The ticket to tech adoption

Old habits die hard, which makes it difficult for IT departments around the world to get users on board when deploying new tech. A study by MIT Sloan Management Review found that 63% of executives and managers from a wide range of industries said the pace of technology change in their organization is too slow.

Achieving user adoption requires a multi-faceted approach tailored to the organization and the preferences of its end users. So how do you get everyone on board? Here are three things to consider when going after total user adoption with your next tech rollout.

Listen to your customer
While they may not have a choice about new tech implementations, a customer-first approach is guaranteed to start the conversation on the right foot. After attending Terrdata Partners’ annual conference, tech expert David Strom from ITworld says it is key to contemplate the following:

  • Understand how your customers make use of your services. Monitor what your end users’ demands are for your services and measure their satisfaction level on a regular basis
  • Know who your most dissatisfied customers are. Identify user satisfaction scores and react quickly to understand what triggered their perceptions; offer incentives.
  • Know who the loyal ambassadors of your IT department are. Promote your own department’s successes, and reward your loyalists to show your appreciation.

Educate with appeal
According to an article published by the Harvard Business Review, it’s important to customize training and make it fun by rewarding employees in ways that are most meaningful to them. Didier Bonnet, Global Practice Leader at Capgemini Consulting says:

Some employees might prefer an online training session; others might need a bit more handholding and support in the form of a personal coach. During the instruction phase, it’s important that you lead by example. Show that you are investing time in learning the new system. Show your humility and empathize with your team about the challenges you’re all facing.

Skeptical employees may need extra tender-loving care. Michael C. Mankins, a partner in Bain & Company’s San Francisco office and the leader of the firm’s organization practice in the Americas points to the power of positivity. “Rewarding the behavior you want to see is much more effective than penalizing the behavior you don’t want to see.”

Bonnet also commends gamification as a tactic to “make it fun and create a bit of buzz around the technology and motivate and engage people.” For example, “employees might accumulate points, gain financial incentives or achieve new levels of “status.”

Marketing has a place
Another article from the Harvard Business Review introduces an emerging player in the game—the chief marketing technologist:

CMTs are part strategist, part creative director, part technology leader, and part teacher. Although they have an array of titles—Kimberly-Clark has a “global head of marketing technology,” while SAP has a “business information officer for global marketing,” for example—they have a common job: aligning marketing technology with business goals, serving as a liaison to IT, and evaluating and choosing technology providers.

While your organization may not currently have this role, you can leverage multiple internal stakeholders to promote adoption.

Building a tech adoption kit
Technology leader Code42 recently worked collaboratively with internal marketing, support, design and IT teams to create a User Adoption Kit to help its enterprise customers alleviate adoption resistance in their organizations.

“IT believed in the efficacy of Code42 CrashPlan, but tech fatigue in the workplace made it hard for some of them to onboard employees.” said Issara Srun, sales engineer at Code42.”This kit helps them deliver the story fast and convincingly.”

The kit includes support documentation for IT and a library of assets to distribute to end users—such as educational videos, HTML email templates and flyers to explain Code42 CrashPlan and encourage opt-in. “Education, conversations and marketing can help IT accelerate adoption,” said Srun. “All we had to do is ask.”

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