If you want your company to keep up with the latest trends, remain competitive in terms of efficiency, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards, you need to invest in new software and change your software systems occasionally.
On the front end, this is a demanding issue. You and the other leaders of your organization will need to research and do your due diligence to find the best app or platform for your needs. But on the back end, you’ll likely run into at least some integration issues.
Notably, your employees may not be as receptive to the new software as you’d like. If they struggle to adapt to the new software, they may misuse it, it may cost them time, it may stress them out, and they may outright refuse to use the system altogether.
If you want to see all the best benefits of your new software and keep your team happy at the same time, it’s important to use proactive strategies to make the integration process as seamless as possible.
Why Employees Struggle With New Software
Let’s start by examining some of the reasons why employees struggle with new software in the first place:
- Status quo bias and reluctance to change. Technology is always changing, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s excited about the prospects of learning how to use new gadgets and new platforms regularly. In fact, most of us are slow to embrace change; while we might fawn over new tech gadgets in our personal lives, we like our jobs to remain the same as much as possible. We crave routine and consistency, so we know what to expect every day. When you force people to change the main platform they use on a daily basis, you’re going to meet some resistance.
- Skepticism of benefits. You have a good reason for adopting this new platform. Maybe it’s to improve efficiency or streamline communication. But just because you believe it doesn’t mean your employees will. If you can’t prove that this system is an objective improvement, some of your employees will be reluctant to adopt it.
- Confusion and usability issues. Every other problem gets worse if the system is hard to use in any way. If an employee logs into the platform for the first time and doesn’t intuit what to do – or if they run into glaring technical issues (like bugs that prevent them from working or slow loading times) – they’re going to resist adoption. Even if they go along with the new system, they’ll likely be slow and inefficient when using it.
- Competing products. Most companies have a suite of tech products keeping the company running, including chat apps, project management platforms, and data storage solutions. If your employees are juggling dozens of platforms simultaneously, it’s going to be hard for them to keep everything straight. In addition, forcing them to learn yet another new platform may add stress to an already stressful setup.
- Frequent change woes. You might run into additional problems if your business is forced to change regularly to meet new regulatory standards. For example, if you work in the healthcare industry, you may practically require an EHR platform to help manage patient records, but it needs to fully comply with the latest patient privacy laws. If your employees anticipate further changes in the future, or if they don’t have faith that this is a long-term solution, they may not take the platform seriously.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to address these common issues.
Culture and Attitudes
Everything starts with your company culture and the attitudes of the people who work there. If you work to create a culture that encourages change and adapts quickly, you’ll find it much easier to introduce new platforms to your team.
- Embrace change. Do everything you can to embrace change within your organization – and turn “embracing change” into a core value. Encourage your team to think of change as an opportunity, rather than a threat. Teach them to be adaptable in the face of changing variables.
- Keep things moving. It’s also effective to keep your organization as mobile and agile as possible. Change things up from time to time, whether that means moving around your meeting time slots or rearranging the office furniture. In a malleable environment, change is embraced much easier.
- Set a good example. It’s also important to set a good example as a leader. Do your best to embrace new ideas and change your routine on occasion. If you’re overly stubborn and attached to traditional systems, your team will be too.
Persuasion and Trust
It’s also important to establish trust with your employees and persuade them that this is a tool worth using. If your employees have total faith in this solution, nothing should stop them from using it.
- Be proactive. Start the process as early as possible. Let your employees know you’re thinking about changing platforms or making a major upgrade. It will give them time to adjust and get used to the idea.
- Explain your reasoning. You don’t have to explain every leadership decision to your employees, but it can help you build trust and persuade them to your side. Why are you investing in this new platform? What are the advantages you hope to see?
- Prove the benefits. Are you certain you’ve chosen the right technology? If so, prove it to your employees. Some people on your team may be reluctant to adopt a new system no matter what, but most of your employees are likely persuadable. Show them the numbers that demonstrate how much more efficient this system is.
- Illustrate the transition. Plan how your company will transition to this new system and show that plan to your employees. If it’s a phased, gradual transition, a greater share of your employees will likely be on board.
- Answer questions transparently. From the early days of consideration to the final days of adoption, your employees will likely have lots of questions for you. When they ask those questions, try to answer them as fully and transparently as possible. If you dodge questions or if you’re seen as withholding information, it could work against you.
Education and Training
Even the most intuitive platform should be shown and taught to your employees. With a better approach to training and education, your staff members will be much more likely to use the platform as intended.
- Choose the right platform. If you choose a well-designed platform, with a good UI, it will be intuitive for most of your employees. If it’s easy to learn on the fly, most of your workforce will have no problems adopting it. But, of course, you’ll still need to provide at least some training to make things go smoothly.
- Give early demos. Introduce your staff members to the platform early and often. Warm them up to the idea before they’re forced to use it on a daily basis as part of their job.
- Get hands-on. Please don’t assume that your team members will watch the training videos; have a plan to give them hands-on, one-on-one training. Providing individualized, tailored training and education experiences will ensure everyone can use the platform to the best of their ability.
- Follow up individually. Collect feedback and see how people are adjusting. If anyone is having a specific problem, see if you can help them sort it out.
It’s also important to ensure that there’s some form of the ongoing support available to your employees. That could take any number of forms, including robust customer service from the app developers or education and assistance from your in-house IT team. No matter what, your employees should have a constantly available channel of communication that can help them resolve issues, clarify points of confusion, and use the app smarter.
There are no strategies that can totally eliminate resistance or difficulties when adopting a new tech platform in your business. However, these proactive approaches can introduce your team to new platforms more warmly and more successfully.
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!