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Technology Adoption Explained

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Technology adoption sounds simple. You just start using new technology. But anyone who’s gone through a software implementation or digital transformation initiative can tell you adoption of new technology at an organization is challenging.

If you want to ensure successful adoption, you’ve got to understand the basics, starting with what and how adoption of new technology works before moving on to the befits of a successful adoption.

In this post, we’re going to cover:

What is Technology Adoption

Technology adoption is the successful integration of new technology into your business. Adoption means more than just using technology. When you’ve adopted new technology, you’ll use it to its fullest potential and see the benefits of using the new system.

For example, if a company wants a new way to track projects, it might consider purchasing a new project management system. One or two departments start using the new system. Each department uses it differently, while other departments continue relying on spreadsheets and other ad hoc systems. In this case, the company is using the software, but they haven’t adopted it.

Adoption is a systematic approach to implementing technology so that all appropriate teams in the organization utilize it.

In any case of technology adoption, there are groups of adopters ranging from innovators and early adopter to laggards. Adoption is a systematic approach to implementing technology so that all appropriate adopter groups in the organization utilize it. 

What is Technology Adoption Life Cycle?

The Technology Adoption Lifecycle (or the Technology Adoption Curve) is a sociological model that describes the adoption or acceptance of a new innovation by certain defined adopter groups – Innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. It places people within any society into one of five different adopter groups based on how early or how quickly they adopt an innovation. 

What are the technology adoption lifecycle stages?

The technology adoption life cycle consists of 5 stages. These stages are also called adopter groups.  

1. Innovators 

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. 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.  

2. Early Adopters 

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. 

3. Early Majority 

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.

4. Late Majority 

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.

5. Laggards 

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. 

How can businesses leverage the Technology Adoption lifecycle? 

The technology adoption lifecycle can help businesses categorize their employees into the 5 adopter groups. Once you understand where they fall, 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 do this, you need to boost your adoption rates. Companies are starting to leverage digital adoption platforms to boost their adoption rates with the help of on-screen guidance on enterprise software.

To leverage the technology adoption lifecycle, first understand the adoption stage of your organization and use that data to improve adoption rates. 

How Technology Adoption Works

Technology adoption isn’t a once and done task. It’s an ongoing process with several phases:

  • Selection – Before you adopt new technology, you’ll need to select what technology you want. This phase should include a needs analysis so you can best identify which technology best solves your business problems.
  • Planning – Once you’ve selected your technology, you’ll need to make a plan for how to implement it. Review your infrastructure, staff, and processes and see how they’ll need to change as you adopt the new technology.
  • Communicating – Communication is one of the most critical aspects of change management. This is more of an ongoing need than a phase, but it’s essential at the beginning of a project. Start communicating frequently as you start the adoption process, so people are informed and prepared for the change.
  • Training – You’ll also need to train people on how to use the new technology. You should plan for how to train before launch and how you’ll continue training people in the post-implementation phase.
  • Testing and Deployment – When you’re ready to start rolling out your new technology, you can start with a smaller group or department. This beta group can test the technology, processes, and training. You can use what you learn from this group to make changes before rolling out to the entire organization.
  • Expansion – Once you’ve tested your new technology, you can begin rolling it out companywide.
  • Monitoring – You’ll want to make sure you monitor your progress and use the right tracking tools to track the right technology adoption metrics to quickly identify issues. Once you identify problems, you can start the process over again by planning for how to solve the challenge and then going through the remaining steps to implement the changes.

Why should companies focus on the Adoption of new technology?

Technology is going rapidly and there are new tools keep coming into the market. These technologies can help companies simplify the business process, increase overall performance, boost employee engagement, and can give the best return on investment.

If companies are not making any technology uptake, in the long run, their performance comes down significantly and ends up in losing their customer. Companies cannot provide seamless customer experience, outperform their competitors, and ensure business continuity without leveraging the latest tech.

Importance of Technology Adoption

Adapting new technology facilitates making your company more effective and productive, but only if the employees within your organization actually leverage the new technology to the fullest potential.

Whenever there is a new technology introduced in the organizations, your employees can face a problem in adoption. To help those employees, digital adoption strategies are created. There are several aspects of these strategies and they can also be used differently every time.

Business Benefits of Improving Adoption Rates

At this point, you may be thinking that technology or product adoption sounds like a lot of work. You’re not wrong. Successful technology adoption does require a lot of planning and commitment. Is it worth the effort?

Yes! Technology adoption has several benefits from improving your ROI on your technology investment to increasing the productivity of your workforce.

Technology Adoption Strategies

Familiarize yourself with the technology so you can see firsthand how it has applied in other organizations and industries, for example – technology adoption in healthcare. This way, you’ll approach the technology from a perspective that considers your specific needs.

Generate an internal champion to lead the initiative for the successful adoption of new technologies within your company.

Once you have found someone who will support this project, provide them with all the needed resources they need to build momentum for successful adoption of new technologies within your organization such as resources and training opportunities.

Advantages and Importance of Technology Adoption

Improved ROI

Product adoption improves your ROI on your technology investment by ensuring your technology is utilized to its maximum potential. If you pay for technology and then don’t use it, you’ll waste your entire investment. Even if some parts of the technology or small groups inside the organization use the technology, you could likely still see a negative return on investment. Successful company-wide adoption is the key to getting the largest return.

Increased Productivity

Technology adoption also makes your organization more productive. Technology should help your users get more done in less time. Successfully adopting technology should lead to an increase in the output of your workforce. If you do not see increases in productivity, it could signal that your processes need updating or users are struggling with an aspect of the new technology.

More Efficient Processes

Technology adoption should also increase your efficiency. You should be able to respond to issues and customers more quickly. Process completion times should decrease.

Technology Adoption Challenges

A. Employee Resistance

Most often, employees are comfortable with the status quo and bringing in new technologies can cause resistance. This resistance could be due to a fear of the unknown or a change in status quo. They may dread the process of learning new systems. Whatever the reason is, leaders need to understand the causes of resistance early on, before it hinders adoption.

Communicate the benefits of the new tech to the employee and help them understand the reason behind the change.

B. Insufficient Onboarding and Training

Poor training leaves employees confused about the new software and drastically reduces your software adoption rate. Employees forget more than 70% of what they learn within a day of training.

Due to this, traditional classroom-style training methods are proving to be ineffective in the long run. It removes the employees from their work environment and separates them from the tools that they use for their work. It also takes up their time that could otherwise be spent being productive.

When onboarding employees to new systems, use a digital adoption platform that guides users step by step through the new processes and workflows.

C. Measuring the Rate of Adoption

What is not measured cannot succeed. Figuring out how to track and measure the success of your digital adoption initiatives is one of the biggest challenges to adoption. Simply viewing when a user has logged into a system is not an accurate measure of the adoption rate of your system.

How do you know if your employees are using the software for its intended purposes? You need to find out which features of the software are used by employees and if they are completing processes as intended. As a start, you can track where users are dropping off, what processes have a high drop-off rate, the completion rate of processes, etc.

D. Poor Leadership and Communication

Leaders have a responsibility to ensure proper technology adoption at the organization. They must clearly understand the changes required in their team’s daily work and guide each employee to embrace the new changes. Without proper communication from leaders, team members will be confused and demotivated, hindering software adoption rates.

Leaders have to deal with employee resistance, change communication, and be an advocate for the new technology at the organization. Without effective top-down and bottom-up communication channels and strategies, there will be no transparency, leading to assumptions and misunderstandings, and thus poorer adoption.

Steps to successful technology adoption

Companies can find ways to accelerate employees’ technology adoption curve and implement it effectively. The following are some steps that can ensure successful technology adoption,

1. Proceed one step at a time

In a technologically backward environment, it’s not uncommon to see construction organizations try to digitize every operation at once or purchase a slew of equipment that will go unused. The key to successful technology adoption is to take small steps at a time.

If it’s new software, the implementation should be done gradually, module by module, once the technology has been chosen. By breaking technology adoption down into steps, everyone may go at their own pace and integrate technology into their daily lives.

A pilot project can also be an excellent way to get started with a new product because it allows you to pick the people and procedures that will be engaged in the initial deployment. The findings can then be utilized to establish the best course of action for rolling out the technology across the organization.

2. Develop a training approach early

One of the major reasons for the failure of technology adoption is the lack of sufficient and customized training. Introducing new technology is not easy. It is important to monitor whether the adoption needs to be in stages or not. Also, your employees should be prepared and trained to manage the new technology.

For successful digital adoption, structure and awareness are important. That is why it is important to create an effective employee training structure within an organization to help in training, decision making, managing risks, and issues, etc.

3. Coordination of technology and strategy

Adoption of new technology necessitates early and frequent communication with your employees. You must first identify all of your new hires before you can communicate with them.

Each person’s present work methods, or processes, should be documented. It is necessary to identify and describe the effects that new technology will have on them. It’s also important to disclose how your company plans to mitigate any negative consequences for employees.

Remember that cultural change is also critical when adopting new technologies into an organization or facility – showcase success stories where applicable and encourage others to use the new.

There’s nothing like acknowledging your employees’ efforts to boost motivation and dedication. Celebrating team and individual accomplishments helps to create a favorable attitude about new technology, which encourages adoption.

4. Highlight progress and celebrate victories

Change is unsettling for the majority of individuals. From the beginning to the end of the technological implementation, you must constantly encourage and positively reinforce your employees.

HR professionals recommend preparing the implementation of new features so that employees can immediately experience modest wins to facilitate the adoption of any new technology. To do this, the organization could create measurable, specific, and attainable adoption goals.

Remember that cultural change is also critical when adopting new technologies into an organization or facility – showcase success stories where applicable and encourage others to use the new.

How to Drive Technology Adoption With A Digital Adoption Platform

If you want to improve your technology adoption rates, consider using a product adoption or digital adoption platform. This growing category of SaaS providers focuses on helping users navigate and adopt web-based applications.

The features of each digital adoption solution can vary, but most of them include:

  • On-screen guidance,
  • Integrated support or help content, and
  • Digital Process Automation.

A product adoption tool shows users where to click and what to do next. They can help users complete their work instead of just reading how they should do their job.

Advantages of a Digital Adoption Solution

Digital Adoption Platforms offer several benefits when implementing new technology. They can help you realize the benefits of your new technology sooner.

Accelerated Adoption

By making new technology easier to use, Digital Adoption Solutions can help you decrease the amount of time it takes to adopt new technology. Apty clients report they can fully adopt new software 2-3 times faster using Apty’s adoption tools.

Decreased Training and Support Costs

When adopting new technology, training and support costs can quickly spiral out of control. Digital Adoption Solutions decrease training and support costs by providing on-screen guidance. Users are less likely to open a support ticket when they can use the adoption tool to show them where to click and what to do. Some Apty clients report up to a 70% decrease in support tickets after implementing Apty’s guided workflows. 

Improved User Onboarding

User onboarding is another area when companies struggle when adopting new technology. Not only do you have to onboarding your entire userbase during implementation you also have to onboard new hires as they join. Digital Adoption Solutions make onboarding easier. On-screen guidance allows users to be productive on their first day – even if they’ve never used the technology before.

Usage Analysis

You can’t improve your product adoption if you don’t know what the problem is. The analytical tools in a digital adoption solution like Apty can help you identify where users are struggling so you can deploy extra help to overcome the challenges.

Apty Adoption Platform

If you have any challenges on how to increase adoption of technology and how to drive technology adoption, consider using Apty’s advanced Digital Adoption solution. Apty helps companies adopt new technology faster and makes technology easier for your users. Adoption challenges Apty can solve include:

  • User onboarding
  • Training
  • Usage Analysis
  • Cost Management

FAQs on Technology Adoption

1. What is adopting new technology?

Technology adoption isn’t only about getting the latest technology for your team. Before you decide to go for a certain technology, you have to be mindful of what you’re adopting. This means that you have to make sure that the technology you’re going to leverage suits best to your team. 

2. Why is technology adoption important?

Adoption of technology is a critical concept for business and organizational change. You must develop the capacity to adopt to new technology in everyday processes so that it can effectively create new work models, develop new competencies, and improve business performance.

3. What is the most important key for a successful digital adoption process? 

You must make technology or digital adoption process, people first and monitor their course thoroughly and accurately. Leverage a Digital Adoption Platform like Apty to ensure seamless and successful digital adoption.

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Nathan Altadonna

Nathan Altadonna

A former journalist and product manager, Nathan is a proud tech geek who blogs about digital transformation, employee productivity, and enterprise software. In addition to his work with Apty, Nathan runs his own consulting company, Innate Digital, helping companies develop content and get the most out of their marketing tech stack.

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