Companies know how important it is to keep up with the changes and advances in technology today. Not only do they need to learn to adopt innovations directly related to their field, but also technologies that are used to help operate and grow other aspects of their business.
Businesses are sometimes willing to invest in innovation they believe will be helpful to their operations. They realize it has the potential to benefit them financially. Others may be more reluctant to spend on innovations, whether they are created in-house or they are from an outside vendor, because they worry that it may not provide a good return on investment. They may have spent money in the past on technologies that were never fully integrated and adopted, and they don’t want to have more waste.
There are certain hurdles that they need to surpass if they are going to successfully integrate new tech into their business. Below are three strategies that should be used to help encourage the adoption of new systems and tools.
Strategy Element 1: Begin with the Users
One of the mistakes that many companies make with technology integration is starting at the top and working their way down. The technologies they want to use are based solely on things like their financial considerations or top-level strategies. They then push the tools downward through the teams that make up their company.
While this can work in some cases, it tends to be a problematic approach. Many who are tasked with using the new technology are apprehensive about using new technology that was developed from above or from outside by people who don’t necessarily know the day-to-day details of how the operations work. Even though the technology might be sound, they are reluctant to use it, particularly if it is something that hasn’t already been proven useful for them.
The best way to get around this problem is by taking a bottom-up approach rather than the top-down approach. Talk with the heads of departments and the people who will be using the technology. Get feedback from them and learn what the technology needs to be able to do to make jobs easier for the people who will be using the tools.
If the R&D team or bosses can find common ground with the workers, it will often make it easier to get them to adopt these new technologies. Once they start to see success, it will be easier to get others to integrate and use the tech and tools in most cases.
Strategy Element 2: Choose the Right Early Adopters
The next part of the strategy is just as important. To increase the chance of successful adoption, it is important to determine which users will be most likely to be receptive to certain new tech.
Depending on the technology to be implemented, the early adopters can vary. You might find some who have expressed an actual interest in the technology, which would make them good candidates to start using it. Other times, it might be managers or employees who have expressed concern over a certain problem that the technology could fix.
Before trying to roll out the solution across the board, you need to think smaller. You need to get a smaller group of people who are willing to adopt the technology, try it out, and see how it works. Allow them to provide concerns and feedback about the tool, and then make improvements if needed. The more they learn, the easier it will be to craft solutions that fit each team’s actual needs.
Early adopters get to see how the tool works and will become champions of the technology within the company. This can go a long way in getting others to adopt the tech when it is fully rolled out. Those early adopters can help others to understand the benefit and can even help to ensure everyone is properly trained on how to implement the technology.
Strategy Element 3: Get Past the Money Barrier and Other Challenges
One of the other main problems that often cause the adoption of new systems to fail is the cost in time and capital investment. You need to find ways that you can get past those issues and find the necessary resources. Managers will often be more reluctant because the technology is not yet proven. They don’t want to take on a large project and then have it fail when it’s only half-finished.
One of the ways to do this is by starting small. Instead of tackling a major project using the new technology, start with a smaller project that can be completed in less time. This allows managers and their team to get hands-on with the technology, see how it works, and how much of a benefit it could be to other projects.
This helps to keep the financial costs down, and it will require less time to complete. Teams are more likely willing to take on the risk of using the tech since the project has a smaller commitment. You will find that this approach can also help to get more champions on board for the technology, which will allow for a larger rollout later.
Take Feedback and Address Issues for the Best Results
Rolling out technology, whether it was internally developed or is from an outside company, requires time and patience. It is important to treat those who will be using the technology like partners, getting feedback from them, listening to their issues, and addressing those problems. Find solutions that will make integration of the tools easier on the entire team.
Use the three strategy elements discussed above—start from the bottom up, find the right early adopters, and handle all of the challenges that come. It will help to ensure the successful integration and use of the technologies you are developing or bringing aboard. Just make sure the technology works well and does what it’s supposed to do. Otherwise, all the help in the world will not get employees to adopt it.