The only way to a successful return on a technology investment is to get your users to use the product that you have purchased. That, closely followed by successful implementation and delivery, is the main differentiator between success and failure.
But how do we get people to embrace the product that the business and the IT team spent so much time evaluating, purchasing, and delivering? Well, technology adoption theory is as old as technology itself, and when it comes to IT, for the last 30 years people like Fred Davis, Viswanath Venkatesh and others have performed multiple studies and published a number of scientific papers on exactly that: what is it that creates intention to use technology by the end user. A lot of factors impact employees’ end user’s decision and intent, but in essence, it all comes down to two things: usefulness and ease of use.
Usefulness shows how much better the end user will be able to perform in their job, at a personal level, by using that new product or service. It relates to the age-old question that every one of us is asking or is faced with in all areas of our personal and professional lives: “What’s in it for me? How will what you’re trying to sell me help me, produce a favourable outcome for me, make me do better, feel better, live better?”
Ease of use means the level of effort that is required by the end user to adopt the product features and functionalities, in order to provide all the nice useful effects on the user’s productivity. How many times have you heard people saying: “That new application is just such a pain to use! I mean, I see the value, but it’s just not user-friendly at all, I spent hours trying to navigate through the menus…”
There will be other factors that will either contribute to a user’s intent to use the new technology, or it will augment the effect of the above mentioned two factors, like social influence (i.e. peer and management support or pressure), attitude toward technology (which is highly affected by age and experience of the end user), environmental factors that help the ease of use (when you think just how important a great IT support team and process is on that dreaded go-live day).
This is all common sense, and when you read it some of you probably think “That’s all quite obvious, do people really spend years doing scientific research on these things? Isn’t that a no-brainer?” One of my favourite quotes, attributed to a lot of people and dating back at least to its citation in Natural Theology (1836) by Thomas Chalmers is “nothing is more uncommon than common sense”. Let’s take a look at some stats: A survey published in HBR found that the average IT project overran its budget by 27%, at least one in six IT projects turns into a “black swan” with a cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of 70%. In other words, while most IT projects will fall short of their budget targets, a few might overshoot the targets so much as to cause catastrophic organisation-wide problems.
At Adoptt we are using the benefits of years of scientific research, complemented by vast experience and the talent of our experts, to help our customers define their adoption strategies in time to secure record breaking adoption rates of new technologies, which lead to positive business outcomes and return on investment. Our adoption methodology can be used to guarantee adoption rates far higher than the industry average. We also believe that customer success starts way before the decision on vendor-product-partner is made. Success starts at the planning phase, it’s deeply rooted in business strategy, human behaviour and culture, and is profoundly affected by whether adoption is seen as a crucial factor or just an afterthought. When it’s an afterthought it’s at least twice as expensive to achieve and that’s why RFPs should pay more attention to how they define and articulate adoption needs.
Give us a shout, and we can show you how we use science, experience and expertise to help your projects achieve your desired outcomes.
2nd September 2019, by Léon Benjamin