Innovating and adopting emerging technology is practically mandatory for any company, regardless of its segment of activity, due to systems and technology now supporting the business, and the way companies sell their products or provide services to their customers.
Everybody talks about emerging technologies and the importance of companies adopting such technologies that are super innovative and have great potential to transform the way we work. However, because they are still recent and have not been widely explored or tested, they generate insecurity and challenges at the time of adoption.
To adopt innovative technologies, it is necessary to understand the challenges brought with it and look for ways to facilitate massive adoption. After all, there is no point in just having one silo or department interested in adopting emerging technologies, if the rest of the organization does not understand the benefits of this change.
But what are the real factors that blocker emerging tech adoption within companies?
1. Company culture and associates resistance: People tend to continue working in traditional ways, under the pretext that “it always worked like this.” This attitude precludes the possibility of innovating and using new technologies. Associates may feel threatened by not having the necessary technical knowledge or having to leave their comfort zone to learn emerging technologies. And we know that not everyone, no matter how hard they try, will have the necessary skills to work with the latest technologies.
2. Lack of support from the leadership team: An emerging tech project needs to receive real support from upper-level Management, otherwise it will fail due to loss of traction. The organization will only engage in a major technology change if the upper layers consider this a priority and cascade this message to the entire organization.
3. Lack of transparency or very complex projects: In a project to adopt new technologies, the purpose must be clear to everyone, as well as the challenges and benefits for everyone to support the initiative and take risks together. It should start with specific teams, such as areas of Innovation or Research & Development of the company, which are usually more attuned to new technologies and are known as Earlier Adopters. After conquering the Earlier Adopters, focus on expanding the use to the large mass of employees who will need a slower and more detailed adoption plan, known as Massive Adoption.
4. Lack of Governance and Results Communication: A well-structured plan for how the new technology is implemented in the company, with defined phases and fast deliveries, is essential to transmit confidence to employees and gain supporters internally. Even small results must be communicated constantly.
5. Lack of collaboration between teams: Implementing an innovative project in companies that do not have collaboration as a value is difficult. Therefore, the first step is to work on internal collaboration culture so teams that use new and legacy technologies can act together, without the feeling of competition or threats. After all, the knowledge of the people who work with legacy tech is as fundamental as the new technology that will be implemented.
6. Lack of processes and procedures: It is not enough to innovate in technology and leave aside processes and people. Without a clear objective definition, procedures, and tasks, emerging tech adoption may fail. In this regard, defining a leader is essential to mediate the debates and drive the procedural and operational changes linked to technological adoption.
7. Imposition or inadequate adoption speed: The massive adoption of new technologies takes time and is not easy. Anyone who thinks that leaving a traditional IT infrastructure and going to the Cloud is simple work is mistaken. Many organizations decide to "turn the key" by imposing that all employees learn and manage new technologies overnight, resulting in conflicts, negative impact on the business, and failing in the digital transformation journey. It is essential that emerging technology projects are well communicated and executed gradually in order to ensure people’s inclusion rather than resistance. It is worth remembering that the company will need to invest in training for associates so they can manage the new technology in the long term and keep innovating.
8. Misalignment between “acquiring technology” versus “technology adoption”: This is the common mistake for many organizations. When a company decides to make a high investment to acquire software, solutions, and emerging technologies, this is thought to be the most important part. In fact, the most important thing will be the adoption of this technology.
Adoption occurs when the entire organization incorporates new technology into its day-to-day life and sees value in using it, understanding that it is essential to keep the business running and can trust its mission-critical workloads to that technology.
To track if your adoption plan is working, it's important to consider a few factors, such as customer satisfaction, software, and services utilization, engagement of the teams involved in the project and acceptance of the associates. It’s also needed to check the business and people aspects, including the level of skills that are being developed to deal with the new technologies, as well as the perception of value and benefits brought to the business, especially in the “less innovative” layers of the company. These metrics tell us how Massive Adoption is doing.
That's why more and more at Red Hat we talk about journey-based engagements which tries to consolidate technology, innovation, open source, people, and processes in a massive adoption plan where the company gradually transforms digitally.
Each journey is composed of a series of increments that will help customers evolve and mature their processes and technologies, engaging people to think innovatively and collaboratively from Pilot to Massive Adoption.
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