Your reliance on legacy security technology—like Fobs or RSA token-based systems—may have everything to do with change management, not technology strategy. In this post, our experts share effective change management strategies to help you deal with push-back from fellow decision-makers and other employees. Read more.
Change comes hard. For both individuals and organizations, substantive self-improvement is usually precipitated by a crisis. For example, people stop smoking after a heart attack. We invest in security after the break-in. We roll out new compliance software after getting fined by regulatory authorities. It may seem a little crazy, but we tend to resist change, no matter how positive the upside, until confronted with a crisis.
So, what’s really going on here? Why do we resist change, even when we know it’s the right thing to do? And how can you deal with pushback from fellow decision-makers and other employees?
A cognitive psychologist might point to loss aversion. This theory describes people’s tendency to avoid losses in favor of acquiring gains. People will fight to keep what they have even when offered something better. Loss aversion is not a rational response. It’s a predictable human emotional reflex resulting from uncertainty and unknown risks in the world at large. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” right?
Avoiding the Crisis
A bird in the hand may not worth two in the bush, especially when that “bird” represents an impossibly complex and inefficient mishmash of inherited legacy technologies. And you did inherit them. This IT legacy mess of yours is probably not your fault. But it is your responsibility. So, what should you do?
As security specialists, we routinely introduce new technology to users. Like all good technology providers, we implement change management strategies to ensure success. Adopting some best practices should help you overcome the loss aversion in your organization and get to your desired outcome: the two birds in the bush!
One IT best practice is incrementalism. Instead of an all-or-nothing approach, an incremental approach eases your employees into change gradually. Instead of trying to introduce a whole new suite of applications, you upgrade one at a time. Once employees have benefited from each for a time, you roll out the next. Microsoft solution providers routinely deploy Office 365 and Dynamics 365 this way, for example.
What Else Should you Do?
Step 1: Ask for help You’re not objective about your IT environment, so hire someone who is. Lean on technology-agnostic, third-party experts to help you develop a practical change strategy for your unique culture and legacy environment. Talk to specialists like BioConnect to ensure a security/compliant-first approach.
Step 2: Do direct discovery IT strategies designed in ivory towers fail. Inform your plan by interviewing users about what’s working and what’s not. You don’t have to promise them change. Just try to understand what they need and want to succeed. And make sure you capture or record your findings to reflect them in your plan.
Step 3: Develop your plan Build a fresh, new plan to reboot or optimize your legacy environment incrementally—and compliantly. Make sure you have both a clear technical roadmap as well as the highest emphasis on internal communication. Include a proper launch, one-on-one training, and robust user support, ideally 24/7.
Well begun is half done. A thoughtfully designed plan informed by third-party expertise and direct discovery will set you up for success.
Step 4: Share your vision As a technology leader, employees expect and want to hear from you, especially if you have a plan to make everyone’s lives better. So, embrace transparency. Launch your vision properly. Explain the big picture to employees. Articulate the benefits. Don’t dictate change. Make the case for it. Above all, encourage and respond to employee feedback and keep an open mind!
Step 5: Deploy & communicate Establish an incremental deployment schedule and stick to it. Provide all the in-person training and support your plan calls for as well as internal updates. Something as simple as a quarterly email on your progress can go a long way to overcoming internal loss aversion. Make sure you remember that any new technology only matters if people use it. Not whether it just makes sense on paper.
Change is not easy, but if you engage your stakeholders and get some expert help, you can develop a plan to escape your legacy environment!
A Security-First Solution
Intrigued by the idea of developing a security-first, change management approach? Talk to one of our security experts about moving past your legacy IT. You can use non-obtrusive biometrics technologies to enable a modern layered security that verifies identity, not secrets or swipe cards.