Ever wondered why whenever a new technology or system is implemented at an organization (or any group of people, for that matter), some users take to it like fish to water, in no time at all while others struggle to even wrap their heads around it?
And even with the latter group, some are receptive but slow, some are skeptical but willing to try, and some others don’t bother at all. But there is always a small group of people who learn about and adopt the innovation earlier than the majority.
This phenomenon can be explained by the theory “Diffusion of Innovations”. In 1962, Everett Rogers, a professor of rural psychology, developed this theory to explain the communication of innovation among the participants of a social system.
You might be wondering what diffusion means in the context of adopting technology in our current world. Technology diffusion is the process by which innovations are adopted by a population.
Although the original purpose of Rogers’ experiment was to track the purchase patterns of hybrid seed corn by farmers, this model has proven itself to be relevant to date. Perhaps the term “technology curve’ rings a bell?
What are the 5 Adopter groups?
Let's look at each group to learn more.
A. Innovators – 2.5%
The innovators are a small but important group of people because they’re the first to learn about and adopt new innovations. They are risk-taking, venturesome, and interested in new ideas.
The innovators are financially equipped to try out new innovations and introduce these innovations to the larger population by sharing their experiences with their friends and communities. Innovators represent approximately 2.5% of the total population.
B. Early Adopters – 13.5%
The early adopters are also a forward-thinking group and are considered the opinion leaders. They have substantial respect within a community and their endorsement helps in "crossing the chasm" which is the leap from being a new, little-known product to being well-known and adopted on a large scale. They represent the next 10 to 15% of the total population to adopt an innovation or idea.
Harriet Chan, the co-founder of CocoFinder says:
C. Early Majority – 34%
Although the early majority adopt new innovations or ideas before the average person, they do so only after careful consideration. They observe other people's experiences with the product and will only adopt it once they are convinced it has real benefits. They represent approximately one-third of the total population.
D. Late Majority – 34%
These individuals adopt new ideas shortly after the average person. They want innovations to be widely used and tested before trying them. They are more resistant to change and adopt only out of necessity or social pressure.
The late majority represents about one-third of the total population. About two-thirds of people in a population fall into either the early or late majority groups.
E. Laggards – 16%
Finally, the last group of people to adopt a new product are called the laggards. They are the traditionalists of the population and tend to be suspicious of new changes. They are grounded in the past and are highly resistant to change.
Laggards wait until innovation is completely mainstream before they adopt it and in some cases they never do. They make up approximately 16% of the total population.
5 Stages of Technology Adoption
The 5 stages of adoption are commonly mistaken for the 5 different adopter groups. The stages of adoption are the 5 phases that a user or a customer in the above-mentioned adopter group, goes through before adopting technological innovation.
While this is true for any consumable good, let us talk about these 5 stages with respect to introducing new tech to a workforce.
i. Awareness - The individual is aware of the new innovation but is not yet motivated to seek further information.
ii. Interest - The individual is interested in the new technology and seeks information about its features, uses, advantages, disadvantages, and price.
iii. Evaluation - In this stage, the person considers if the product is worth giving a try by comparing it with existing systems. The people involved in the above 3 stages are usually the CEO, CIO, or the head of whatever department that will be using the tech.
iv. Trial - A free version of the product is tried by a small group of people to determine if the software performs the desired function, handles problems correctly, and deals with the scale and scope of the organization's requirements.
v. Adoption - If the trial use proves that the software is beneficial, the organization purchases the technology and deploys it organization-wide.
In the trial and adoption stages, the employees of a company are involved with the product.
5 Ways to Accelerate the Technology Adoption Curve at your organization
Here are 5 ways you can promote quick adoption of technology at your organization:
1. Establish Solid Communication Channels
Rogers' theory tells us that if you want to promote the widespread adoption of new technology or behavior, it needs to appeal to each adopter group.
This can be done by using distinct communication channels and messages. Stable communication channels at your organization can also help the innovators communicate their experiences with employees belonging to other adopter groups.
A well-defined communication channel can speed up adoption by enabling members of each adopter group to gain transparency and visibility into the organization’s new processes.
2. Communicate Change Seamlessly
Whenever you deploy new software or a feature update, this change must be communicated effectively to all the employees in the organization that will be affected by it. Keep them in the loop with new technology being introduced and help them understand how adopting these new changes can benefit them.
Doing this will convince employees that are skeptical about these changes, usually belonging to the laggard group, to adopt earlier than they usually do.
Apty’s announcement feature allows you to communicate software changes or updates to your employees, seamlessly. You can also guide them through the new features or changes with the help of walkthroughs.
3. Provide In-App Guidance to Simplify Software
Software walkthroughs and in-app guidance can have a huge impact on how well your organization’s tech stack is adopted by your employees. Digital Adoption Platforms like Apty can provide a guidance layer on top of the software, assisting users through tasks and complex processes.
This can make even the most complex software intuitive and easy to work with. It can help members of the late majority and laggards to move over to adopt software as fast as the early majority and members of the early majority to adopt way faster than they usually do.
Apty takes a proactive approach to digital adoption, by analyzing user behavior to find the path of least friction and helping you create helpful walkthroughs for your employees.
4. Automate Tasks to Save Time
Automating tasks is an innovation in itself but it also helps save time and simplify complex processes. Unburdening your employees from mundane or redundant tasks can greatly improve their morale and productivity. It frees their time which can be spent learning their way around the system.
Adopting automation systems at your enterprise can seem like another hurdle but with Apty’s chatbot, automation is as simple as it can get. Apty’s chatbot makes automating your complex processes way more intuitive. Based on your instructions, the chatbot performs the task without you having to open the application.
5. Use Apty Analytics and Insights
In order to accelerate the technology adoption curve at your organization, you will first have to know which adopter group each employee falls into. You will have to know who is adopting the software quickly, who is taking time, and where they’re getting stuck.
This can be done with Apty’s analytics. It tracks the employees’ usage of the newly deployed software to find gaps and friction points. Based on this information. it recommends you to create walkthroughs to guide users out of sticky situations. This especially helps members of the late majority and laggards understand and adopt new technology faster.
As you can see, to accelerate your technology adoption curve, you must try to reduce the number of employees stuck among the late majority and laggards. Possibly even move early majority members to the early adopters. To beat the curve, you have to disprove it.
This can be possible with Apty.