While as a society, we are becoming more comfortable using these technologies, there can still be major challenges when businesses try to implement new technologies and programmes. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the biggest barriers to adoption of new technologies that we have seen, first-hand, from the customers that we’ve worked with. We’ll also look at some of the ways we work with you to break down these barriers.
The biggest barriers to technology adoption for businesses
We work with some of the country’s biggest companies and most prestigious institutions on improving the user adoption of new technologies. Through these projects, we’ve been able to gain insight into common themes and trends and highlight the biggest barriers to technology adoption.
1. Poor Communication
One of the biggest barriers we see getting in the way of widespread user adoption is poor communication from the organisation. Staff can often be ill-informed about what the new technologies or system are and how to use them, leading to a lack of usage. During a digital transformation project, it’s important to make sure the change is communicated properly. Create an engaging internal comms campaign. Make use of all channels available. And start building excitement!
2. Lack of relatability
Sometimes, a lack of relatedness can hold back user adoption. This is something we’ve found especially true of frontline workers; for example a Social Worker might think, ‘this is something for office workers, I don’t see how this effects or benefits me.’ During organisational change, ensure you engage with everyone – no matter where they’re working from – and don’t leave anyone behind.
3. People are stuck in their ways
When employees get used to working in certain ways with certain processes they can become so comfortable with this that they’re reluctant to adopt new technologies. We’ve often seen people say ‘but we’ve always done it this why, why change now?’ Organisations must work to develop a plan to inspire, motivate and encourage users to adopt the new technologies effectively.
4. Change fatigue from other initiatives
Change fatigue happens when employees become apathetic and disengaged with organisational changes; either due to too many changes happening or because of other failed initiatives.
According to recent insights from Gartner, the risk of employees experiencing change fatigue is now higher than ever, accelerated by the shift in attitudes and values that have happened because of the pandemic. This means it’s now even more important to ensure this does not happen. We can solve this by focusing on the employee experience and ensuring your people feel supported throughout the change process.
5. Not enough time
Perhaps one of the key factors we have seen blocking widespread user adoption is the perceived lack of time that employees feel when they have to learn about new technologies and programmes. This can be managed in a number of ways, either by ensuring technology training is built into their day-to-day job role, or by setting an achievable time frame for your people.
6. Not understanding the benefits
Employees not understanding the true benefits of the new technology you’re implementing can be a huge barrier to user adoption. By communicating these benefits early on with a focus on how it will enhance their working lives and wellbeing, your employees are more likely to embrace this technology.
7. Lack of support networks in place
Finally, we see a lack of support networks as a significant barrier to the adoption of new technology within organisations. Your people may read all of the comms, understand the benefits, and attend all the training, but at the end of this are left to their own devices without anywhere to go for support. In order to combat this, we’ve seen huge successes in the recruitment of digital champions within organisations, who can act as the first line of support for anyone who has issues or questions about the new technology.
“Champions are a powerful part of any digital transformation. They have the ability to turn an IT project into something more; they are the voice for colleagues. They enable us to ensure an organisation is getting the most value out of Microsoft 365 in a way that just wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”
– Sital Champaneria, Design Group Manager, Hable
Improving technology adoption at your organisation
If you can relate to any of these issues and have seen a lack of user adoption to new technologies with your business, how can you break down these barriers and ensure you’re getting a good ROI? Our expert team of Change Practitioners can help your people embrace these new technologies and work in new, more efficient ways.