Technology adoption is an ongoing cycle of education, attitude, and abilities. Unfortunately, humans can be creatures of habit. A lot of us like having the habit down to a science. No thinking involved, just on autopilot, able to navigate quickly and efficiently to get the job done.

According to “Diffusion of Innovations” by Everett M. Rogers*, the five stages of adopters include Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. Do you know which one you are?

”Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition,” Aug 2003, Everett M. Rogers.

* "Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition," Aug 2003, Everett M. Rogers.

Understanding technology adoption rates within an enterprise level company can be a crucial time and money saver. When introducing new solutions, it is important to have an understanding of your employees in relation to the what, how, where and if they are using the new solutions.

Unified Communications (UC) has grown into a virtual monster. What Instant Messaging (IM) or collaborative chat solution are your employees using? Are they using multiple forms of communication? They could be on Cisco Jabber, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, Slack, HipChat, or Microsoft Teams, to name a few. Many employees have adapted to using multiple platforms at the same time based upon what works best for their particular role.

How employees are using each communication platform can help you address the various technology adoption issues. Is it a good idea to have one overall mandated solution for your organization? Although Engineers, Support Teams, and Marketing teams function on different levels, they definitely have something in common; they all work as teams within the organization. Meetings are a must and happen virtually for a lot of these teams. How the team is using the various UC solutions can determine the best fit. Cisco WebEx, Cisco Spark, GoToMeeting™, and Skype for Business are a few industry leaders. They have similar functionality with subtle differences in function and user experience. Differences in cost can be a determining factor. For example, Cisco WebEx and Spark are both from the same company. Cisco Spark has whiteboards and so does WebEx, however Spark has a more comprehensive version. It could be more valuable to a marketing team to use Spark for the whiteboards, whereas it might not be as beneficial for a support team. This function does come at a higher cost. Depending on your needs, you may want to incur additional costs with the team where this technology will increase the team’s overall productivity and have a greater Return on Investment (ROI).

Some team members may be using UC solutions in high priority situations. Are they a mobile, stationary, or both? Do they need access to your corporate network with their mobile devices on the go? Do you need to ensure security that specified protocols are met to protect precious data? Can you track what device or modality your users are utilizing for their communication efforts? If you are an institution that needs to follow the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) mandates, then the “where” is extremely important.

Issuing a company standard for a UC solution may or may not be adapted to at the rate needed to be efficient. The what, how, and where combined with the learning curve is what organizations need to understand technology adoption. Tracking Technology adoption rates with a UC Reporting Solution can provide the metrics needed to gain the necessary usage analytics to provide better support for your employees. This will also lead to decreasing your spend on unused and unnecessary license and device purchases.

A company deploying a UC solution without having a plan to gain access to technology adoption analytics is like asking an artist to paint on a canvas without a brush. Don’t be left with a blank canvas.