Most people love to play with the newest tech toys, especially geeks. This may not seem like a huge deal, but when the geeks of a major corporation want their company to start using something new certain things need to be thought about carefully. Not everyone is able to adapt to new technology as easily as the IT department may be able to, and that can cause some stressful situations. Technology is constantly adapting and advancing. It is important to stay up to date, but some people are going to need more help getting there than others. Without help, people are likely to fall so far behind that they may not be willing to try to catch back up. Below is an image that shows just how quickly technology changes.
If we just look at the changes that have happened since the year 2000, it is amazing to see how far we have come in a short time. It also shows how easy it is to fall behind. For example, my mother still owns a Motorola Razr just like the one shown above. Not only does she still use a Razr, but she has backups in case hers ever quits. She is so far behind that she gets completely lost when she tries to use a more modern phone. She also struggles with laptops, tablets, and basically any modern technology. Obviously my mother’s lack of technological adoption only hurts her, but what happens when an entire corporation is either reluctant to accept new technologies or pushed into them without proper guidance?
What causes drives for new technology to fail? Our book gives us three reasons:
It’s too late: Like with my mother, if the push for trying new things happens too late it is hard to get people to change. If you wait too long to try to adopt new technology you are doomed before you even start.
IT people are too focused on the technology: If users start to complain about the new technology the IT peoples’ likely reaction is going to be to try and fix whatever they are complaining about. The problem is, normally the complaint goes much deeper than that. Rather than admit that they are being resistant to the change, users will complain about a certain feature that they do not like. IT people need to be aware of this deeper issue when rolling out a new technology and not just focus on fixing the tech issues.
IT ignores the importance of the experience: If you really want users to adapt well to a new technology, create a good first experience. Make sure you are there to answer questions and help out. Avoid just leaving them out to dry assuming that they will pick up on everything quickly. The better their first experience is, the more likely they are to embrace the new technology.
The steps to making that good first contact are:
Understand where the clients are coming from.
Imagine what could go wrong.
Plan ahead to avoid disasters/ promote good feeling.
Execute thoughtfully and flexibly.
Author, Clayton M. Christensen, wrote a book about the struggles of getting new things to take hold. The Innovator Dilemma is actually written for businesses and is about this very topic. Forbes says this about the book, “This book ought to chill any executive who feels bulletproof —and inspire entrepreneurs aiming their guns.” I think this would be a great book for any buisness leader to have. It may also be a good book for the head of an IT department to read before executing a massive change in a buisness.