Adapting to survive: don’t waste money on tech people won’t use

In the final blog of a three-part series from Cordless Consultants on digital evolution – not revolution – Beverley Eggleton looks why people resist tech change and how to give employees what they really need

Welcome to the final piece in our three-part blog series on digital evolution. The first post looked at the role of tech in adding value to buildings and our second explored the challenges of the Big Data. Here we look at how to close the gap between perception and reality.

It has long been said that people resist imposed change. That begs the question whether those types of people should even be working for you. As a consultancy, we have so many times seen technology lying dormant in an organisation because people ‘don’t know how to use it’.

Is that really the case? That they haven’t been trained? We live in a DIY world where we are used to working out how to do things ourselves.

Intuitive to use

I ordered a new Sky Box recently. Instead of an engineer arriving at my home to install the box, as has been the case in the past, I was sent the box in the post, along with a quick start guide. That was it. So I installed it myself, at a time that was convenient to me, with just a little help from ‘Justin’ on web chat through my mobile, who informed me that we were ‘working the magic together’.

Is it more the case that tech isn’t being used because we don’t want to use it?

Why? If something is not intuitive and easy to use, do we give it a second chance? In the case of apps, I suggest the answer is no because tech is developing so quickly, that we know something else will come along to meet our needs. If an app doesn’t work quickly or properly, we’ll just delete it and find another.

Yes, more apps are being developed but not downloaded. Research from Nomura highlighted in 2016 that the top 15 app publishers were seeing downloads drop by 20 percent month on month.

Involve people in the process

Consumers vote with their feet, opting for tech that will offer peace of mind and anticipate their needs.

So what does this mean for the enterprise?

It means that your people will use tech to find a way to work, or leave if they can’t. So involve them in the tech research. Involve them in the tech decision-making process. Employing an expensive change manager at the end of a workplace technology programme is like locking the door after the horse has bolted.

Move with the times and with what people want. Take the epic failure of once-upon-a-time handheld market leader Blackberry to evolve into handset into a touchscreen quickly enough – iPhone like touchscreens quickly overtook the market, because it is what the users wanted.

Wearable tech is a great example of devices that have been developed to meet our increasing desire to manage our wellness, at home and in the workplace.

Real estate professionals are faced with increasing pressure to minimise costs and increase the efficiency of an organisation’s real estate portfolio. So don’t waste your money on tech that people won’t use. Give them flexible platforms, to work the ways that they want and need.

It’s all part of the culture

And that’s where we come full circle to the topic of evolution, not revolution. Technology change management should not be a discipline on its own, but part of the culture of a progressive enterprise.

Let us remember that we are all unique. How many of us still prefer to write physical notes in a meeting, rather than typing, drawing or recording them? So technology change, arguably, should be a combination of the old and the new, remembering that we all individually sit at on different parts of the change curve at any one time.

Don’t force technology change for change’s sake. Change happens. Recognise it, encourage it, don’t hype it and celebrate it. Just support change and see how far you go!

Beverley Eggleton is marketing manager of workplace technology specialist Cordless Consultants

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Cordless Consultants Cordless Consultants is an independent IT, AV and Smart Building consultancy. All opinions expressed in the Academy's Technology section are not necessarily the view of Cordless.