioning from Office 2010, or even 2013, without considering the new cloud based features would be considered a waste of spending. But training staff to take-on those features in day-to-day work may offer a boost to productivity that’s worthwhile.
Alan Osrin, managing director of Sage Software Australia, pointed to a common oversight among firms.
“It doesn’t help to have a practice where the practice manager knows everything and the staff don’t. It’s important to have a practice where everyone is across everything. If they need to get someone out to train them to find out what’s best practice, invest in it. If not using systems properly, you are wasting your time and your money,” Mr Osrin said.
Educating staff can lead to steady improvement
Taking the time to train staff with new technology is an important step in implementing a digital strategy. It shows an intention to treat IT investments as assets, not costs. Gartner expects IT spending to almost reach $87 billion in 2017 and it's vital to view the expense as an opportunity to boost productivity.
Developing a direction for your IT services can allow staff to be engaged without upgrading systems just for the sake of it. Plus, educated staff are competent staff. If employees have a greater understanding of IT systems, they can better identify and solve issues.
If you'd like to find out more about educating staff or developing a digital strategy, contact your Sentrian Client Services Manager. Or complete the form below for us to get back to you.