Technology investments are done to help in some capacity. To drive efficiency, open new revenue opportunities, create team synergy, organize or solve some form of business problems. However, what many people who invest in technology do not think about is what happens if the technology they invested in is not adopted by employees or family members?
Adoption is the number one technology failure. The following lack of answers to questions are the culprits for technology investments failing:
1. Not having a strategy: Map business needs only to the technology capabilities you need.
Many technologies have vast amounts of features to help a large variety of use cases. This can lead to paralysis by analysis without a clear plan. Here is an easy strategy:
- Pick 3 business problems.
- Pick 3 goals for solving each business problem.
- Pick 3 technology tactics that map to solving the 3 business problems you identified and have a hypothesis for how long it will take to reach your goals.
- Concoct a phased role our strategy of only needed technology capabilities, over an agreed upon amount of time.
- Be ok not using every bell and whistle of your technology investment. Just because you have it does not mean you have to use it. If it doesn’t fit, let the empty peg remain empty.
While this may seem like an overly simplistic approach, you will be surprised how vast capabilities can mislead and open up costly rabbit holes of time and resources. Think big, start small with your technology role out.
2. Not thinking about your people: What is in it for users to adopt your technology investment?
When I worked for Salesforce, it was not uncommon for the IT department of organizations to buy Salesforce technology and hand it off to the sales and marketing organizations without including them in the purchase process. This led to confused faces, political debates, wasted time, missed timelines, unneeded burn and most importantly; delayed technology deployments. Simply put, you have to make clear:
- How the technology will help users do their jobs and collaborate better.
- How the technology and its many capabilities can help differing users based on role.
- How incentive programs for using the technology will drive adoption and make the technology sticky.
- How the staff learns, and do you need a learning management system (LMS) to teach your staff? Does the technology have an adequate training component?
- Who owns adoption within your walls?
3. Not thinking about a deployment process: Slow down to speed up! All technology deployments vary based on the complexity of the deployments
Identifying the answer to the questions above and knowing the complexity of the deployments will dictate the deployment process. It is important to identify the answer to the following questions:
- Who is using the technology and how does this technology affect their day to day both for their job and those around them?
- How do you adjust the workflows once you know how the new technology affects the day to day and the reverberation across the organization?
- Does the technology investment open up new risks? Create user policies that protect the business and make clear the do’s and don’ts of using the technology.
- Will operations be affected with the augmentation of new technology? What unknown pitfalls could occur?
- Do you need additional services because your staff is using other tools that need to be integrated?
As you can see, buying technology is much more than just buying the technology and deploying it. At EstateSpace, we have made a commitment to providing professional services for all of our early adopters. Our technology is digitally transforming (physical asset management used to be a pen and paper proposition) how physical assets are accounted for, therefore making sure users set up the technology the right way at the outset, is important and worth the investment.
Below is a high-level view of how we think about EstateSpace deployments and avoid the technology pitfalls outlined above: