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Focus on the Middle when Introducing New Tech

The technology adoption cycle diagram is just a graph with a line that goes into a bell curve in the middle. But it can speak volumes about where the CIO should concentrate their product technology efforts. In an article for VentureBeat by Justin Beck, one forerunning CIO puts the benefits of that pragmatic tool into perspective.

Groups that Will Never be Happy

The 10% of “techies and visionaries” that lie at the beginning of the curve are impossible to placate. There will be both advocates and detractors in this group but one thing they will never do is accept a standard system. Just focus on the advocates and move on to more welcoming pastures.

Similarly, pay no attention to the other 10% called laggards who will never fully adopt a new technology no matter how hard the CIO beats them over the head with it (just a note, AITS does not advise the head beating of any business clients, potential or otherwise). Again, our unnamed CIO recommends moving on to greener pastures.

Groups that You Should Care About

She warns that the most vocal users, the aforementioned techies and visionaries, can disproportionally influence the kinds of technologies the CIO might attempt to introduce:

…the most vocal group (particularly in a larger business) is usually comprised of the techies and visionaries who will push for more complex systems to meet their visionary applications that appeal to the narrowest of actual usage.

The key is to fire at the 80% in the middle, plain old users who don’t necessarily want anything special. They just want stuff that works, that improves their everyday work environment. It’s not about revolutions. It’s about evolutions. For an example of how this knowledge helped Beck specifically at his company, you can read the original article:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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