If you’re an IT professional, a big part of your job is making sure new software tools and services are adopted company-wide. However, finding a surefire way to compel people to use it can often be problematic. According to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review, the majority of IT managers believe that “achieving digital transformation is critical.” However, 63% said the pace of technological change in their workplaces is slow, primarily due to a “lack of urgency” and poor communication about the benefits of new tools.
During a videocast hosted by BlueJeans, a panel of customer success professionals from Okta, Slack, and BlueJeans weighed in on the topic of driving adoption and maximizing cloud-based IT investments. The following are 5 approaches, raised during the discussion, aimed at helping employees actually use the new tool you’ve worked so hard to implement.
Create A Vision
Answer the “what’s in it for me?” question for those using the software and communicate that to your users. Employees need to understand why the new technology is an improvement from what they had before. For instance, Liz Gardemeyer, Senior Enterprise Customer Success Manager at BlueJeans, poses the question, “How well does this new tool integrate with established workflows and software tools currently deployed?” Persuading users to adopt a new technology requires putting forth a compelling vision for what it is and what it’s going to do.
Deliver a Great Experience
According to Okta’s Director of Platform Solutions, Stephen Lee, “User experience is the key to adoption.” A new application should require minimal training and deliver on the immediate needs of the user. Their initial experience with the tool is critical, so try introducing them to the top 3 - 5 features they need to accomplish their goals before bombarding them with every single product capability. This makes for a great first impression and clearly leads users down a path to quick productivity. The more intuitive a new solution is, the more it guides the user to a desired (and repeatable) action
Quickly Establish Routine
Make the new technology part of the daily work routine. Establishing a workflow that gets your users on board early will allow them to naturally become comfortable using the software while quickly seeing real world benefits and results. “I like the idea of a no email day,” suggested Dave Macnee, Senior Customer Success Manager at Slack. “It’s a commitment to giving a new tool an honest try.” The same concept can be applied to other services. Like a no phone call day when implementing video communications or no email attachments day when rolling out a file collaboration solution. Putting a foundation in place that will remain standard for all future users also makes adoption more organized and clarifies what users can expect during the rollout process.
Engage Influencers Early
Has leadership given their support and are they willing to set an example by using the new tool? It’s critical that your C-suite is onboard with any major implementation, but even more important is that you establish visible adoption and create buzz early on. Deploy your solution in phases, and start with the people or departments you know are most likely to adopt the software.
How will you measure adoption success beyond number of enrolled/active users? First, look at whether the number of helpdesk tickets is increasing or declining and the specific issues being reported. Dave Macnee says, “Look at specific departments and understand how they’re using it and the value it’s delivering.” Send surveys to select employees requesting honest feedback about the new tool. You may also discover savings (i.e. reduced travel expenses or lower phone bills) tied to the new software.
These suggestions will help you get a better handle on maximizing software adoption. Make your IT investment count and help your business raise productivity, boost sales, and make faster decisions.