Taking Incentives to the Cloud
By Jane Larson
March 18, 2013
Are smartphones and tablets taking over your
workplace, becoming necessary tools for connecting with employees and growing your
If the answer is yes, read on. Advances in technology, coupled
with changes in an increasingly global marketplace, are
challenging business leaders. Better methods of integrating
information about employees, partners, and customers to drive
desired behaviors must be implemented. The ability to integrate
information becomes a strong competitive advantage when
skillfully combined with performance improvement initiatives,
which is where integrated cloud incentive strategies come in.
Cloud computing connects, engages, and motivates people,
because they can gather information more easily. It improves
internal communication and fosters collaboration that can
improve productivity. The social environment enhances sales
effectiveness, because employees can more easily nurture
competitive intelligence, find answers for clients, and stay
updated on the status of their customers.
At ITAGroup in West Des Moines, IA, we operate our
PerformanceSuite app for a Fortune 500 client as a cloud-based
referral generation program housed in Salesforce.com. By using
the cloud, the client's customer service reps (CSRs) have
access to integrated data that helps them resolve issues
quickly without geographic or infrastructure issues. Upon
resolution, CSRs can instantly notify the sales team with
details about a lead that could influence deal size and win
David Reisner, ITAGroup director of strategic design and
integration, explains: "With a cloud-based app, there's no need
for data transfers to program websites. You eliminate the
headache of manually transferring data from other websites or
internal systems - saving time and money. You can easily
communicate and build program excitement digitally."
Employee reward and recognition programs also become more
robust and dynamic with the cloud. Imagine a world where peer
and manager recognition can be immediately shared publicly and
amplified by others. Jaimee Chism, an ITAGroup employee engagement consultant notes
that "as cloud-based social recognition happens, role models
quickly become evident and best practices that support
corporate priorities and objectives are aligned and strengthened."
When information is shared, accumulated, and integrated in the
cloud, it can also be compiled and analyzed for management purposes. Whether you're tracking participation, redemption activity, leadership, or other
performance trends, you can monitor incentive spend and readily analyze ROI. Human
resources reports assist with professional development and performance management, yet
another benefit of using the social enterprise approach.
The ability to access information regardless of device,
location, or operating system via cloud computing provides
agility and reduces costs. "Cloud solutions are creating a new
marketplace for incentive programs to happen," says Reisner.
If you're interested in cloud-based performance improvement
programs, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do you require more immediate flexibility?
2. Do you need to direct programs to unique audience segments?
3. Do you need more cost-effective solutions?
4. Do you want faster
speed-to-market for growth-spurt activities?
5. Are you willing
to implement simple program rules?6 Are you able to move your sales process to the
In the end, growth in web apps, ease of use, and greater
acceptance of the cloud make it a natural vehicle for incentive
Jane Larson is a resource manager with ITAGroup in West Des Moines. She oversees the Center of Excellence under the Strategic Design and Integration umbrella and has been in the incentive industry since 1990. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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