How to avoid technology implementation challenges
Why do we use technology or machines in our businesses? Many may say, ‘It makes life easier and faster’. Some may state, ‘It’s simpler and yields more accuracy’. And yet others may say, ‘The market demands it and our competitors are using it; so how can we be left behind?’ In fact, most of the top leaders have been striving hard to implement the right blend of technology in their sphere, but the real question is, why businesses and people find it so difficult to adapt to such implementation? A probable answer to it is implied in the understanding of this over-neglected statement i.e. ‘Tech transformation is more about humans than machines.’
“By equating tech and digital transformation with investment, what we forget is that technology is merely an enabler. Employees, customers, suppliers and other related people are far more important than technology from a business perspective.”
Out of the 400 U.S based senior executives polled by Wipro Digital in 2017, half believed that their company isn’t successfully executing even 50 percent of their strategies. So, what lies beneath? What is being overlooked by most of us?
Let us check these three crucial areas to understand the Man-Machine equation in a better way:
- Are you sure your business needs a change?
Most enterprises know why they need to change, however, most struggle to figure out what needs to change and how to go about it.
Companies are buying technology because it is cool, interesting and in vogue. In fact, in HR space; organizations are ending up purchasing or customizing HRMS for more of their HR function’s use than for employees. Perhaps, it is the human angle which needs to be re-looked when it comes to implementation and adoption of technology at workplaces.
Technology decisions made with ambiguous business backing is a recipe for disaster. And business decisions made with limited technology considerations due to the spending gap fuels it further.
“To bridge the growing technology decision gap, executives must stop viewing technology as separate from their business. Technology investments don’t occur without business decisions. Some companies like Cisco Systems and GE do this right today and top everyone's benchmark lists.”
Another problem that triggers a concern is that companies go shopping enthusiastically for new tools, but fail to introduce processes that will lay the ground for adoption by employees. There is a lot of education on such process improvisation and adaptation that is needed in this space. Organizations require a significant amount of process maturity to be able to harness the true potential of such new platforms.
- Communication failure
One of a major area of concern in the ‘Man-Machine’ era is communication failure. And that’s fairly governed by people across all boards. Tech rollouts cannot be done in a vacuum, but have to be accompanied by a well-planned communication strategy for education and integration of the internal workforce. Most people have the tendency to accept changes only when it entails a long-term efficiency gain along with job security element interwoven in it. The fear of the unknown has a devastating effect and is one of the baffling problems if not tackled appropriately.
“Whenever a new technology is rolled out, it has to be socialized. Employees need to be given the complete information, and the purpose of the rollout has to be clarified.” says Siddhartha Gupta, Founder and CEO, Rare Media Company (Blue Dolphin)
Employees who are consulted tend to be more cooperative than those who have such change imposed on them. One of the biggest reasons people resist change is because they don’t understand what is being done or why it’s happening. Naturally, this breeds fear, which can derail the tech initiative.
- Managing the transition
Amongst the most recalcitrant of the problems which business executives face is employee resistance to change. However, it is seen that many a time there is a major reluctance at the top to replace legacy technology.
The leaders and the team need to wear the hat of change champions and remove barriers aiming at non-tenable reasons on why the change will not work for them.
Remember, resistance comes in different shapes and sizes, which results in a persistent reduction in output, increase in the number of quits and requests for transfers. Chronic quarrels, sullen hostility and slowdown strategies are quite common residual effects, when it comes to resisting a tech implementation.
Always remember that adoption is more of an emotional journey. Try answering the 3 important questions for your employees:
- Will I be able to use it?
- Will it really help me?
- What if I don’t learn it?
In this manner, help solve the maze. The puzzle of acceptance and adoption of tech implementation boils down to the need to appeal to an individuals’ emotion. Never try to convince your team by using only rational logic alone. A sound logic and reason will only get you a bit far, but if you can connect with individuals emotionally, they will have a much stronger drive to adopt sooner. Engage end-users, leverage their input and make sure everyone knows the answer to the famous question of today’s era - “What’s In It for Me (WIIFM).”