When you discover an exciting new internal technology and know it would suit your company’s needs, is everyone on board from the beginning, or does the approval process require some finesse? For most companies, ensuring internal buy-in for proposed technology is not as simple as one would hope.
While the value may be clear to one department or another, appealing to higher-level management requires setting the groundwork first. Here’s how to get internal buy-in when adding new tech tools to your organization’s arsenal.
Highlight the Importance of When to Buy New Technology
Whether your target is an employee communication platform, online customer portal, or a software overhaul that has been years in the making, pointing out the benefits of adapting to modern technology is a good place to start, along with when to buy new technology.
Thriving in a Digital Age
According to Forbes, a study of over 2,000 companies noted that digital technology supports over half of their business processes. From online retailers to app-based service companies, consumer demand drives the need for technology adaptations.
But innovations in technology haven’t stopped at customer-facing solutions. Most companies are comfortable digitalizing because they use automated processes, computers, and more secure information storage. Still, companies are often hesitant to consider digital solutions outside what they know and use daily.
To get internal buy-in, highlighting your organization’s position as a modern and forward-thinking industry leader should earn support from people who are more comfortable with current systems. Change might not come easily, but when productivity, and therefore future profits, rely on it, it’s easier to get everyone on board.
When it comes to showing your team (or upper management) why new company-wide technology is vital to your organization, addressing its intrinsic value is essential. Giving specific examples of benefits to your organization, as well as focusing on industry-wide indicators of progress, will help turn naysayers into optimists.
Profitability as the Bottom Line
If your goal is to implement a new employee communication platform, upper management may not see the need. For those unfamiliar with the day-to-day games of email tag and multiple methods of exchanging information, the investment doesn’t predict a huge return.
However, those who manage frontline employees recognize that efficiency and clarity are essential to day-to-day operations. That means that their potential for increased productivity via a more straightforward and user-friendly communication platform translates into higher profits for the whole organization.
Connecting different perspectives with baseline measurements like productivity and profitability keep everyone on the same page when it comes down to making a decision.
Six Degrees of Innovation
A study from Cambridge Judge Business School interviewed the senior executives of international companies across a range of industries and found six patterns that indicate successful technology transformation.
The Six Degrees of Innovation define the value of technology based on market demand and include:
- Custom products and services that meet consumers’ unique needs
- Sustainable practices such as recycling and reducing energy costs
- Utilizing peer-to-peer sharing to lower costs
- Only paying for necessary and timely services
- Monitoring supply chains effectively
- Tracking data to adapt to customer needs
According to Cambridge Judge’s evaluation process, a technology that fulfills any one of these “degree” items is a mark of innovation and forward movement. For example, monitoring the supply chain of an organization via consistent updates through internal communication is a step toward accuracy in inventory. That’s a tangible benefit in any business and a perk that technology helps achieve.
Don’t Stop Working
Once you have secured support for the digital innovations you’ve been preparing for, you might think it’s time to rest. However, earning company-wide approval for technology solutions is only the first step.
Allow for an Adjustment Period
Transitioning to unfamiliar methods and digital platforms isn’t always easy, particularly if your team has been using alternative technologies for a long time. If at all possible, aim for a slow introduction of programs or processes so employees have time to adjust.
Tracking results is one way to maintain support for a new program or solution rollout. Reminding team members they made the right decision through concrete figures and examples may not stop criticisms from coming in, but they will surely help justify the switch.
To frontline employees, along with supervisors and lower-level managers, the roll-out of new programs or processes can feel frustrating. The people who use these digital solutions will not only be the first to criticize them, but also the first to praise what works. Use this to your advantage, and make sure that team members acknowledge what new technology allows them versus how previous means limited them.
Once employees adapt to unfamiliar technology, don’t let them stagnate! Solicit feedback, generate interest in features and updates, and encourage team growth along with digital growth. Making sure that all team members have appropriate training helps avoid technology fatigue, and a slow rollout can help alleviate stresses before significant transitions.