In a Gallup survey conducted just before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was discovered that 65% of workers were disengaged from their jobs. Imagine how much of an impact the next two years would have had on the levels of disengagement, with lockdowns, increased mental stress, physical safety concerns, and the like! It comes as no surprise that every industry now is pushing for organizational reforms to establish a strong culture of connected worker systems.
The emergence of connected worker platforms has revolutionized the way organizations approach work processes, particularly in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and logistics, making them more efficient, productive, and secure. Connected worker platforms integrate various technologies such as mobile devices, wearables, sensors, and analytics to provide workers with real-time access to information, streamline workflows, and enhance communication.
While the benefits of connected worker platforms are clear, their adoption can be challenging for organizations. Addressing these challenges is critical to realizing the full potential and achieving maximum return on investment. As such, organizations must consider the adoption of connected worker platforms as a strategic imperative to remain competitive and enhance their overall business performance.
Challenges Faced While Setting up a Connected Worker Platform
Implementing a connected worker platform can be a complex process, and several challenges may arise during the implementation process. Here are five common challenges that businesses may face when moving to a connected worker platform:
P.S. as you go through the list of challenges and process their severity, remember not to let them discourage you because we have a list of tips right after that will help you overcome the challenges with ease!
Resistance to Change😟
One of the most significant challenges businesses face when implementing a connected worker platform is resistance to change. Workers may be used to performing tasks using traditional methods, and introducing a new system can disrupt their routines and cause confusion. This can result in low adoption rates and limited engagement with the new platform. This is evident in a Wrike report, which discovered that new processes cause anxiety in 80% of workers.
However, by including employees in the implementation process from the beginning, this resistance to change can be overcome. Guide them through the benefits of the platform and directly consider and address any concerns they may have.
Resistance may be due to concerns about job security, fears about job performance, or lack of understanding about the new system. The last factor is particularly important because the majority of front-line workers lack technological literacy and would find the necessary know-how to be quite intimidating.
The one thing that connected worker platforms completely revolutionized is the collection and sharing of sensitive business data, so it's crucial to ensure data security. A data breach can result in legal liability, loss of customer trust, and reputational damage. Businesses must ensure that the new system they implement enforces strict security controls like encryption, authentication, and access controls to safeguard the data from unauthorized access.
Although the post-pandemic surge in digital transformation is encouraging, it has also been accompanied by a rush to change things overnight. According to Astra, scams have increased 400% since March 2020, indicating that hackers are taking advantage of this.
Building a distributed network of active checkpoints is a necessary step in connecting workers, and management must constantly be on guard to watch for potential security lapses and take swift action. It is important to train employees on best practices for data security, such as how to create strong passwords and avoid phishing scams.
Compatibility with Existing Systems⚖️
Compatibility issues can be a significant challenge when moving to a new platform, especially if the business is already using multiple systems and software. These issues can result in data silos, which limit the effectiveness of the new platform.
In addition, compatibility issues can result in increased implementation costs and delays. Hence, businesses need to be clear that the platform must be compatible with existing systems such as ERPs or CRMs to ensure a smooth transition.
To overcome this challenge, businesses must conduct a thorough evaluation of their existing systems to determine the compatibility of the new platform. They may need to customize the platform to meet their specific needs or integrate it with existing systems to ensure seamless communication.
Technical Support and Maintenance🔧
Technical support and maintenance are critical components of any technology-based system, including connected worker platforms. These systems often require complex software and hardware, and any disruption or downtime can have significant impacts on productivity, safety, and efficiency.
One of the main challenges here is the need for specialized technical expertise. Whether it's an on-premise or SaaS solution, businesses must ensure that they have the necessary personnel to support the platform. With on-premise software, you'd also need dedicated staff to maintain the hardware and software components. This can be a challenge for organizations with limited technical resources who are adopting organization-wide digitization for the very first time, which includes a lot more businesses than you'd expect!
Another challenge is ensuring regular updates, patches, and maintenance to ensure your software is secure and functioning correctly. Failure to keep the platform up to date can result in security vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, and system failures. Naturally, there is an alternative to this problem, which we will address in a moment.
Implementing digital transformation at this scale can be expensive for your organization, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with limited budgets. This challenge arises because implementing a connected worker platform can require significant investment in licensing, infrastructure, and training at once, which many businesses aren't used to.
The cost of implementation may increase further when you factor in the size and complexity of the organization, the scope of the project, the level of customization required, and the number of users. To maintain a truly cohesive system organizations also have to then invest in data management tools, analytics platforms, and cloud and storage infrastructure.
To overcome this challenge, prioritize which features are essential to your needs and implement them first, with plans to expand the platform over time. Also, thanks to the growth of SaaS-based connected worker systems, you no longer have to worry about acquiring and managing infrastructure or facilitating training and support for workers, or even separate tools for data management and analytics. You get access to all of this on one single platform, with minimal upfront costs through a subscription-based model! Grid is one platform that equips you with all the above benefits and unlimited customization without a single line of code.
Now, that we've made it through all the challenges, it's time for a much-needed dose of positivity! For where challenges are, there are always solutions too. Head to our next blog where we take you step-by-step through how to overcome the hurdles of setting up a connected worker platform.