5 tips to help you increase user adoption of new technology
Every year, companies devote significant time, money, and effort to improving their technology stack. Whether it’s updating the tools they already have or purchasing new solutions, keeping technology aligned with business needs is a never-ending challenge. That’s even more true as companies recognize the need for digital transformation to automate and optimize their business processes.
But finding the right tools and solutions is only half the battle. In order to successfully implement new technology, the end users of that technology must embrace it. While it’s natural for employees to resist change, that resistance shouldn’t hinder your company’s digital evolution.
User adoption is a critical—but often overlooked—factor to consider in any new technology investment. So be sure to include a plan for user adoption in your overall implementation strategy. Following are some important things to keep in mind as you start your digital transformation journey.
Reasons for poor user adoption
At a high level, user adoption breakdowns are caused by a lack of planning and failure to take decisive action. Understanding the root causes of poor user adoption can help to avoid these issues—or at least identify them early, while there’s still time to course-correct.
To increase user adoption and help ensure your next technology implementation runs smoothly, avoid these three common pitfalls.
1. End users are indifferent to the new technology
Indifference can be one of the biggest barriers to user adoption. After all, end users are the ones who have to engage with the new technology on a day-to-day basis and incorporate it into their business processes. Without a clear understanding of the technology and its benefits, those users have little reason to get excited and make the effort to change their normal routine. Effective communication, robust training, and even incentives can help to minimize apathy.
2. Communication and training are lacking (or ineffective)
This ties closely to item #1 above. Successful adoption requires users to understand both the benefits of the new technology and how to use it. Communicate early and often to ensure users recognize the need for the new technology, how it strengthens the business, and the positive impact on their own workflow. Then develop engaging training that addresses the different ways users will engage with the new technology and provides guidance on all relevant functionality. And remember that training isn’t a one-time thing! Ongoing sessions should explore advanced features and address any issues that may arise over time.
3. No one is held accountable for user adoption
User adoption is almost guaranteed to suffer when no one is held accountable for making it happen. After all, there’s a reason for the old saying, “What gets measured, gets done.” So be sure to build accountability for user adoption into your technology implementation plan. Start by designating who is responsible. Then identify KPIs, set goals, and establish milestones. (Individual user accountability should also be part of the equation.) Finally, monitor your progress to ensure you’re on track for success!
5 tips to improve user adoption
Understanding the reasons for user adoption failure is a good start. There are also some basic measures you can take to make your implementation run more smoothly, encourage user adoption, and increase the likelihood of a successful transition.
1. Start with the end in mind
When you begin a project with a clear vision of your end goal, you’re less likely to get sidetracked or fall prey to common pitfalls. Make sure you have clarity on how the new technology works, how it differs from the current solution, who will be using it, how it meets their business needs, and the framework you’ll need to get all the pieces in place. Involving end-users in the buying process can help to clarify all these questions.
2. Make it easy to use
Change is never easy, but it’s important to keep things as simple as possible. Break tasks down into digestible chunks and step-by-step instructions. Use clear visuals and interactive elements to show how things work. Demonstrate how this tool might be different from the previous solution. The more convenient you can make the new technology, the more likely end users will adopt it.
3. Demonstrate the benefits
The benefits of the new technology are probably clear to you. After all, you’ve spent countless hours researching the right solution for your organization. But those advantages may not be as obvious to end users, who are used to the status quo. Be explicit about how the new technology benefits the organization as a whole, as well as anything the individual stands to gain—whether it’s a faster deal cycle, streamlined process, improved efficiency, deeper cross-team collaboration, or some other added value.
4. Leverage data to show impact
As you’re laying out the advantages of a new solution, leverage data to support the story. You should be able to show things like the impact of new capabilities, increased efficiency, cost savings, reduction in effort, and end-user satisfaction. Bringing the impact to life with data can help to reinforce the importance of learning the new technology and making the effort to incorporate it in daily tasks.
5. Make the technology essential
It’s one thing to tell employees they’re required to use a new technology. It’s another thing altogether to integrate that technology into critical everyday processes. For example, rather than instructing your sales team to use a new solution, you can build the process so that only opportunities created with that solution are entered into the sales funnel.
User adoption success in the real world
Conga’s solutions are built to help companies transform commercial operations—but they’re also proven to improve user adoption! Here are some real-world examples:
- T-Mobile for Business uses Conga Composer to streamline the proposal process and create beautiful sales promotion. They’ve also seen a 25% increase in user adoption since implementation.
- Aspect Software automated its renewal process and reduced quote time from 6 months to 0 days with Conga CPQ—all while achieving 100% user adoption.
The pace of business isn’t likely to slow down. That means businesses will need to continue to review, enhance, and upgrade their technology stacks for the foreseeable future. Recognizing the importance of user adoption, understanding the reasons it can fail, and taking steps to prioritize it can help to ensure the effectiveness of each new addition to your tech stack .
Whether you’re just getting started on your digital transformation journey, or you’re looking to optimize and expand your current technology stack, the Conga Suite can help you simplify and automate your business processes.