By ProServeIT on April 16, 2024

5 Key Steps for Successful Software Adoption

5 Key Steps for Successful Software Adoption


The software adoption process can often pose a complex challenge for many organizations to maneuver. Whether you're aspiring to implement a new CRM system, timesheet tracker, marketing hub, or an alternative solution, you must prepare your company for success prior to the software integration. Regrettably, several organizations overlook the essential pre-launch stage and jump directly to the launch. Consequently, they encounter issues; their user adoption rates are too low, resulting in minimal ROI and significant opposition to the newly implemented software.

At ProServeIT, we’ve seen our customers struggle with software adoption quite a bit. So, we’ve put together the following blog to help you get started off on the right foot. In this blog, we’ll show you the five key steps we recommend for successful software adoption in your organization!In this blog, you will find: 

🛤️ Software Adoption: Following the Right Path

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Understanding User Types for Successful Software Adoption

🖐️ Five Steps for Successful Software Adoption

🌈 Software Adoption: Less Stress, More Success!

❓ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Software Adoption: Following the Right Path

Before we dive into the five key steps, let’s take a look at the path to user adoption. Any software or technology adoption rates you see are going to be varied, depending on your employee’s willingness to learn a new tool and embrace new technology. We’ve seen the following path develop with several of our customers: 

Tech adoption lifecycle Let’s take a closer look at each of the groups on this graph.

💡 Innovators

Innovators are your technology enthusiasts. They’re the ones who are always looking at new technology and how it can benefit them, and they’re eager to dive in to understand how that technology works and how it can improve things in your organization.

📱 Early Adopters

Early adopters are the users who want to try new software. They, like innovators, are going to be a driving force in influencing others in the organization to adopt the new software that you’re trying to implement.

💻 Early Majority

This group often takes a more practical approach to new software – they’re waiting for others to vet it first before jumping in and using it. The early majority is going to need a little bit of encouragement in using this new software. They’re more concerned with “What’s in it for me?”, and will want to know how this new software is going to improve their lives.

🖥️ Late Majority

The late majority users are going to need a big push to adopt new software. Typically, they’ll only adopt the new software when it becomes a major part of your business operations and they won’t be able to complete their day-to-day activities without it.

💾 Laggards

These users will openly balk at changing their habits – they’re often set in their ways and they’re uncomfortable using new tools. They will use the old software as long as possible – they prefer old, familiar technology. You’ll most likely need to force them to switch over to the new software by eliminating that old technology altogether.


The CEO’s Technology Strategy Framework

What is a CEO’s Strategic Technology Roadmap?

Stay up to date with ProServeIT! 📨

Our monthly newsletter has all that as well as insightful information on relevant technology, webinars and workshops. Make sure to sign up now for your dose of tech knowledge delivered straight to your inbox!


Why Understanding These User Types is Important for Your Successful Software Adoption

Understanding different user types is essential for devising an effective software adoption strategy. Each type requires a unique approach to user adoption, which is why this knowledge can be a game-changer in your overall user adoption strategy.

If you know that your organization is made up mostly of late adopters or laggards, you’ll need to rely very heavily on innovators and early adopters to provide the motivation to switch. Innovators and early adopters are like your internal champions – they’ll advocate to their fellow workers about how great the new technology is and how easy it will make their lives.

Alternatively, by building enough momentum with those innovators and early adopters, you’ll be able to influence the early majority also to adopt your new software. Once they’ve bought in, you’ll have a majority within the organization – most of your employees will have adopted the new software. This means you’ll have a solid base for convincing those late adopters and laggards to switch.

A word of advice: if you do find that you have a lot of “Late Majority” or “Laggards” in your organization, there may be a reason they’re so hesitant to adopt this new technology. So, be patient with them, be understanding, and above all, be open to their own experiences. There could be a good reason why they’re hesitant to adopt the new technology you want to implement, and once you find out that reason, you might be able to bring them around to your way of thinking.

Ensuring Maximum ROI on Technology Spend

A major component of any organization's software development journey, end-user education and training is often necessary to ensure that your new solution - whether out-of-the-box or custom-built - can be easily integrated into your end-user's routines. This ensures that you're getting the maximum ROI on your spending. Learn More about Software Development >>


Five Steps for Successful Software Adoption

Of course, you want your software adoption to be successful. After all, you’ve spent time and money on picking this new software that you want to integrate into your organization. So, how do you make your software adoption a success?


An Effective Change Management Process in Four Easy Steps

By following these five steps, you’ll be able to create clear expectations, a shared understanding of why the new software is necessary, and how it’s going to help improve your employees’ lives in the future.

Let’s take a look at them:

1. Ensure Your Support Teams Are Part of the Process

There’s not much use in switching to software if you don’t let your support teams know about it. You may think this is self-explanatory, but at ProServeIT, we’ve seen the aftereffects of implementing new software in your organization without bringing in the appropriate support teams.

If your sales team wants to adopt a new CRM, your IT department needs to be a part of that conversation from the beginning so that they’re aware of what’s happening and can provide their expert advice on the best way of managing access, ensuring that the new software will be compatible with your current IT environment, and more.

2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

We can’t stress this enough: communication is important in any relationship. Nobody, even your innovators and early adopters, appreciates change when it’s sprung on them! Communication, therefore, is the most important step for making your software adoption successful. And we’re not just talking about sending out a few sporadic emails a few days before the new technology is implemented… we’re talking about a solid communications plan that starts a few months before!

Need some help? Here are a few ways you can introduce your intentions:

🍽️📢 Hosting Lunch & Learns or Town Hall Meetings to help your employees understand why the changes are happening and give them a platform to get their questions answered. 

📅📣 Announce the changes that will be taking place at weekly team meetings, starting a few months before implementation. Tell your employees why you’re introducing the new software and how it’s going to make their jobs easier. 

📝📬 Create FAQ sheets or one-pagers and send them to your employees.

Remember – communication works two ways. It’s not enough just to tell your employees that you’re doing this… in order to get real buy-in from your employees, and help them feel like they’re part of the decision-making process! Give them a chance to give you their feedback and tell you what concerns they have regarding the implementation of new software before you switch over.

Also, be sure to carefully consider the language you’re using when introducing the new software to your organization. Using language like “game-changer” or “the new way of doing things”, for instance, could put people on their guard and get defensive. We encourage you to use language that helps them recognize the benefits of this new software. “A new tool that will make your job easier”, or “a new tool that will simplify your process,” for example.


🗺️ Have you seen our Interactive Map of The Modern Technology House for CEOs?

Technology Strategy FrameworkWe designed an interactive map of the Modern Technology House that allows you to explore each of the 7 "rooms" with helpful descriptions, informative videos from our Chief Technology Officer, and additional resources.

After travelling through each room, you'll have a much better understanding of your organization's technology requirements and will be able to make more informed decisions about your technology investments now and in the future!

Ready to explore? Click the button below to get started!

Get Started →

3. Find Internal Champions

Remember how we said that your innovators and early adopters are like your internal champions? Well, they are! So, identify who your innovators and early adopters are and set them up to champion this new software to your other users!

Innovators and early adopters are the ones who will get the most excited about new software being implemented in your organization. Once you’ve set them up as your internal champions, and gotten them “on your side”, so to speak, they’ll be more than happy to not only adopt the new software in their own daily tasks, but their enthusiasm for the new software can be used to encourage even the most reluctant employees to give the new software a try. 

One important point to consider is to ensure that your champions clearly understand why you decided to go with the software you did. By letting your champions know that you evaluated other tools on the market and what ultimately decided you to go with the software you chose, your champions can pass on that information as part of their discussion with other employees in your organization.



4. Hold Training Events

Training events are a good way to train your employees on the new software you’ve chosen to adopt. You can use these events to your advantage in the following ways:

  • It’s a less formal place to showcase and demonstrate the new software, which encourages more dialogue around implementation.
  • Use these events to answer your employees’ most pertinent questions and walk them through the solution they’re looking for.
  • You can reinforce the new software’s benefits by showing the software (not telling users about it), and you demonstrating the practical applications that will make a difference for your users.

Ensure that at least a few of your internal champions are sitting in on each training event so that your employees know who they can go to when they have questions or concerns about the tool.

5. Market Internally

If you really want to ensure that you’re going to be successful with your software adoption, come up with a marketing plan and a promotional strategy for your internal end-users! Just as you’d market a new product or solution to your customers, getting this sort of strategy together for an internal launch can help generate excitement around the new software adoption, and can help those late adopters and laggards get on board with the change without too many complaints.

Posters, product giveaways, and even contests can provide you with a cohesive way to market this new software and help you to build that momentum you need to launch this project.


An Effective Change Management Process in Four Easy Steps

An Executive’s Guide to Increase Productivity: Understanding the Value Behind Implementing the Right Technology

The Benefits of a Technology Roadmap


Software Adoption: Less Stress, More Success!

A new software implementation can be stressful and difficult for your employees. Their routines are changing, new habits need to be formed, and if they’re responsible for the implementation, they’re going to need to work out the kinks as they go along. Remember, it’s hard to understand just how much stress this new change will cause unless you yourself have lived through a less-than-stellar software adoption.

At ProServeIT, we’ve helped several customers with new software adoption needs. We’ve got much experience not only helping you to select the right technology for your business at a time when you need it the most, but we’re also quite adept at explaining the benefits and features of that technology. Get in touch with us today. We’ll be happy to put together a plan to make sure you get the maximum ROI from this new technology and ensure your software adoption is a success!

HIROC's case study

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a software adoption strategy?

A software adoption strategy is a plan that outlines the steps and methodologies an organization follows to successfully implement and integrate new software. This strategy aims to ensure that all users efficiently transition to the new system, maximizing return on investment (ROI) and user satisfaction.

2. How can we improve user adoption of new technology?

Improving user adoption of new technology involves understanding the specific needs and behaviors of your user base and tailoring the implementation process accordingly. This includes comprehensive training, effective communication strategies, and ongoing support to address any challenges that arise.

3. What are some effective technology adoption methods?

Effective technology adoption methods include staged rollouts, user training sessions, creation of internal champions, and feedback mechanisms. These methods help in gradually integrating new technology into daily operations while addressing user concerns and training needs.

4. What are the 5 stages of technology adoption?

The five stages of technology adoption typically include: 1) Awareness, where users first learn about the technology; 2) Interest, where they seek more information; 3) Evaluation, where they assess the technology's benefits; 4) Trial, where they test the technology; and 5) Adoption, where they fully integrate and use the technology in their daily activities.

5. How do you adopt new technology?

Adopting new technology effectively requires a strategic approach that includes assessing organizational needs, selecting appropriate technology solutions, planning implementation meticulously, training users, and continuously supporting and evaluating the technology's impact on organizational processes.

6. What is the difference between adoption and utilization?

Adoption refers to the process of starting to use new software or technology, while utilization describes how effectively the adopted technology is being used to achieve desired outcomes. High utilization is critical for maximizing the benefits of the technology, beyond just having it available.

7. How will you encourage employees to adopt a new system?

Encouraging employees to adopt a new system involves strategic communication, hands-on training, and continuous support. Additionally, identifying and leveraging internal champions who can advocate for the new system helps to motivate and reassure other employees about the transition.

8. Why is it important to distinguish between user adoption strategy and software adoption strategy?

A user adoption strategy focuses specifically on the end-users acceptance and efficient use of the new software, while a software adoption strategy encompasses the broader process, including the selection, implementation, and integration of the software into the company’s workflow. Both are crucial for the successful deployment of new technologies.

9. What are the 5 Key Steps for Successful Software Adoption?

The five key steps for successful software adoption include: 1) Ensuring your support teams are involved early in the process to manage technical aspects; 2) Developing a comprehensive communication plan to keep stakeholders engaged; 3) Identifying and empowering internal champions who can advocate for the new software; 4) Conducting training events to educate employees on the software's benefits and uses; and 5) Implementing an internal marketing strategy to generate excitement and support for the adoption. These steps are critical for achieving both adoption and effective utilization of the new software within your organization.

Published by ProServeIT April 16, 2024