You know exactly what would help you, but you can’t sell it to IT? We hear that all the time. We got you.
Most of the interactions we have are with people in corporate communications (hi!). They notice the technology problems first, because it stops their workflow dead in its tracks.
We talk to these people, and we ask them about their woes. The main one goes something like this: I absolutely love Igloo (yeah you do), but we’ve standardized on - insert legacy platform here – and I’m not sure how to bring this to IT. The struggle is real, we totally understand.
Sadly, there is no one sentence that fixes everything. It's more about an approach you need to take. Yes, these people have priorities that may appear light years away from yours. The platform needs to be SOC-what compliant? We know, it's hard sometimes to follow the technical lingo and acronyms (and yes, Igloo is SOC compliant, by the way). Just remember that they are people too. Their ultimate priority is the same as yours, they want to do meaningful work, to make an impact on the business. So convince them that this will accomplish that. Remain conservative at all times. They’ve been through countless social business software implementations and have the battle scars to prove it. If you're alarmist or too drastic in your views, they will call you out on it.
Build a battle plan business case.
Come prepared, obviously, but lay out why you need a better collaboration platform simply. Don't make up or enhance things, put them as they are, and say "this is hindering business". Often times, it comes down to end-user adoption. When you’re dealing with communication and workforce productivity tools, people have to opt-in. They have to want to adapt or change their workflow. They have to see value. And it’s your job to make the case for its importance.
It’s also the reason why IT needs you. They’re experts in vetting technology vendors, formulating requirements, and understanding integrations. But, often times, they’re not close enough to the business problem. They can’t see what needs to be done to encourage adoption, to change behavior. You have the power to make an IT project successful, to manage the project after it’s “launched”. This is what you bring to the relationship.
Keep your cool.
Of course, some people are just mean, and not because they are in IT. If at first you fail, reassess who the stakeholders are, maybe you can approach someone else about this. If this is truly a problem for the work your company is trying to do, someone is bound to see it, eventually. This can be a long process, and it doesn't reflect in any way on your leadership. It's just complicated to get across, it's a big investment at the same time as you try to change the way people work. That is no easy task.
It's very strange that we're in a time where we have to say this, but IT are people too. The reason they seem hard to talk to is because they have different priorities. They care about a different set of deliverables. So just talk to them, like you would any colleague. Ask them to explain things to you, invite them to planning meetings, have them join you on calls with potential social intranet software vendors. Stop thinking they are the boogeyman. They won't laugh you out of the room unless you aren't prepared, something you would do too, in their place. Get away from your preconceived notions, go make new friends.
Need help making the case for your intranet? Check out intranet ROI guide.