How IT Leaders and “Power Users” Can Better Understand Casual Users’ Needs

  • Jun 7, 2019,
  • By Jay Hinman

IT executives and other key stakeholders within an organization are usually the ones making the big decisions when it comes to new SaaS applications and software overhauls. While these software decisions are made with the best of intentions, such as reducing costs or increasing employee output, they can often fall flat before a business sees any of their perks. This happens when there’s a gap between what decision-makers think is best for the business and what actually happens on the ground.

Here, we’re exploring the challenge of implementing new SaaS-based software solutions and the unique disconnect that occurs between power users of those systems, and the casual users who only need to use these systems from time to time.

The ongoing trend of specialized SaaS per function has weakened central orchestration & control. IT leaders are often measured on the adoption of the tools & systems they deploy throughout the enterprise, yet find that adoption lags among line-level managers, executives and users who only need to use these systems occasionally.

Let’s explore some of the challenges that can arise when IT leaders make a decision to add a new SaaS-based application such as Workday, SAP, ServiceNow, Concur and many others, and how they can address these hurdles to maximize employee engagement and satisfaction.

Key Challenges of Adopting New SaaS Applications

One can expect bumps along the way, or even employee revolt, when IT leaders make decisions without the day-to-day experience of staff in mind. When this happens, here are some of the roadblocks an organization may face:

  • A lack of employee buy-in to new systems
  • A decrease in employee engagement and reduced job satisfaction
  • A decrease in employee productivity
  • An increase in negative employee attitudes and resentment towards decision-makers
  • Money spent on systems that aren’t fully utilized

How to Overcome the Gap Between Power Users and Casual Users

To prevent a disconnect between power users and the employees who casually use your organization’s SaaS applications, there are several strategies that you can put into place. The key lies in valuing employee input, staying open to feedback, and letting users play an active role in the decision-making process. Let’s explore some tactics you can use to bridge this gap:

Understand Casual Users’ Pain Points

Before choosing a new SaaS solution for your organization, you need a strong understanding of what the problems are with the current process – not merely for the IT team’s cheerleaders for any new system, but for the 90% of users who’ll only need to dip in and dip out of it from time to time.

While your executive team may have a list of pain points of their own, such as costs, your casual users hold the answers to the day-to-day issues they have with your current systems.

Getting their input is the only way to learn what’s happening from the ground up so you can address those shortcomings with a new solution with its own workflows.

Learn the Workflow

To understand the way your staff processes items like approvals or time sheets, you’ll have to walk a mile in their moccasins, as the saying goes.

Put yourself in their territory and have them take you through their typical approval procedures so you can grasp what their average workflow looks like: where the holdups and inefficiencies are, where there is currently room for error due to manual reporting, and what potential solutions might look like.

How to Increase Employee Engagement and Aid Decision-Making

Your employees will feel valued and heard when you listen to what they have to say and invite them to participate in the decision-making of selecting any new SaaS solution. These are some strategies for increasing employee engagement throughout this process:

Invite them to Learn, Try, and Respond to New Software

Multiple SaaS solutions companies are likely already pitching their wares to your executive team on a regular basis, and it’s important to include your potential casual users in this process.

Ask key staff members – not just IT leaders – to listen to proposals from various software companies, take advantage of trial offers, and debrief with your decision-making team afterward. These ultimiate end-users will give you invaluable insights that you would never have had they not included in the process.

Highlight the Why

Employees can be hesitant to accept changes to their usual software and workflow processes, so it’s critical to show them why a new tool will make their jobs easier. Rather than just handing them a new system with its own logins and workflows, taking the time to show your users the reasoning behind your software move can make a significant impact on employee buy-in.

Morale and productivity will both benefit from IT leaders taking the time to work in conjunction with casual users to ensure that you’re working with the best systems for your business. When power users and casual users work in tandem, it ensures optimal results and efficiency with any new system you adopt.

The ApproveSimple Solution

One thing common to nearly all of the aforementioned SaaS applications, from purchase orders to timesheets to expenses to invoices, is that they require one or more approvals in order to trigger action.

When these approvals require multiple application logins and many individuals to complete them, they often become lost in email inboxes, resulting in compliance risk, delayed collections, late fees and unhappy employees. Decision-making quality can also suffer, as casual users take shortcuts and delegate their approval decisions to others.

Capriza’s ApproveSimple helps IT leaders deliver faster ROI on your new and your existing investments by driving adoption and usage of enterprise applications at the most common point of control: approvals. Applications that you’ve spent months deploying across the enterprise can now travel beyond the power user, right into the hands of the line-level manager, executive and casual user, who often only need to use these applications for approvals.

Interested in learning more? We’d love to show you a demonstration of Capriza’s ApproveSimple in action – just sign up here and we’ll have you scheduled right away.

Jay Hinman

Jay Hinman is the VP of Marketing at Capriza, focused on helping organizations achieve greater business agility and faster decision cycles by accelerating approvals.


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