How Improving the Customer Experience Protects Your Collaboration Investment

Finding the right fit for IT business tools is something that requires a lot of time, research and investment. Setting up or updating something as large and strategically important as your organisation's collaboration tools carries a weight of expectation when the time comes to justify the investment to the board, and how your users ultimately adopt new software and platforms has a direct effect on the result. 

Ultimately, the aim is to provide a secure and reliable solution, that is widely used and adopted leading to a high uptake on a company-wide level. With the huge choice of comms solutions out there, that can be easier said than done. But if you’re employees are using their favourite messaging service instead of the company-standard one, that’s a problem.

Issues of shadow IT

Aside from the security issues shadow or dark IT brings, the scale of own-app usage can be a drain on your resources. What’s the point of paying for an expensive system if it’s being bypassed? Unfortunately, all people need is a wireless connection to go onto their phone and start conversing through their favourite app, making it an equally difficult challenge to surmount.

Computer Weekly points out in this article that shadow IT can put your business at risk in several ways. They are:

  • SAM Compliance
  • Regulations and governance
  • Bypassing of testing and change control
  • No ability to manage configuration

This lack of control effects your business on these multiple levels, from the practicalities of the day-to-day as an IT department, to security risks. That, alongside a diminished collaborative working capability, do the opposite of protecting any investments you’ve made into comms software.

What makes a good customer experience?

Of course, communication is what makes a great customer experience. If people enjoy using an app, and arethey will feel like they are communicating effectively. It comes down to those human elements of feeling confident in the familiarity of using a specific platform.

Mobile apps are the key to real time communication, both in and outside of the business. The arguments all point towards installing apps and software that people will feel comfortable using because it means that they are more likely to engage and collaborate with others through them. Bearing this in mind when selecting tools for your business is one step to diminish the risks of shadow IT.

But naturally, this isn’t a cure-all option either. CIO takes us through some of the other ways to minimise the risks of shadow IT while boosting the customer experience, and therefore, increasing uptake of comms tools. They include but are not limited to:

  • Monitoring your network – to seek out new unknown devices and the like
  • Offering approved alternatives – by prioritising which apps are the riskiest, you can still give people some flexibility to use the collaboration tools they prefer
  • Creating clear guidelines around BYOD – with a list of approved apps    

In conclusion …

Shadow IT is a complex issue to tackle. Things change constantly, whether that’s in tech, the people within the business, and the ways of preferred communication and collaboration. Often, the issue isn’t helped by the locked down or walled garden nature of major collaboration platforms. Even if you wanted to safely integrate different apps, the option isn’t always open.

This often means that organisations resort to using multiple tools, adding layers of risk, adding to business costs, and increasing support requirements. But there are alternatives out there, and they may suit your business better.  Solutions providers like VideoCall can help you build a collaboration environment that works seamlessly, is fully supported and crucially, lets your users keep their familiar workflows.

This can help you minimise shadow IT and lack of adoption, all the while protecting your investment.