Technology Adoption & Remote Working

Now that everyone is suddenly working from home, technology adoption is more important than ever before. But just what is ‘technology adoption’? Technology adoption is defined as the acceptance, integration, and use of new technology within an organization (or society).

Why are technology adoption services suddenly some of the most demanded services of 2020?

Due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, public and private sector companies worldwide found themselves asking employees to work from home. This shift in the operating model was especially stressful for IT units who have had to cope with a series of new responsibilities and challenges. These include:

  • Ensuring employees, partners, and sometimes customers, have adequate remote access to organizational systems and software.
  • Ensuring systems being accessed remotely are secure and available (no downtime).
  • Ensuring employees have the right software, and hardware, to access systems from their homes.
  • Ensuring they actually know how to access these systems and use them.

In addition to the above, and perhaps most importantly, the burden of trying to make sure people are ‘productive’ on the job suddenly shifted from HR teams to IT teams, with senior management and employees looking to their IT people to make everyone ‘remote-work ready’.

What makes an organization ‘remote-work ready’? There are several answers to that question, but the most obvious are:

  • The right machines (hardware)
  • The right systems (software)
  • An internet connection
  • The ability to use the aforementioned hardware and software.

This is where technology adoption comes into play. Having the right machines and systems means little if employees are unable to use them remotely or do not even know they exist. Which then brings us to the question, how do you enable employees to use new systems remotely? Traditional technology adoption is no longer an option — you cannot put them all in a room and train them.

Remote technology enablement needs five elements to be truly effective:

  • Awareness: Users need to know the technology is there and available. There needs to be a channel available where employees know they can find information about the technologies, when they were launched, where to locate them, and why they need to be used.
  • Training: This needs to be online training, but it also needs to be flexible. Remote working means that you no longer have control over employee schedules as remote workers may be a continent or several time zones away.
  • Learning materials: Remote employees need to be able to access learning materials on demand
  • in the form of documents, videos, tutorials, etc. in a convenient library.
  • Support: Support is vital for anyone working remotely. Support should be in the form of should be in the form of immediate support if possible, through chat bot or live agent, as well as less immediate support in the form of tickets for non-urgent matters.

The elements above cover the technology users needs throughout the technology adoption lifecycle.

If you don’t have those elements in place, what is likely to happen?

The best case scenario is that employees working remotely will struggle daily with trying to understand the new operating model and adjust to the new technologies required for business continuity. This may result in several hours of productivity wasted daily, and a lot of frustration. The worst case scenario is a complete halt to business continuity with key people unable to access the systems they need, and IT overwhelmed with support incidents and complaints.