Technology

A Guide to Software Adoption & the Steps You Need to Take to Do It Right

Software adoption is the process of using or integrating new software into an organization. Here's how to implement software adoption successfully — so that everyone in your company wins.

Introduction

Many businesses struggle with the steps involved in adopting new software. Whether you're introducing a customer relationship management system, a time and expense tracking tool, a central marketing center, or anything else, you need to make sure your business is ready for the change.

After all, the point of adopting new software is to modify people's routines. As humans, we tend to be creatures of habit and resistant to change. The process of implementing new software can be frustrating and time-consuming if an adoption strategy isn't developed beforehand.

Unfortunately, many companies neglect the pre-launch phase in favor of the actual launch. This causes problems since the new software is viewed with suspicion and low returns on investment due to low user adoption rates.

But you can move the software adoption curve in your favor. When implemented properly, software adoption can turn people from being resistant to change to actively welcoming and( dare we say) even loving it!

What is software adoption?

The term "software adoption" refers to the process of replacing an outdated system or piece of software with one that better suits your current needs.  The necessity to upgrade to more modern, flexible, and well-suited software is often what prompts a company to undergo such a conversion.

A business may decide to upgrade its software for a variety of reasons. Businesses are embracing digital transformation in certain circumstances because it helps boost efficiency, productivity, and bottom-line results. In other circumstances, new software can be required to maintain compliance with industry rules.

When deciding whether or not to implement a new piece of software, there are a variety of factors to think about. Businesses need to determine if the new program is suitable for their purposes and if it is compatible with their current infrastructure. They need to consider the new software's price tag, upfront and in the long run. The cost of training staff on how to use the new software can also add up quickly. In the end, businesses require a strategy for incorporating the new software into their processes.

Having a solid onboarding procedure and sticking to change management best practices while launching new software is crucial. Software adoption relies heavily on the speed with which value can be delivered to end users, making user onboarding a crucial step. Adopting new software requires a change management process, including preparation, rollout, and tracking of all modifications. The purpose of change management is to lessen the degree of disturbance and gain buy-in from all parties affected by the transition.

Organizations may reap substantial benefits from adopting new software, but doing so can be a challenging and expensive process. By simplifying operations and enhancing productivity, new software may reduce waste and save costs for a business. When implemented properly, adopting new software may be a game-changer for a company, propelling it to previously unimaginable heights of success.

The problem with software adoption in organizations

Many businesses are adopting new and better software in an effort to boost efficiency and production, but many of these organizations struggle with the transition to the new system. This problem emerges because many people either do not understand or do not know how to implement the technical needs of the new program, which prevents them from successfully adopting it.

Both internal corporate politics and employee aversion to change are major factors in why so few businesses struggle with technology adoption. Some workers choose to stick with the familiar environment and avoid learning new applications. In addition, there might be resistance to the adoption of new software if existing procedures aren't adapted to fit its operation. In order to prevent staff from hitting snags, it may be required to revise existing procedures and workflows.

The absence of backing from upper management is another factor in digital transformation and software adoption failures. Usually, this is because no one has a good mental picture of how the program would enhance daily operations. Another issue is that the people launching the new software might not have a well-thought-out strategy for employing it. Perhaps they will try to execute it before they have fully thought through their goals. Frustration and, ultimately, project abandonment are common outcomes.

As a final point, some businesses lack the know-how and personnel to adapt to new technologies effectively. They might not have the necessary people to ensure the technology is used properly and successfully. Because of this, the company may lose valuable time and resources while employees struggle to master the new technology.

Five steps for successful software adoption

By following these five software adoption stages, you can ensure that everyone involved has realistic expectations, agrees on the importance of the new software, and can see how it will make their life easier in the future.

Let’s take a look at them:

1. Don't forget to include your support teams in the process

Notifying your support team of the new software's release is essential. Let's say your sales staff is interested in switching to a new CRM. It's crucial to incorporate your IT department from the beginning of the planning process to ensure that the new software will be compatible with your existing IT infrastructure and that access will be handled appropriately, among other things.

2. Communication is key

It's impossible to overstate the significance of open lines of communication in maintaining healthy relationships. Even your most forward-thinking and adaptable members of society will resist sudden, unexpected change. Successful software adoption relies heavily on effective communication. A thorough communications plan should begin a few months before the new technology is introduced, not simply a few random emails before its introduction.

It's possible to communicate your intentions in a few different ways:

  • Holding lunch-and-learn sessions or town hall meetings where employees can voice concerns and gain clarity on the changes being implemented is a great way to engage your staff and show you care about their well-being.
  • Changes should be communicated to employees at regular team meetings beginning many months before they are to take effect. Explain to your staff why this new program is being implemented and how it will improve their work lives.
  • Put together some frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheets or one-pagers and distribute them to your staff.
  • Keep in mind that dialogue is a two-way street. Simply informing workers of your intentions is insufficient. Giving workers a voice in decision-making is an effective way to get their full support. Before making the transfer, offer them an opportunity to provide input and voice any concerns they may have about the new program.
  • When introducing the new software to your company, think about the words you use. Certain phrases, such as "game-changer" or "the new way of doing things," might cause people to become defensive and on guard. You should use wording that highlights the positive aspects of the new program to them. Such phrases like "A new tool adoption that will ease your process" or "A new tool that will make your job easier" are examples of facilitating language.

3. Identify influencers within the company

Find the company's pioneers and early adopters and empower them to spread the word about the new software.

The most enthusiastic users of the new software in your company will be the pioneers and trendsetters. Once they are established as internal champions, they will be eager to use the new software in their daily activities, and their excitement for the new software may be leveraged to urge even the most hesitant employees to try the new software.

It's crucial to ensure your advocates fully grasp the reasoning for your software selection. If you advise their advocates that you researched and considered different options before settling on the program you've implemented, they'll be more equipped to talk about it with other employees.

4. Organize training sessions

Technology training for employees is a great approach to teach them how to use the new software you've decided to use. Here are some methods to make the most of your training program:

  • The new software may be shown in an informal setting, sparking additional discussion about how to put it into practice.
  • Take advantage of these gatherings to address your staff's most pressing concerns and provide them with a step-by-step guide to implementing the desired changes.
  • Showing (as opposed to telling) customers about the new software's features and benefits is an effective way to drive home the positive changes it will bring about in their daily lives.
  • If you want your employees to feel comfortable approaching specific people inside the company with questions or concerns regarding the tool, make sure at least a few internal advocates attend each training session.

5. Market on the home front

Create a marketing plan and a promotional strategy for internal end-users if you want to guarantee the success of your product adoption. Similar to how you could promote a new product or service to paying consumers, an internal launch plan can help get people excited about the new software and reduce resistance from naysayers and slow adopters.

Building up interest in your new software may be accomplished through a concerted marketing effort that might take the form of posters, freebies, and even contests.

6. Use Scribe to create training guides for easy software adoption

Making and sharing training manuals or guides is a breeze with Scribe. All you need is Chrome, Edge, or a desktop to use Scribe. Never make another exhaustive doc again. Let Scribe do the work for you.

With the push of a button, you can transform any process into a step-by-step guide. Scribe captures your screen while you work to create written instructions, plus annotated screenshots.

Combine Scribes with video, images and more to create beautiful, visual process docs with Scribe Pages.

One of Scribe's biggest features is how flexible it is when it comes to creating software documentation. For software users, extra information, such as why a certain step is being performed, can be included in the instructions (along with GIFs)!

It's easy to share a Scribe. In a matter of seconds, you may paste it into an HTML document or a markdown-formatted knowledge base. Select your favorite mode of communication, and get the word out.

The training manuals software can serve as essential guides for your employees on how to adapt to new software. In all honesty, there isn't an easier method to spread the information within your company. 

Metrics for analyzing the spread of software adoption

Several key performance indicators exist for gauging the success of software implementation. Take a look at some of the most crucial software adoption metrics:

  • How many employees are using the software.
  • The duration of time spent using the program.
  • The number of jobs finished with the program.
  • The number of software mistakes made.
  • How many features are included in the program.
  • The degree to which software users are satisfied.

You may learn how successfully your staff is adjusting to and benefiting from the software by analyzing these key performance indicators. There may be inefficient usage of the program if any of these key performance indicators begin to decline.

Software adoption: less stress, more success!

The introduction of new software can be a trying time for your staff. They will need to adjust to new routines and establish new habits, and if they are responsible for the rollout, they will have to iron out the problems as they go. Keep in mind until you have experienced a less-than-stellar software adoption, you will have a hard time imagining the level of stress this new shift will generate.

Make the software adoption curve work for you. Scribe facilitates context-aware onboarding and individualized corporate software training, increasing software return on investment.

Scribe’s innovative approach to providing relevant, always-available support that is customized from all sources within your organization means that it can be used by anybody, no matter where they are located.

Try Scribe for yourself and see how quickly you can produce software documentation for your company using its features.