What are some common obstacles to implementing new technologies?

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Vice President for Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
At the places I've been, the biggest obstacles to adopting new technologies have been the IT staff themselves. IT’s role is to be the interpreter who understands both what the business unit or department wants, and how we can find a technological solution. There wasn't a shortage of interesting ideas happening in the market, and people were always aspiring to do something better or different. But looking back, whether it was cloud or anything else, the biggest obstacle was my own staff, not the college. I could sell the college on the romanticism of cloud and say, “It's great that you think our data centers are secure and compliant. I don't want to let you see behind the curtain, but trust me, these cloud-based providers are doing a much better job of being compliant and auditing.” To the campus, everything was in the cloud anyway, because the servers that they used weren't sitting in their office.

On the other hand, my own staff posed problems that cost me opportunities to strike at the right time, when the price was low enough to make trying worthwhile. We missed opportunities to capitalize on clever ideas that would've helped propel us forward. In higher education, new technologies could have been applied in any department, or even administratively. And when it's our own teams who are problematic, I don't think it's because they're lazy. I think it might be because they have a hard time lifting their heads up above the walls of their box to see what else is out there, and that they can do other things.
CIO in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Change management is a hand-in-hand component of technology. The issue is that there’s a lack of impetus for people to change. Some folks think that if it's not broken, you shouldn’t fix it; they don't want to change for change's sake. Or the culture is such that they've never had to change, so when you introduce change through technology, it's just not something that they're used to. And I’ve found that people resist change both on the IT side and the business side. I just put in Proofpoint and people are saying, "No, I don't want to go in and manage my account and release that email. You should just know that I want to see everything." But I'm not going to do that. Part of the issue is that they have to change the way they are doing things. Just because there was a faulty product in there before doesn't mean that the way they were doing their process was right, and that applies to both sides. 
3 Replies
Vice President for Information Technology in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

When I interviewed at Vassar, they wanted leadership, so I tried to find new directions in order to take the institution where it wanted to go. But they were so resistant. Leadership is a two-sided coin and they didn't really want that, because leadership needs change. They wanted stewardship instead, where someone could come in and maintain exactly what they’d been doing. People say they want new technologies, and that they want to be innovative, but they're not always willing to re-conceptualize what it means to do that. 

Managing Director in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I do a lot of consulting for clients all over and I think the smartphone has changed the paradigm for end users. The line of business units are leading the technology discussions today and they're saying, "I can do this on my smartphone. Why can't I do this for my customers? Why can't I do this with our supply chain?” The technology that we gave to people put a lot in their hands, and it has created an acceptance of technology that probably wasn't there before the smartphone. It continues to create more innovative ideas and leaves the IT department to play catch-up as the gatekeeper of change, instead of the leader. 

VP, Information Technology in Consumer Goods, 10,001+ employees

We have the opposite challenge in my company. We are a technology company in that we design our own chips and products, but the product is geared at people who are 65 years old or older. Our entire sales and marketing teams still make most of our ads on printed paper because that's what the target audience reads. But then the technology team is using AI to develop algorithms in hearing aids that use social media to talk to other hearing aid users. They’re trying to drag the business into 1995, so it's the total polar opposite in that aspect.

We actually looked at restructuring marketing and turning half of the marketing department into IT resources, because when marketing builds a website, it’s not compliant or secure. Then they have to code an ID to fix it. It’s better to just get IT to build it for them, so now we hire marketing people in IT to run marketing.

Senior Director CIO Office in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
CIOs talk about missed technology opportunities, but how often does a CIO stand up and commit themself or their organization to a business outcome that the technology will produce? We can all intuitively see opportunities where technology's going to aid the business. We can't take responsibility for better sales, product quality or customer satisfaction, but you have to partner with somebody in the business and say something like, “If you let them buy this data tool, I'm going to sign up for 20% more sales.”

We don’t often appeal to some performance outcome that the technology is going to enable for the company. Even if we intuitively understand it, we have to go a lot farther than just our intuition to get large organizations to want to embrace new technologies. As technology leaders, we're not without blame. It's not like the business is the one that's always failing to see the path forward.
2 Replies
VP, Information Technology in Consumer Goods, 10,001+ employees

As IT, why wouldn't we be able to redefine our role and say, “We have done the following analytics and it has produced this many leads”?

Senior Director CIO Office in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

Another issue is that half of our peers don't have the business credibility to even have this conversation. The reception they get is, “You're the IT people, why are you talking to me about sales?”

CTO in Healthcare and Biotech, 2 - 10 employees
Educating your customers on your product can be hard if your tech is truly innovative. And ensuring bugs don’t affect early user experience on a shoestring budget.
Director of IT in Services (non-Government), 51 - 200 employees
Company culture and associates resistance:

Employees tend to continue working the ways they are used to, arguing that "it has always worked this way." This situation precludes the possibility of adopting and using new technologies. Also, employees may feel threatened by not having the necessary technical knowledge or having to leave their safety zone to learn emerging technologies. It is understood that not everyone - no matter how hard they try - will have the skills to work with the latest technology.

Lack of support from the leadership team:
The shift towards the adoption of modern technologies needs to have real support from the top management, otherwise it will fail due to the loss of most necessary resources and momentum. According to experience, institutions will be able to bring about a major technical change only if the senior leadership considers this change and transformation a priority, and seeks to deliver this message to the entire institution.

The high cost of adopting modern technologies:

When we talk about the high cost of adopting modern technologies, we are talking about the rise of three main factors in this point:
1- The financial cost required to implement projects of adopting modern technologies, it is usually very high, especially in At the beginning of launching these technologies. This high cost may be an obstacle to adopting these technologies.
2-  Time is the second factor , so study the requirements Studying requirements, standards, procurement procedures, implementing and testing these technologies, transferring data and training employees all take time. Critical time that employees may not easily have with the tasks assigned to them.
3- Experience: Usually, the adoption of modern technologies requires expertise that may not be available in institutions, and obtaining this knowledge and experience may require additional costs that are a burden on institutions.
Chief Information Officer in Manufacturing, 10,001+ employees
Some common obstacles are company culture slow to move forward, stagnant skillsets, mind set on learning innovative ideas when the workforce has been doing something the same way for years and don't see of gain from changing their processes. 
CIO in Finance (non-banking), 11 - 50 employees
1. Avoiding Technology for Technology’s Sake
The wow-thing of cool tools won’t ultimate long, so how will you make sure you’re left with some thing useful? Ask your self questions like, “What hassle(s) does this clear up for my faculty?” And, “Does this have delivered price as compared to a low-tech alternative?”
2. Creating a Vision
Why do colleges with the equal generation enjoy considerably distinctive results? Planning. Who will use the generation? How will they use it? What’s the goal? How will you degree development? Start with a small, targeted implementation in place of seeking to use one device to clear up each hassle for everyone.
3. Money, Money, Money
Be innovative with investment sources. Will the brand new tech gain SPED college students? ELL? Intervention? Can you operate it in your after-faculty software, too? Always test the suggestions for the precise investment source, however it’s frequently feasible to fulfill numerous desires with one implementation.
4. Professional Development
Good expert improvement will offer you with extra than how-tos and button-clicking. Look for PD in order to encourage instructors, percentage great practices, and manual your implementation to achievement. Don’t overlook to offer on-going expert improvement to cope with demanding situations later withinside the implementation.
5. Get Everyone Onboard
Every implementation appears to have a pair naysayers who attempt to convey down the relaxation of the group (and on occasion succeed). Help save you this with the aid of using such as instructors early on withinside the choice and making plans process. Provide an possibility for instructors to explicit worries in a efficient manner, provide character coaching, and set clean expectancies for utilization.
6. Scheduling for Success
Allocating generation assets is without problems one in every of the most important demanding situations of any implementation. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so be innovative. And consider: Will the generation continually be scheduled, or is it additionally to be had for impromptu use? Will college students visit the tech, or will it come to their classrooms? Does each pupil want get entry to, or simply positive groups? Make the maximum of each minute with the aid of using scheduling use earlier than and after faculty.
7. Systems and Procedures
How will gadgets be charged? What takes place if some thing isn’t operating or breaks? Will college students be allowed to print or get entry to different hardware? Organization is prime to achievement, so make certain that each one instructors recognize the floor rules. Label EVERYTHING, submit reminders on tech carts or across the lab, and time table a person to robotically preserve equipment.
8. Unlocking Student Motivation
When the vibrant has worn off, and generation has grow to be the norm for college students, how are you going to maintain them prompted? Will college students acquire a grade for his or her work? Can you sponsor a competition among instructions for the best utilization or maximum growth? Perhaps if college students meet their dreams they could take part in a unique activity. Consider what your college students price maximum, and use it on your advantage. Older college students frequently crave social time, so discover a manner for them to earn breaks. Younger college students is probably prompted with the aid of using competition, Tootsie Pops, or greater recess.
9. Data and Progress Monitoring
Remember the imaginative and prescient you created in your implementation? Don’t overlook to follow-up in your dreams. Regular development tracking is one in every of the most important keys to a a success generation software. Are instructors assembly expectancies? Are college students demonstrating achievement and making development towards their dreams? Is utilization what you expected? Why or why not? Routinely screen software information and speak successes and regions for development together along with your instructors.
10. Happily Ever After: Maintaining the Enthusiasm
Most colleges have new applications and tasks each yr, however don’t lose sight of your present dreams. If you had a a success first yr, plan to extend and enhance in yr two. If you didn’t meet your dreams, what desires to change? Communicate dreams and expectancies to instructors and offer on-going expert improvement to transport past the basics.
Co-Founder and Director in Software, 2 - 10 employees
The biggest obstacle is perceived change and the impact the planned IT changes will have on the existing people and organisational structure. Certainly, the maturity of the technology, the real use case of the transformation, proof that it works in real scenarios, etc., are essential for conveying the benefit. But mastering change management is the key to making the transformation successful.

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