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Innovate or Die

Improving Technology Adoption & ROI through Online Training

“Technology Adoption” can be a scary phrase to an IT professional. You can roll out some fabulous new application that totally simplifies a complex business process, get every bit of the configuration correct, transition all the legacy data – and if the users don’t understand how to use it, well… you can consider it a failure, since won’t be adopted.

The migration to a platform as immense as Office 365, for example, which includes as many as 14 different applications that replace just about anything used on-premises, can be daunting for users. Corporate IT organizations usually roll out different workloads in phases, which helps, but there are certain cloud complexities for even the most widely-known applications. Take Microsoft Word Online vs the desktop version, for instance. These two applications don’t completely align. Add on top of that all the new applications in Office 365 that users aren’t even remotely familiar with, and you’ll find most users are simply going to shy away from new functionality and continue using inefficient methods to share information and accomplish tasks.

In the end, technology adoption is about two things:

  1. Productivity – There’s a reason the organization has chosen a new application or platform for the company. The belief is that users will be more efficient, effective, and productive. Faster access to data, quicker and better decision-making, anytime/ anywhere/ any device-access to the communication tools they need – it all adds up to more productivity.
  2. Happiness – Newer should mean easier for the user. Each task they perform should be simpler and faster to accomplish, making the actual completion of an activity more enjoyable.

So, how can you ensure adoption when you’re putting something in place that is partially or completely foreign to the user?

The answer lies in education and learning for the user with online training videos. And, not just any training; good, task-based training – the kind that empowers the user to quickly find out “how to” perform a specific activity and then take immediate action from what they’ve just learned.

To achieve technology adoption, I see a few necessary online training factors you’ll need to consider as you leverage training content to enhance the adoption of a given new application or platform:

  • Is Should Be Relevant – Don’t make someone sit through a presentation on, say, Microsoft Teams, unless they are going to be using Teams in their department to collaborate. Then divide the training material and/or videos into segments that are relevant to specific tasks users will need to learn. Keep them short and focused (1 to 3 minutes in length).
  • It Should Be Easy to Access – By placing the training content within the applications they will be using it drives much faster access to the information they need to complete a task. If you have a large online library of training content and videos, be sure to have it full-text indexed so that users can quickly find what they need.
  • It Should Be Applicable – By applicable, I mean, make the training focused on a specific job activity so the user can immediately apply what has been taught to their work at hand. Using Microsoft Teams based Chat is something the user can begin to do the moment they watch the short how-to video covering that topic.

The key to technology adoption is getting the users to feel comfortable using your new application or platform. By leveraging online training that keys in on the need to be relevant, easy to access, and immediately applicable, you’ll find that your users will more naturally take ownership of their use of new applications, quickly build confidence in the new platform, and ultimately drive toward usage adoption.

This type of online training is also known as “Just-in-Time Learning” or JITL.  You can find references to this in many online blogs and comparison reviews for the best new training methods available today.

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