What is Technology Adoption and What are its 5 Stages

Abed al hadi Fleifel
October 27, 2022

There is no doubt about the tremendous impact technology has on companies around the world. The use of technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for these companies, helping them gain deeper insight into their customers, improve their products and services, optimize their operations, and more. However, the introduction of new technology isn’t easy and is usually met with a lot of resistance from employees who are used to and comfortable doing their work in a specific way that they don’t fancy changing. 

What is Technology Adoption?

Technology Adoption is defined as a sociological model that describes the adoption or acceptance of a new product or innovation, according to the demographic and psychological characteristics of defined adopter groups.

This means that whenever a company introduces new technology into the work culture it should take into account that not all of its employees are the same. And in order to gain the maximum benefit of this technology, it should customize its launch approach to suit the different types of employees in the company. 

Most often, these companies implement new technologies and build a standard one size fits all launch program that treats all employees, resulting in resistance, low usage, and meager return on investment. 

The Different Types of Employees Groups in Technology Adoption

To build a proper technology adoption program that minimizes resistance, promotes change, and increases ROI, the first thing companies need to do is understand the different adopter groups that their employees fall under which are:

  1. Innovators (2.5% of employees) - These employees are innovators, the first individuals to adopt new technologies in the workplace, they are not afraid to take risks and usually test out different technologies in their personal lives as well. 
  2. Early Adopters (13.5% of employees) - These employees are not as risk-averse as the innovators, however they care about progressing their career, building a reputation in the company, and making an impact. Usually on the higher end of the company hierarchy and want to invest in whatever it takes to help the company succeed.
  3. Early Majority (34% of employees) - Typically middle and line managers, these employees tend to be slower in the adoption process, they will usually wait and see how new technology fairs and if the higher-ups are adopting it before committing to using it themselves.
  4. Late Majority (34% of employees) - These individuals are usually very skeptical about innovations and new technologies, and will only adopt them after they see a large percentage of the company using them. They are usually older in age and have been at the company for a long period of time.
  5. Laggards (16% of Employees) - These individuals tend to be advanced in age, typically focused on traditions vs. innovations. These Individuals tend to use new technology in one of two scenarios:
  • There is no other alternative for them to get the job done without using technology
  • They are being forced to use the technology and would be penalized for not using it. 

A Customized Approach to Technology Adoption

It should be clear that one size doesn’t fit everyone, and for a company to successfully launch new technologies it must personalize and customize its approach to introducing technology and innovation in the workplace. Below is a list of some (but not all) options that companies can adopt per user group to successfully launch new technology and innovations: 

  1. Email marketing
  2. Enterprise social network
  3. Awareness videos
  4. Pre-recorded video tutorials
  5. Class or online training (Including on-demand training)
  6. High management sponsored launch events
  7. Identifying and compensating champions who will lobby for the use of new technology and support employees doing it. 
  8. Integrating the technologies being used in their operational handbooks, company policies, and procedures. 

For companies to get the most value from the technology they invest in, they need to make sure they launch it in the best way possible that entices employees to adopt it as fast as possible.

Check out Exceed’s 4-step digital transformation model to learn the best methods when transforming your organization.

Digital Transformation
Employee Management
IT Management
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