For generations, this is how technology worked: the IT department decided what the company needed, they built it or bought it, implemented it and went on to next bit of technology. Sometimes the business was consulted on what it needed and sometimes it wasn’t. IT was measured on getting their technology solution “in” on time and on budget. They were not measured on how many people actually used it or what percentage of the solution was being used. Third party software companies are notorious for selling a huge ROI but seldom deliver. In fact, when you add up the cost associated with the software, implementation, lost productivity, etc. the ROI will be negative UNLESS the solution is ADOPTED. We have numerous clients who are implementing their third P2P system, in the hopes that this will be THE ONE that will actually be used, Really?
Fast forward to today. Companies are rapidly moving toward digital technology. We have the chance to be smarter this time. But will we? I read a recent article “Talent challenges on the path to digital transformation” which states . . . “we see a relatively clear shift toward technology usability as an area of focus. Research shows that technology implementations fail rarely because the technology did not work but rather because people are not willing, or find it too difficult, to use them. Thus, organizations could offer digitally transformative capabilities across a broader swath of their operations—and ensure people will be able, and willing, to use them.” Hooray!!! Somebody gets it BUT will anyone listen?
It is ALL about ADOPTION. Please do NOT even think about putting in one more new technology or process until you have an adoption strategy in place. Here is our adoption model:
As I noted above, companies will spend millions on technology solutions BUT very little on ensuring that they are adopted. According to the article, those companies that attain a high ROI on their digital technology have recognized that talent is the “means to both sustain and elevate their digital technology to new levels of sophistication.” Here are some suggestions laid out to improve adoption:
- “Build these capabilities with, not for your employees. These technologies tend to work best when they are built collaboratively with their business users rather than for them.9Employees that are not fully immersed in the digital integration process may react with a level of skepticism (or confusion) to its benefits.” BUSINESS ALIGNMENT
- “Hire for design. Better user interface design can act as the channel to greater employee engagement with these digital technologies. Further, the more intuitive the design, typically the less need for finding new talent with greater technical skills. This is especially important as many of our respondents indicated that user design talent is an unbudgeted need.” CHANGE MANAGEMENT – DESIGN FOR ADOPTABILY
- “Sustaining success requires continual investment in talent development. If accessibility is the linchpin to adoption, leaders may need to continually ensure that their people have the right tools in place to use and interact with these enhanced features. Encouragingly, these trends in accessibility and design suggest that organizations may be better suited in investing in training and talent that make these technologies more engaging rather than opting for a wholesale change in personnel and skill sets. These upfront investments can extend the reach of these technologies throughout the organization—in a more sustainable manner.” LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
As your organization thinks about moving to the next level of maturity on the technology curve, ask questions about the adoption plan. Without it, you will be back to “IF THEY BUILD IT, WE WILL COME”.