4 October 2018
We live in a fast-moving world, and smaller businesses can’t afford to get left behind. As such, a willingness to invest in new technologies is likely to be a key driver of success for SMEs, enabling your organisation to stay relevant and competitive.
This doesn’t mean you have to invest in every new tech platform that arrives on the scene. But doing nothing is not an option. What’s more, implementing new tech offers huge opportunities for increased efficiency, customer satisfaction, and even long-term cost savings.
But all the investment in the world is worth nothing unless you bring your team on board, too. After introducing new platforms, you’ve also got to focus on maximising technology adoption among staff, to ensure you’re getting the best results.
Work out your pain points
If you really want to maximise technology adoption, the journey starts long before the tech is up and running. Before you invest, carefully work out what your pain points are. If you’re heading up a small team, it’s likely you’ll already be in touch with what the issues are, but it’s always worth holding a proper consultation to identify what your team needs most.
Maybe your current tools aren’t flexible enough. If you have an agile, on-the-move team, being tied to a desk phone is likely to cause problems. Whatever your issues are, the best way to maximise technology adoption among staff is to make sure you’re providing solutions to the problems your team face every day.
Find the right tools for the job
The next step is simple – providing the tools to ease those pain points. Because despite the temptation, you don’t need to scour the market to find the most impressive and innovative tech solutions out there. Technology adoption is likely to go a lot more smoothly if the tools you invest in resemble what your staff are comfortable working with.
For example, a study last year showed that 85% of Brits surveyed have a smartphone – and given the age range of respondents was 16-75, it’s safe to say we’re living in a smartphone society. The flexibility these devices offer means using smartphones at work is a widespread practice, despite the fact that staff using their own devices raises serious security concerns. As such, buying business-only mobiles for your team is likely to be a great investment. Not to mention one they won’t struggle to adapt to.
Make the purpose clear
You’ve done your research, measured your costs, and you can’t wait to reap the benefits. But even in a small team, it’s important to bring everybody on board to discuss the purpose and benefits of your newly implemented tech.
As our guide 7 steps to staying relevant in business shows, digital transformation should always be centred around the desired outcomes. If you want to maximise technology adoption among staff, making it clear what the relationship between your new investment and the outcome will help.
Training and support
Even if your staff are digital natives, you can’t assume they’ll take to the new technology effortlessly. Implementing a company-wide training program is a short-term investment with long-term benefits. Ideally this should start before the roll-out of your new tech, so you can hit the ground running.
During training periods, it’s highly possible you and your team will need some support. To ensure you have the full support you need, it’s important you have plenty of support materials and how-to-guides available and have access to customer service helplines 24/7, 365 days a year. This way you can implement new technology as smoothly as possible and quickly resolve any issues that you may run into along the way.
Minimise future disruption
Transition periods can have a knock-on effect on productivity, as staff adapt to different systems and new ways of working. Once you’ve nailed your approach to maximising technology adoption, you won’t want to have to repeat this process every time your business grows and you need new features. But you also don’t want to feel pressured into over-investing to accommodate for future growth, because that’s far from efficient in the meantime.
Future-proof, scalable technology solutions are therefore likely to be your best bet, meaning you can implement the necessary changes in small and easily digestible chunks. Not only is this an agile solution, it’ll also help your team adapt at a manageable (and non-disruptive) pace.