Avoid the Perils of Adopting New Technologies: 5 Questions to Ask

Change is scary for most people, and in our experience, they can be especially anxious about implementing a new technology solution. Even if the new solution will ultimately make their jobs easier, staff members may be reluctant to learn something new.

Eventually, most people are able to overcome their fears and get on board with the new solution. However, as with any new venture, there is the potential for making an already sensitive situation worse if you don’t take precautions to avoid some common pitfalls organizations encounter when adopting new technologies.

Recently, Subramanian Gopalaratnam, chief innovation officer for Xchanging, shared his thoughts with Information Age about how organizations can avoid pitfalls when implementing new technology. For him, this means asking some key questions about what the implementation of the proposed technology will accomplish:

  1. Does it add value for the customer?
  2. Does it reduce operating costs?
  3. Is it relevant?
  4. Will it help us excel in our core competencies?
  5. Will it reduce the cost, improve the quality or provide a set of functions and features that did not exist before?

These seemingly simple questions might serve as a kind of checklist when your association is evaluating whether to implement new technology. We offer similar advice in our Guide to a Successful AMS Selection Process. Here is one of the key questions we recommend asking: What are you doing today that could be managed more efficiently tomorrow with an improved technology solution?

In general you only want to introduce new technologies into your organization that will add value. I agree with Gopalaratnam’s assertion that “the ‘so what?’ test is very important.” Applying it will save you from the perilous process of attempting to adopt technology that you don’t need and/or that staff won’t use.