A Step-by-Step Approach to Finding Open Suite Spots in Your Organization

One of the big challenges of trying to deploy a new software solution into any organization is to select the correct user groups where successful adoption of the software can be achieved.  This is particularly true with desktop applications (such as Lotus Symphony), where user behavior and software preferences are often deeply-ingrained and hard to shift.

To assist with this process IBM has commissioned analyst firm IDC to produce a white paper ‘A Step-by-Step Approach to Finding Open Suite Spots in Your Organization’ which is available as a PDF at no charge:

IDC_Lotus_Symphony_Nov2008.pdf (page 1 of 9)

In this IDC white paper, we take a look at the importance of providing the appropriate set of productivity tools to diverse workforces. We provide a five-step process for ensuring that organizations are equipping workers with the productivity tools they need based on individual job requirements and skills rather than relying solely on a “one-size-fits-all” or nothing approach taken in many organizations
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I particularly liked their list of challenges and opportunities for deploying Lotus Symphony:

There are three key challenges to organizations and vendors looking to change the productivity tool status quo. The first challenge is the limited awareness that exists among IT and business users about the growing range of productivity tools and suites that are available for business use. This creates a chicken-and-egg situation where users wait for these lesser-known products to become popular before considering using them, which limits the pace at which these products can gain popularity. Not surprisingly, business users, rather than IT, often feel the pain and try finding relief through free downloadable software and hosted services.

The second challenge is the notion that it is better to stick with the status quo because any change poses risks that are best avoided. This is a very common idea that applies beyond productivity tools to just about any decision inside and outside the workplace. The fallacy of this way of thinking is that maintaining the status quo actively perpetuates a past decision that may have been right when made but due to changing circumstances no longer represents the best option for today. Being blindly stuck to the status quo continues to disenfranchise workers who were not given access to productivity tools in the past but who could benefit from such tools today.  

The third challenge is the notion that continuing to use the most popular commercial productivity suites avoids file interoperability issues. The fallacy of this approach is that interoperability problems may still exist due to the use of different versions of those products. In addition, the degree to which common proprietary and open file formats are supported varies between productivity tools. Only by evaluating the file format support in different productivity tools and suites will organizations be able to determine which tools are best for their workers, taking into consideration file interoperability as well as other important criteria.

So, is your organization ready to change the office suite ‘status quo’?

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!