To understand what technical enablement is, it might be easiest to start with the term sales enablement. You may or may not have heard of sales enablement but that’s okay, I’ll start there since it’s so simple on the surface.
The term sales enablement is an umbrella term for anything that supports the sales process. That could include marketing, sales-specific technology, training, etc. Salespeople need resources to do their job and training to use those resources. All of that and the kitchen sink are sales enablement.
The foundation of sales enablement strategy is to provide salespeople with what they need to successfully engage the buyer throughout the buying process.Gartner
Isn’t it kind of odd to start an article about what technical enablement is with information and a description of sales enablement? Not at all! That’s because sales enablement has been around a lot longer. So, that’s how it’s most helpful to frame what technical enablement is.
The simple definition of technical enablement that borrows heavily from sales enablement is the following:
And that’s our definition entirely though we’ll attribute Gartner for helping quite a bit. Okay, it got us almost the entire way there with just a smidge of customizing and terminology wordsmithing.
But what technical enablement is and how it fits into the organization is a bit different. So, let’s go a bit deeper into defining what technical enablement is.
What is Technical Enablement?
In the world of business, creating a successful organization requires more than just a great idea or product. It requires a whole slew of things to enable employees and the company to be successful. Technical enablement, in particular, is an area of focus that can help organizations reach their goals faster and more efficiently.
But what is technical enablement and how can it help your organization? You saw how it relates to sales enablement, but what about beyond that?
To understand what technical enablement is and why it matters, take a step back and look at the bigger picture of business enablement. At its core, enablement is a way to empower employees with everything they need to be successful.
By providing employees with the resources to make the most of their current skills and training them for even bigger and better skills, organizations create a culture of success and productivity. Technical enablement is a subset of this concept and specifically focuses on providing people with the technology and expertise needed to do their jobs.
So, just like sales enablement focuses on the resources and skills of salespeople, business enablement focuses on the resources and skills of everyone in the business. Both sales enablement and technical enablement sit right under the overarching business enablement. Then there’s the fact that there’s a lot of overlap too.
Salespeople use technology too!
Technical enablement offers organizations the opportunity to invest in their employee’s growth and development. That could be the technology from IT, the training for that technology, or even as simple as the computer someone works on. Anything technology in the organization that contributes to better work is technical enablement.
Here’s another simple definition of technical enablement and what it means to organizations.
It provides employees with the knowledge and skills to use digital tools to meet the demands of their jobs. Technical enablement involves providing and teaching employees about the software and hardware they use, as well as the processes for using them.
By providing employees with the technical skills they need to work more productively, technical enablement enables organizations to streamline their workflow and increase their efficiency.
And then there’s the likelihood that happy employees mean a happy company.
Technical enablement is essential for organizations that rely on technology to stay competitive. It helps organizations stay ahead of the curve and ensure that their operations are working as they should with the latest technologies. By investing in technical enablement, organizations can ensure their employees can take full advantage of the latest technology.
The Benefits of Technical Enablement
Technical enablement can help organizations in a variety of ways. It could be from improving communication and collaboration to automating processes and enhancing the customer experience. Or perhaps it’s just about making sure employees know how to use technology and use it right so they don’t mess up the system.
In any case, there are lots of benefits of doing technical enablement right.
Communication & Collaboration
One of the major benefits of technical enablement is improved communication and collaboration. Both of those are essential to an organization and with a distributed workforce using technology to accomplish them is even more important.
More employees are working remotely than ever before. And even if they aren’t, it doesn’t always make sense to see someone in person or it’s not possible. Big organizations with employees at offices across the globe still must work as if they’re remote in many cases.
If employees are given the right tools to communicate and collaborate and also know how to use them, the organization benefits. If employees feel like their ability to work with other employees is limited because they don’t know the technology, communication and collaboration will suffer.
Can employees simply send out a draft of a document and have everyone edit the same document or must they consolidate feedback from 15 people? That can have a huge impact on collaboration!
By utilizing the correct technology, organizations can easily share information, ideas, and resources. This can lead to increased productivity and better team performance. And if employees know how to use that technology well, all the better!
Automation is a big buzzword in organizations especially with generative AI interrupting the way people work. Automation can streamline processes and reduce the need for manual labor. This not only reduces costs but also improves accuracy and efficiency. Automation can also be used to automate mundane tasks such as customer service and data entry.
You’d be surprised how much automation is put into play in organizations to make employee’s lives easier even if it’s completely invisible to them.
An organization that pays close attention to technical enablement and how it benefits employees also improves the customer experience. With better tech, organizations can quickly respond to customers and provide better service.
It’s not just about the technology either. It’s about how well employees can use the technology. That’s where good corporate technical training comes in which is an essential part of technical enablement. An employee who can use the technology better, faster, and correctly will do a better job with customers.
Security is essential to every big organization. There’s nothing more harmful than private information escaping or systems being compromised. By leveraging the latest technology and security protocols, organizations can reduce the risk of security threats and data breaches.
The average data breach cost organizations 9.48 million US dollars in 2023 according to Statistica. Ouch!
This one also doesn’t come down to only the technology. In security, the weakest link is often the employees. Social engineering is the most common way for an evil outside player to gain access to company information. That always happens through an employee who doesn’t know any better.
That means employees who aren’t trained in technology and security will be more likely to unintentionally share their password which could give bad actors access to important information.
Technical enablement ensures that these risks are properly covered. This can help protect customer data and reduce the risk of cybercrime.
By prioritizing technical enablement, organizations can reap a variety of benefits. From improved communication and collaboration to increased automation and enhanced customer experience, technical enablement can help organizations achieve goals faster.
Organizations that implement the right technology and security measures can also improve their security which can help protect their data and reduce the risk of cybercrime. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any challenges. Let’s take a look at some of those.
Challenges of Implementing Technical Enablement
Implementing technical enablement is not always easy. Organizations must understand the challenges of implementation and how to best address them.
One of the most significant challenges is the need to understand the technical aspects of the technology being implemented. Not all employees or teams are familiar with the technology being implemented. Therefore, proper training and resources are necessary for successful implementation.
Did you hear that? Proper training and resources are necessary for technical enablement. That means technical training is an essential part of the success of technical enablement strategies in every organization.
The complexity or lack of needed features also must be accounted for. Not all software off the shelf is sufficient for an organization’s needs. Or, perhaps the features are there but out of abundant caution, they’re disabled which means employees lack the tools they need even with updated technology.
Organizations don’t just need good training, though. For technical enablement to succeed, every organization has to have resources for employees to turn directly to for help. That likely means there’s a help desk to get in touch with. Not only is that an essential internal resource, but it’s also a great team to work with to understand what the best training interventions are for employees. The help desk can help bridge the gap to the right training while training can in return reduce help desk calls.
Organizations must also consider the cost of implementing technical enablement. This can include the cost of training and resources, as well as the cost of hardware and software. Additionally, the organization must also factor in the cost of maintenance and support of the technology.
Unfortunately, technology isn’t usually a once-and-done sort of thing. There are ongoing costs, it needs maintenance, and it also needs to be regularly updated to keep up with the times. Additionally, organizations must be prepared to handle any potential disruptions or outages.
Then there’s the change management aspect of technology. A technical enablement program manager must bring in change managers when projects begin and in turn, they both likely need to bring training professionals in at the same time.
Change management includes understanding the implications of the new technology, as well as developing strategies to ensure its successful adoption and integration into the organization. That means managing the people part of change well.
Proper change management can help with technical enablement and good training is necessary for every organization’s successful digital transformation.
Technical enablement can be a complex and ongoing process, but with the right resources and support, organizations can successfully overcome these challenges. By taking the time to understand the challenges of implementation and the tools necessary for its success, organizations can ensure that employees are supported when it comes to technology.
That’s good technical enablement.
Best Practices for Effective Technical Enablement
When done well, technical enablement helps organizations become more efficient, productive, and competitive. I don’t know of a single organization that doesn’t want that.
Some of the best practices for effective technical enablement include creating a framework and strategy, measuring progress, and providing ongoing support. To create a successful framework and strategy, you should include a clear purpose and goals for the technical enablement goals.
That means always identifying the ultimate goal, requirements, as well as who will be affected. You should also measure progress regularly to ensure that the initiative is having the desired effect.
You can measure progress in terms of increased knowledge, improved skills, and greater productivity. Whatever your goal or strategy is, it’s not technical enablement without ongoing support and feedback from employees. This can be done by having regular check-ins from front-line managers as well as providing resources for support. Your enterprise social network (ESN) for training might be a great place for that.
Ultimately, effective technical enablement requires organizations to invest in company technology and training for employees to use it. By investing in technology, organizations can ensure that employees have the necessary skills and resources to remain competitive in their industry.
Technical enablement is a method of providing employees with the technology, tools, and knowledge they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. It involves the continual assessment and management of the organization’s technology needs and employee needs to use that technology.
This includes ensuring that employees have access to the right hardware and software, as well as the proper training and support. By investing in technical enablement, organizations can benefit from increased productivity, reduced costs, improved customer service, and more.
When technical enablement is prioritized in an organization, there are several advantages. It can help streamline processes and reduce the learning curve for new staff. It can also help improve employee morale and engagement, and facilitate collaboration among teams.
That’s all essential to a successful organization.
While the technology side of technical enablement is essential, training and support are just as much so. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Without one you can’t have the other.
I suspect every organization is traveling down a path of technical enablement for employees constantly. That means training employees should always be top of mind. We specialize in digital training which is the most effective way to train employees effectively and efficiently in technology.
If you’d like to chat about your technical enablement journey and how training fits into it, we’d love to learn more about your journey and how we can help. Schedule a free consultation so we can help make your technical enablement and digital transformation journeys more successful.