At Aligned Technology Solutions, we’ve helped many organizations improve their productivity and maximize their efficiency by adopting new technologies. Over the years, we’ve come to understand that business disruption is the biggest hurdle organizations need to overcome in order to successfully complete their digital transformation journeys.
But avoiding business disruption can be tricky, requiring careful planning, continuous communication, and the ability to course-correct when necessary, among other things. Luckily for you, we’ve used our extensive experience to produce a concise list of five actionable tips that you can follow to ensure successful adoption of new technology.
Tip #1: Keep Technology Aligned with Your Strategy
The goal of any technology adoption, whether it’s a SaaS solution or a cybersecurity product, should always be to solve a real-world problem as elegantly as possible. Often, however, organizations invest in new technology just because all their peers are talking about it or because a vendor is pushing it, ignoring the fact that it doesn’t fully align with their strategic goals.
Before you decide to adopt any specific technology, you should always perform a current systems analysis to verify that the new solution can be reasonably easily integrated into your existing IT infrastructure and workflow. If it can, then you need to double-check if there isn’t an alternative solution that would meet your needs even better.
Tip #2: Communicate Your Vision to Secure Buy-In
It’s no secret that most people naturally resist change, especially when they don’t understand why it’s happening. The problem is that 74 percent of employees feel that they’re missing out on company information and news, according to Gallup, and 72 percent don’t fully understand their company’s strategy.
For a new technology adoption to go smoothly, you need to first secure buy-in from all people who will be affected by it, from top to bottom. That’s possible only when you openly communicate your vision and explain in detail the “why” behind the technology adoption. Be open to early feedback because it can help you avoid having to course-correct later on, when any change can cause the very thing you want to avoid: business disruption.
Tip #3: Create a Pilot Program to Test the Technology
Let’s say that your goal is to adopt a new cloud storage solution that would allow your employees to seamlessly and securely access work-related files from anywhere, using any approved device.
Instead of asking all employees to start using it at the same time, it’s a much better idea to first create a pilot group and test the solution a select group of individuals, ideally technology enthusiasts who won’t require too much onboarding and will know what to look for in terms of missing functionality, usability issues, and other kinks.
The pilot program will additionally provide room to iron out potential security issues, integrations with existing solutions, and other limitations.
Tip #4: Provide Engaging User Training
Not all people have an equally positive relationship with technology, and not all technologies are equally easy to use. To maximize your return on investment, you need to provide engaging user training that effectively addresses all issues users may run into.
Do your best to accommodate as many learning styles as possible and rely on feedback to determine how effective the training is. Regardless of how much you personalize your user training sessions, it’s inevitable that some employees will quickly feel confident using the new technology, while others will still be struggling.
One way to get around this is to encourage peer support. Don’t forget to properly reward employees who spend their time helping others get used to the new technology so they don’t feel taken advantage of.
Tip #5: Fine-Tune as You Go
Even with a well-executed pilot program and ample user training, early hiccups are to be expected. If ignored, even the smallest of kinks can grow into big issues capable of causing serious business disruption. To avoid it, you need to monitor how well the technology is performing and fine-tune small details when necessary.
Whenever possible, gather concrete data so that you can show things like the impact of the new technology on your productivity, costs, or user satisfaction so that you can demonstrate that the adoption has been successful, which will only help you secure buy-in when you decide to adopt another technology in the future.