As with any new technology, you need to have your ducks in a row regarding existing systems, requirements, and security concerns. This preparation includes change management best practices and strategies.
New technology influences processes and people. To have a clear vision for success, you need to have executive sponsorship that is mandated from the top down. Be sure to detail and explain why the transition to a new system will have a positive impact on company growth and make employees more efficient.
To carry out leadership’s vision, it’s best to identify a Program Manager to empower the team carrying out the implementation. It is also recommended to have a dedicated and talented Project Manager to facilitate day-to-day execution.
Procurement & Legal
Rather than waiting for every facet of the contract to be wrapped up with your vendor of choice, pull in procurement and legal teams to work in parallel of closing efforts to avoid unforeseen delays for kicking off the project.
Security & IT
Security and IT concerns should be addressed as early as possible. Involve the appropriate departments to ensure the vendor is ISO/IEC 27001 Certified and is following best practices to secure your sensitive data. Whether or not the vendor stores a copy of you data in their platform or simply connects to information, there are processes and regulations to follow. However, there is an advantage (beyond security reasons) if the vendor doesn’t have to store data in their platform.
- Some platforms integrate with your existing storage for documents and data. Others require you to decide on what information to migrate to the new system. Understanding this functionality early on helps you to prepare should you need to identify what to move over to the new system.
- Ask the vendor if they have an onboarding checklist to share, or at minimum, ideal steps you have to take to help facilitate a smooth transition.
The overall goal for preparation should be to keep excitement and momentum moving once a final decision is made to move forward with a new AI-powered system. The quicker you can kickoff the project, the quicker the system can learn and enable you to provide insights faster than the competition.
Questions to Ask Potential Vendors
- Does the data get moved into the knowledge system or does it integrate with the data where it lives?
- How long will it take to deploy the system, and what are the resource ramifications on my team?
- How much tagging and / or training of the content is required by us to get to the point of beneficial usage?
Rather than having a singular timeline with rigid dependencies for moving forward with an implementation, involve all of the major players (leaders, program managers, procurement, legal, security & IT) throughout the process. Otherwise, your project may stall out, resulting in a loss of momentum to get up and running as fast as possible.