When you first discover a new technology, one with the potential to change your company for the better, you're excited. Who wouldn't be?
But then something happens.
You try to implement this fabulous new tool and find your team is resistant to new technology. Where once you saw a new business app that could save you money or a web service that would save your whole team time, that same tool becomes a huge headache.
So, what happened? And how can you tell next time before things take a turn for the worse? Try watching out for these 3 warning signs.
1. Decision Makers Aren't On Board
Implementing a new technology, regardless of size, requires resources. It requires time to teach employees who are used to the old system how to use the new one; it often requires money to pay for the technology itself; and it therefore also requires support from the decisions makers who have control of those resources.
The best way to get decision makers on board? Show them the numbers.
As much as possible, demonstrate for them how much time or money the new technology will save and how that will impact the company—and them, personally.
2. End Users Aren't Convinced
It's just as important to get support from the end users as it is to get support from the top of the command chain. Unfortunately, they can be a bit harder to convince. After all, they're the ones you want to change their daily habits and who will have to learn to use something new.
The best approach is to make sure you understand the existing processes and how the new technology will change them; then make sure that new technology will actually improve things in some way.
Whether it's that employees will need to spend less time on tedious tasks such as data entry, that the new technology will give them more control over some aspect of their work, or that it will make it easier for them to demonstrate their value to the company, figuring out what's in it for them is an essential part of convincing them to support the new tool at the ground level.
And if they don't support it, it won't get used...and if it doesn't get used, it will fail.
3. You Didn't Do Enough Research
Research should always be your first step. That means checking out reviews, alternative options, and doing a test run to make sure things go as expected.
You Didn't Look At Reviews
Discovered something awesome? Okay, time to Google it and the word "review" and see what comes up.
Read through reviews of the tool and keep an eye out for two things: problems other companies ran into, so you can avoid those issues, and companies like yours that are already using (and have reviewed) that new technology. Both will provide you with helpful information that you can use when deciding whether to implement this new technology at your company.
You Didn't Evaluate Other Options
Make sure you also evaluate other tools that do the same thing, so that you can be confident you've made the best choice.
A good way to do this is to type "company name vs." into Google and see what appears in the autocomplete list—most of the time it will be other companies that offer the same service with links to reviews directly comparing the two to help you make a decision.
You Didn't Set Up A Pilot Run
Once you've researched the new technology itself, and know the benefits for both the decision makers at your company and the end users, the last step is to run a pilot program.
Choose either a team member or a small team, depending on the size of your company, and teach them how to use the new tool; make sure it accomplishes the goals you'd hoped it would and discuss openly any concerns the tester has about the new technology. This should give you valuable insights for creating an implementation strategy so that you can implement the new technology company-wide in a fairly smooth way.
Interested in implementing a new technology at your organization? How did it go? We'd love to have you share your story in the comments below.