One of the biggest challenges for IT professionals is helping employees embrace technologies selected by enterprise leaders. People tend to be 1) creatures of habit, and 2) insecure about trying new things.
Not everybody, of course.
Pew Research Center last month released a survey on technology adoption showing that 28 percent of adult Americans have a strong desire to “be early adopters of technology products.” Nearly half of respondents (45 percent) expressed a medium preference for technology early adoption, while 26 percent still use phones with rotary dials.
The demographic group with the highest rates of early adoption are men ages 18 to 49 (34 percent), all adults ages 30 to 49 (31 percent), and men overall (30 percent). Only 26 percent of women prefer to be early adopters.
Granted, the BYOD revolution to a large extent has negated the need for enterprise IT to train/cajole/force employees to use new technologies because workers these days use their own devices, and IT has had to adapt to that.
But what about enterprise technologies such as unified communications or collaboration software? In these cases, employees who have an aversion to new technologies can hurt overall productivity.
The project team member who insists on using email while everyone else is trading ideas on a collaboration platform is a productivity drag. So is the employee who clings to standalone communications technology rather than using an integrated communications platform that allows multiple apps to be used in a single environment.
It’s worth the effort to get these laggards on board! But how? Over at Forbes, contributor Jacob Morgan reveals what he believes is “the Number One way to get employees to use collaboration technologies”:
“Organizations should focus on the value of these programs to the individual employee. Some of these benefits could include, spending more time with their families, a flexible work environment and increase in visibility to be recognized.”
That’s great advice. Certainly some employees will respond positively to an argument that collaboration technologies, unified communications and other unfamiliar technologies help the enterprise. But all will embrace something that improves their ability to do their jobs and their lives.
Does your enterprise do an effective job of getting employees to use new technologies?