Why Tech Implementations Fail and What We Do to Ensure Success

To thrive in a highly competitive landscape, companies must stay relevant, efficient, and agile.

To thrive in a highly competitive landscape, companies must stay relevant, efficient, and agile. To do this, businesses often lean on technology solutions. What happens, though, when those solutions fail? Approximately 60% of digital projects fail as do a whopping 75% of Corporate Change initiatives. Indeed, many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), can’t afford tech failures, waste of precious resources or budgets. Technology initiatives often have problems with scope, time, or budget creep, but they can also fail entirely due to a lack of digital strategy, digital fluency, and user adoption. In addition, a direct correlation exists among digital adoption, employee NPS and customer satisfaction; all of these combined can make a big impact on your bottom line.

This article will show you how to avoid some of the pitfalls of technology adoption and how Zenefits, an hr solution for small business, addresses these challenges.

Understanding Three Types of Technology Adoptions Failures 

While new technology can bring challenges, especially initially, the idea is for it to improve systems it was designed to address. Failure in digital adoption is costly to a company: it can mean monetary waste, opportunity cost, lost time, and degradation of trust by end users. Although there are many reasons digital/technological installations can fail, we’ll be reviewing three critical ones: lack of overall digital strategy, lack of digital fluency, and failure to adopt.

Lack of overall digital strategy

Failing to achieve the “Internet of things” — the notion that devices and data propel efficiencies — and cobbling together disparate non-communicative systems are among the ways technological installations can fail. Companies that lack an overall strategy tend to install divergent solutions across different verticals. For example, let’s say a company’s Customer Experience organization needs a better way to track its customer inquiries. They install a workflow management solution that helps with operations but don’t take into account how information flows across other systems, in particular the symbiosis with the company’s CRM system. Having, or not having, contiguous information flow can make a major impact on day-to-day business operations. Thus, when considering technology solutions, consider how seamlessly platforms integrate as part of your overall strategy.

Lack of digital fluency

The second reason tech solutions fail is a lack of digital fluency, competencies that are easier said than done.

“Lack of digital fluency, the aptitude needed to utilize digital technology to its full potential, is also an issue. Without digital fluency, organizations are unable to realize the full impact of innovative technologies.” (Accenture, Digital Adoption Report).

As Zenefits’ HR Director, Danny Speros, stated, “We can call them Luddites, but putting large groups of people under a common banner ignores the different challenges in how to successfully address their concerns.” (SHRM, How to Introduce New-School HR Tech to an Old-School Team).

Digital fluency begins with buy-in from your users and listening to your users’ experiences. If you don’t understand users pain points and how the new technology will solve their problems, it might create new unanticipated problems.

To increase digital fluency, Zenefits offers a range of support, including customer success management, online community, complete documentation, how-to videos and even in-product learning modules.

Failure to embrace a solution

Adoption is important when discussing new technology solutions, but what factors help along the process?  Users of any technology must embrace the technological resource, but to do this, and integrate the solution into their work life, they need to understand how it works, why it works and what it solves. If you don’t achieve adoption, users will push against the new solution in favor of the legacy system. Zenefits meets this challenge by offering employee end-users extensive online learning packages at every stage of their adoption journey. More than 50,000 users have used training.zenefits.com to date.

One Zenefits customer shared with us a story about a new workflow management solution he’d spent months installing. He said the project failed entirely because he couldn’t convince his employees to use the new system; in fact, they were spending hours and hours a day trying to “prove why the new system wouldn’t work.” He had spent many months and thousands of dollars trying to improve his teams’ experiences only to be met with disengagement and degradation of trust.

Zenefits to the rescue: our three-step process

At Zenefits, we understand that implementing and adopting new software can feel overwhelming. That’s why we embrace a tailored, phased approach to customer onboarding. We customize our onboarding experience to the packages and products purchased and coach our administrators through the critical milestones of adopting new software.

After purchasing a Zenefits package, qualified customers are assigned a Customer Success Manager, who is dedicated to support customers throughout the year. The Customer Success Manager oversees onboarding milestones and connects with stakeholders on progress throughout the year. They learn about customers’ business and goals as well as their unique needs. This engagement ensures their Zenefits experience is tailored and optimized to deliver on those goals. Our customers follow a simple three-step implementation process:

  1. Data collection and configuration
  2. Enablement and training
  3. Backup coaching and support

Zenefits doesn’t stop there. Managing change over time is ongoing as companies grow, adjust, and refine objectives. When existing customers change Zenefits products or when a new company administrator joins, we kick-off another enablement/coaching cycle. Zenefits structures coaching as deep exploratory conversations that help our customers learn all the ins & outs of their Zenefits products. This way, our customers have a strategy and become fluent in the technology, which goes a long way in ensuring successful adoption of the new system. In addition, customers truly get the ROI from their purchase as they stay on the path to success.

At Zenefits, we’re committed to ensuring technology adoption and ROI through relentless attention to understanding specific challenges of every business we serve at each unique phase of their growth.