Is your organization lagging behind on technology adoption? If so, you could quickly be swallowed by your competitors. Depending on the nature of your organization, technology could function as an enabler of greater efficiency and productivity, a competitive differentiator, or both. For example, universities need to invest in better learning technologies if they want to attract more students, generate better learning outcomes, and ultimately outcompete their biggest rivals.
But none of this is possible if there are barriers to technology adoption within your organization. So how do you recognize and overcome those barriers?
Identify the Barriers
You can start by acknowledging the biggest barriers to technology adoption in your organization. These will vary, but these are some of the most common:
- Cost. Are decision-makers within your organization concerned about adopting technology because of the costs involved? This is a justifiable point of reluctance, especially if funding is limited. Investing in new technology can be expensive, whether you create this technology from scratch, buy an existing product, or simply augment your own infrastructure. Oftentimes, the best way to counter this barrier is to explain why the investment is worth it. The technology may cost $100,000, but if it brings you $500,000 of value, it's clearly worth it.
If you work in higher education, the following blog goes into greater detail on how to adopt an audio/video solution for your institution in 2023. Showcasing the values you can express to decision-makers and/or stakeholders. Click here to learn more.
- Status quo bias. Status quo bias makes us disproportionately likely to keep things the way they are. People aren't necessarily afraid of change, but they are averse to change. New things are unknown, and it's difficult to incorporate the unknown into our equations of prediction and management. If the leaders within your organization are stuck in their ways, it can be hard to gain any momentum.
- Risk aversion. Sometimes, decision-makers are more concerned about potential risks. Acquiring or developing new technology sometimes means being subject to more compliance or opening the door to greater security vulnerabilities. The best way to address this barrier is by finding ways to minimize risk when pursuing new technologies.
Adopt More Favorable Core Values
If you have the power to do so, consider adopting more favorable core values within your organization. If your core values are about embracing change, driving innovation, and taking risks for the promise of a higher reward, and you recruit and promote people accordingly, it's only a matter of time before your organization becomes more amenable to technology changes.
Reward Innovative Thinking
Similarly, it's a good idea to reward innovative thinking. When your employees and coworkers come up with novel ideas or make recommendations for technology upgrades, take those suggestions seriously and reward the people who offered them.
Appeal to Individuals
Different people have different motivations for adopting (or not adopting) new technologies, so when making a pitch to someone new, keep that individual’s specific preferences and perspectives in mind. For example, is this person most concerned about the financial burden of a new technology acquisition? Figure out a way to make the finances make sense. Do they just hate the idea of learning a new system? Show them how easy it is to learn.
It’s sometimes difficult to prove the value of a given technology, especially when you’re presenting that technology as a hypothetical acquisition or development – but it’s something you’ll have to do if you want to convince stakeholders and decision-makers to move forward with this technology. If you adopt this tech, what competitive advantages does it bring the organization? Does it open new opportunities for revenue generation? Is it going to pay for itself after a certain length of time?
Manage Technology Changes Wisely
Finally, if and when you do push new technology forward within your organization, manage that changeover as wisely and responsibly as possible. If the transition goes smoothly, you'll be much more likely to win supporters for the next technology you recommend.
These are some of the best ways to do it:
- Make it personal. Get people excited about using the technology. Train people one-on-one and find ways to make it appealing to everyone.
- Make it fun. Training and education shouldn't be a total slog. Instead, it should be engaging and entertaining.
- Start slow. Don't attempt to switch to brand-new technology overnight. Start slow and make the transition gradually to avoid attrition.
Demonstrate the benefits. Make the benefits clear to everyone using the technology. Prove to them, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that upgrading or incorporating this new technology is worth it.
Change hesitancy and status quo bias can cripple your organization's ability to evolve and compete in today's ever-changing technological landscape. Fortunately, by better understanding the barriers to technology adoption within your organization, and by facilitating better change management, you can improve the culture in a way that leads to much more streamlined, beneficial internal technology upgrades.
If one of the technology adoptions you are looking to implement is a video platform for training, assessment, or research download our Tip-Sheet. This will provide 6 ways a customized solution will fit into your learning environment so that your existing processes are enhanced not changed.