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Drive Technology Adoption

The project is over. The new technology is implemented. Now how do we make sure it's used?

The project isn’t over if the new product or system isn’t being used. How do you ensure that what you’ve put in place isn’t going to be ignored or only partially adopted? People are more complicated than any new system and managing them through the change needs careful planning.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Cultivating a herd mentality, where people adopt new technology merely because everyone else is, is an important goal in getting the bulk of users using the new product or system. The herd needs to gather momentum though and this can be done by using the more tech-able and enthused to lead the rest on the journey. Identifying and engaging these key resources early in the process will greatly assist in starting the flow.

Impact and Result

While communication is key throughout, involving staff in proof-of-concept activities and contests and using the train-the-trainer techniques and technology champions will all start the momentum toward technology adoption. Group activities will address the bulk of users, but laggards may need special attention.

Drive Technology Adoption Research & Tools

1. Drive Technology Adoption – A brief deck describing how to encourage users to adopt newly implemented technology.

This document will help you to ensure that newly implemented systems and technologies are correctly adopted by the intended recipients.

Drive Technology Adoption

The project is over. The new technology is implemented. Now how do we make sure it's used?

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Technology endlessly changes and evolves. Similarly, business directions and requirements change, and these changes need to be supported by technology. Improved functionality and evolvement of systems, along with systems becoming redundant or unsupported, means that maintaining a static environment is virtually impossible.

Enormous amounts of IT budget are allocated to these changes each year. But once the project is over, how do you manage that change and ensure the systems are being used? Planning your technology adoption is vital.

Common Obstacles

The obstacles to technology adoption can be many and various, covering a broad spectrum of areas including:

  • Reluctance of staff to let go of familiar processes and procedures.
  • Perception that any change will add complications but not add value, thereby hampering enthusiasm to adopt.
  • Lack of awareness of the change.
  • General fear of change.
  • Lack of personal confidence.

Info-Tech’s Approach

Start by identifying, understanding, categorizing, and defining barriers and put in place a system to:

  • Gain an early understanding of the different types of users and their attitudes to technology and change.
  • Review different adoption techniques and analyze which are most appropriate for your user types.
  • Use a “Follow the Leader” approach, by having technical enthusiasts and champions to show the way.
  • Prevent access to old systems and methods.

Info-Tech Insight

For every IT initiative that will be directly used by users, consider the question, “Will the final product be readily accepted by those who are going to use it?” There is no point in implementing a product that no one is prepared to use. Gaining user acceptance is much more than just ticking a box in a project plan once UAT is complete.

The way change should happen is clear

Prosci specializes in change. Its ADKAR model outlines what’s required to bring individuals along on the change journey.


  • Awareness means more than just knowing there’s a change occurring,
  • it means understanding the need for change.


  • To achieve desire, there needs to be motivation, whether it be from an
  • organizational perspective or personal.


  • Both knowledge on how to train during the transition and knowledge
  • on being effective after the change are required. This can only be done
  • once awareness and desire are achieved.


  • Ability is not knowledge. Knowing how to do something doesn’t necessarily translate to having the skills to do it.


  • Without reinforcement there can be a tendency to revert.

When things go wrong

New technology is not being used

The project is seen as complete. Significant investments have been made, but the technology either isn’t being used or is only partially in use.

Duplicate systems are now in place

Even worse. The failure to adopt the new technology by some means that the older systems are still being used. There are now two systems that fail to interact; business processes are being affected and there is widespread confusion.

Benefits not being realized

Benefits promised to the business are not being realized. Projected revenue increases, savings, or efficiencies that were forecast are now starting to be seen as under threat.

There is project blowout

The project should be over, but the fact that the technology is not being used has created a perception that the implementation is not complete and the project needs to continue.

Info-Tech Insight

People are far more complicated than any technology being implemented.

Consider carefully your approach.

Why does it happen?


There isn’t always adequate communications about what’s changing in the workplace.


Fear of change is natural and often not rational. Whether the fear is about job loss or not being able to adapt to change; it needs to be managed.


Training can be insufficient or ineffective and when this happens people are left feeling like they don’t have the skills to make the change.


A lack of executive support for change means the change is seen as less important.


The excitement the project team and business feels about the change is not necessarily shared throughout the business. Some may just see the change as more work, changing something that already works, or a reason to reduce staff levels.


Whether it’s a lack of confidence generally with technology or concern about a new or changing tool, a lack of confidence is a huge barrier.


There is a cost with managing people during a change, and budget must be allocated to allow for it.


Info-Tech Insight

Since Sigmund Freud there has been endless work to understand people’s minds.
Don’t underestimate the effect that people’s reactions to change can have on your project.

This is a Kubler-ross change curve graph, plotting the following Strategies: Create Alignment; Maximize Communication; Spark Motivation; Develop Capability; Share Knowledge

Communication plans are designed to properly manage change. Managing change can be easier when we have the right tools and information to adapt to new circumstances. The Kubler-Ross change curve illustrates the expected steps on the path to acceptance of change. With the proper communications strategy, each can be managed appropriately

Analyst perspective

Paul Binns – Principal Research Advisor, Info-Tech

The rapidly changing technology landscape in our world has always meant that an enthusiasm or willingness to embrace change has been advantageous. Many of us have seen how the older generation has struggled with that change and been left behind.

In the work environment, the events of the past two years have increased pressure on those slow to adopt as in many cases they couldn't perform their tasks without new tools. Previously, for example, those who may have been reluctant to use digital tools and would instead opt for face-to-face meetings, suddenly found themselves without an option as physical meetings were no longer possible. Similarly, digital collaboration tools that had been present in the market for some time were suddenly more heavily used so everyone could continue to work together in the “online world.”

At this stage no one is sure what the "new normal" will be in the post-pandemic world, but what has been clearly revealed is that people are prepared to change given the right motivation.

“Technology adoption is about the psychology of change.”
Bryan Tutor – Executive Counsellor, Info-Tech

The Fix

  • Categorize Users
    • Gain a clear understanding of your user types.
  • Identify Adoption Techniques
    • Understand the range of different tools and techniques available.
  • Match Techniques To Categories
    • Determine the most appropriate techniques for your user base.
  • Follow-the-Leader
    • Be aware of the different skills in your environment and use them to your advantage.
  • Refresh, Retrain, Restrain
    • Prevent reversion to old methods or systems.


Client-Driven Insight

Consider your staff and industry when looking at the Everett Rogers curve. A technology organization may have less laggards than a traditional manufacturing one.

In Everett Rogers’ book Diffusion of Innovations 5th Edition (Free Press, 2005), Rogers places adopters of innovations into five different categories.

This is an image of an Innovation Adoption Curve from Everett Rogers' book Diffusion of Innovations 5th Edition

Category 1: The Innovator – 2.5%

Innovators are technology enthusiasts. Technology is a central interest of theirs, either at work, at home, or both. They tend to aggressively pursue new products and technologies and are likely to want to be involved in any new technology being implemented as soon as possible, even before the product is ready to be released.

For people like this the completeness of the new technology or the performance can often be secondary because of their drive to get new technology as soon as possible. They are trailblazers and are not only happy to step out of their comfort zone but also actively seek to do so.

Although they only make up about 2.5% of the total, their enthusiasm, and hopefully endorsement of new technology, offers reassurance to others.

Info-Tech Insight

Innovators can be very useful for testing before implementation but are generally more interested in the technology itself rather than the value the technology will add to the business.

Drive Technology Adoption preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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Paul Binns


Bryan Tutor, Executive Counselor, Info-Tech

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