Expenditure on Software as a Service is growing at 30% per annum in medium and large enterprises. Clearly, a lot of organizations understand that there are efficiencies arising from the adoption of new models of accessing IT-related services.
However, the amount of money invested in a new technology matters little if employees do not adopt the technology. The rate of adoption determines the return on investment in such new technology.
People are resistant to change, especially when they have been set on certain ways for a long time. New technology may require unlearning and relearning, which requires people to step away from their comfort zones. Employing the following strategies may ease and quicken the speed of new technology adoption.
Creating a Buzz Around New Technology Adoption
Before bringing in new technology, leaders at your organization must attempt to let the intended users know about it. The leaders can mention this new technology in interviews, and in company newsletters and magazines.
The comments should highlight the intended gains from the new technology. Doing this a few months in advance prepares people for the coming shift.
When the new system is implemented, the company should have an event where the new technology is showcased and celebrated. Every intended user should at least attend the event to get a macro understanding of the new technology’s significance to the company’s bottom line.
Early Adoption for A Few Participants
When implementing a technology that will be a big shift for your employees, it may be advisable to have a group of early adopters. These should be the most enthusiastic members of staff. It is not advisable to force unwilling employees to become early adopters because you want a positive attitude.
The organization may give some incentives to encourage people to come on board. The goal is to have early adopters use the new technology and communicate their experience to colleagues. There is natural and healthy competition between employees in an organization, and the report of early adopters should only create an eagerness in the rest of your staff.
When onboarding the rest of the team, make the process as simple as possible. You might need your vendor to provide staff to come in for an agreed period to augment your IT staff’s efforts. Some people may be okay with a group orientation to the new technology but others require a personalized walkthrough.
Provide Adequate and Ongoing Training
Once the initial buzz dies down, the company must find a sustainable way of ensuring employees have all the guidance they need to use the new technology. People use new technology after its launched and then slip back to the old way of doing things.
There should be company-wide training on new technology during the launch process. However, it’s important to provide manuals and other on-demand sources of information for employees to refer from. Enterprise Software is complex, and it may take a few months before employees explore and start using all features.
Rely on Data
How will you track how your intended users are using the new technology? Investments in new technology can run into millions of dollars. Investing in analytics will only help recoup your investment by highlighting bottlenecks in your system.
Analytics can reveal features that most employees are not using. Such a revelation could mean that more training is necessary to get them comfortable. Inbuilt analytics will also reveal the time it now takes to carry out tasks. For instance, a HR system could help reduce how much time it takes to fully orient and onboard new employees. This is a good measure when trying to gauge the return on investment.
Designing Custom Solutions
For a long while, vendors have been building products and pitching them to enterprises. However, there is now a novel approach where the developer studies the workflow at an organization. They highlight issues in the workflow and design a solution to address such issues. The design also takes input from feedback the employees give on how to improve their workflow.
Employees and all other intended users of a system are likely to adopt it when they feel that it is a solution custom built for them.
Motivate the Employees
For organizations to increase the rate of adoption of new technology, they must appeal to what is important to such employees. When highlighting the benefits of new technology, highlight how it will help them become more productive.
For instance, most artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies help automate repetitive tasks. This allows employees to focus on higher level tasks. It makes them feel important to the company. An organization may also decide to highlight the fact that understanding the new technology makes them more likely to receive a promotion. It also future proofs their skill-set for the years ahead.
Organizations often struggle with assessment of the success of new technology adoption. It is crucial to decide and communicate key performance indicators when implementing a new technology.
Companies sometimes get distracted by fancily named features and neglect the actual value they add to the organization. The flashy features eventually stop exciting employees. However, when they fully understand the key performance measures, they will continue utilizing the new technology.
Examples of key performance indicators would be reduction of response time for field service officers, improving sales conversions from new leads, and shortening the sales cycle.
Barriers Hindering New Technology Adoption
Sponsorship is critical for the success of any project. Managers must remain enthusiastic about the new technology beyond the launch meeting. They must make a conscious effort to have conversations with employees about their experience with the technology outside the boardroom. When high-ranking people within the organization take ownership of the project, the chances of its success increase tremendously.
Another barrier to technology adoption is ineffective communication. Getting the message across is not enough. How you do it also matters. As highlighted, leaders should communicate the impending change early enough. It is important for employees, especially, to see the top leadership of the company explaining why the change is necessary. The steps and timelines of implementation also need to be communicated.
If your organization is struggling with technology adoption, looking to automate processes, develop custom software, or in need of technological leadership, check out Transcendent Software’s services. We have over 20 years’ experience in helping companies implement technology-related problems.