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Adoption Makes or Breaks Your Technology Initiatives

by | Alec Olson

If you are implementing a proven solution at your organization, and everyone has the best intentions, what are the odds your project will fail?

They may be higher than you think. In fact, even with those factors going for it, it’s possible that users will completely reject the solution.

There’s a lot riding on today’s collaboration and communication technology investments, and the most important measure of success is based on adoption. Brad Sousa, Chief Technology Officer at AVI Systems, says, “Adoption is everything. Designs now start with consumption. Consumption is adoption, and adoption drives ROI, which is the goal in a business setting.”

Adoption Obstacles

Despite its importance, organizations run into a variety of challenges. Here are some common barriers to adoption:

  • Workstyles. When implementing a new solution, it’s important to remember that one approach won’t work for all employees. Employees may have a variety of learning styles, or there may be differences in work styles roughly along generational lines. So be prepared to address objections and support different preferences.

  • Habits. Old habits are hard to break when it means giving up your favorite tools. Explain the benefits of the new solution, and before phasing out the old solution, demonstrate how users can still perform their usual tasks—only more effectively and efficiently.

  • Inadequate training. If you’ve been evaluating solutions for a while, using the solution of choice may feel like a no-brainer. However, all new solutions have a learning curve. Effective training must be an engaging experience.

  • Attitude. Enlist those who are likely to champion the solution in your implementation plans. Consider including diehard users of old solutions in any pilot or test groups so they feel heard, as it may be easier to convert them at this phase. Also, consider distributing goodies or throwing an implementation party at the kickoff.

  • Lack of support. Once the training is over, it’s easy to forget information or to run into unforeseen issues. Provide ongoing support, videos, or a knowledge base for those who have questions or for those who want a refresher on a feature here or there.

  • Ineffective design. Sousa explains, “Sometimes adoption depends on design. It can have to do with the idea of different generations connecting to technologies and how they actually use it. Those kinds of considerations drive adoption but they also feed into better designs and better outcomes.”

Improve the Odds of Adoption Success

Prepare for successful implementation and adoption by communicating with your teams to ensure you understand their needs and wants. Then analyze how your solution aligns with their expectations. By measuring who is using which aspects of the solution, you can correct course. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology can help you monitor and be proactive with your communication solutions.

“If I can capture the analytics across these technologies,” says Sousa, “I now can tell a systems administrator that I’m seeing a problem in their network, which is going to quickly result in somebody either calling or making a statement that the system doesn't work or their experience isn't quite what they want."

"That's going to impact their future use and the adoption of this technology. So, the recommendation is we address these issues before the problems arise."

 

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