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Why Wait? Technology Early Adopters vs. Late Majority

Apr 11, 2017

Are you a technology savvy firm? Do you feel compelled to rush and pre-order  technology advancements following their release into the market? If you answer this question in the affirmative, then you are indeed an early adopter. An early adopter is an individual or enterprise that aims at having first access to new technology immediately when it enters the market. Let’s analyze the reasons behind early adoption and the criticisms that follow this.

technology early adopters

Reasons for Early Technology Adoption

What is the main reason for the adoption of new technology by an enterprise? Well, the technology advancements must promote ease of use. The easier the new technology is to apply and use in an enterprise the faster its adoption is. With this said, the following are reasons behind the early adoption of technology in companies.

1. Reduced adoption downtime

Most companies are reluctant to adopt new technological advancements due to the loss of time that follows this. New technology requires fresh training of staff members, updating of systems, among other time-consuming processes. For large companies with hundreds of employees, this is a loss brought by technology. However, if technology advancement is easy to use companies will not refrain from accessing them. Ease of use reduces the training time and increases the efficiency and productivity rate immediately.

2. Meeting the needs of the young employees

The business arena is flooded with young, innovative and talented minds. Due to the competitive nature of this workforce, companies keep finding new ways to pawn talented and productive employees from rival companies. They do so by offering attractive benefits. One of these benefits is the implementation of new and advanced technology. Technology advancements appeal to the younger generation thus; most companies sustain their younger talent by implementing new easy to use technology.

3. Promoting potential in the work area

In the past, technology applied a one-size-fits-all approach to the engineering of new products. This brought about disparities in the work area, as the workers did not feel a sense of individuality in the technology. Most employees feel a sense of moral boost when a new technology improvement is available to their unique requisites. This creates a customization component. An enterprise may settle on a customizable technological advancement because they are aiming at boosting the productivity and efficiency levels in the workplace.

4. Solution to satisfy an immediate need

If a new and available product aims or promises to solve the immediate needs of an enterprise, then the early adopter will surely jump at the opportunity. Jumping at this type of opportunity is not exclusive to all business that lean towards early adoption. For an enterprise to be able to justify its immediate needs the business case needs to out weigh the impact of the upfront cost.

expect delays (expressway sign)

Why do some firms take longer to adopt?

Some firms opt to wait out or stick to their current technology . They may see a new technology solutions and have the means to acquire them; however, they never become the first adopters of a technology. Below are some reasons behind this late majority behavior.

1. Budget constraints

When a new technological advancement has market exposure, it is at its maximum price. This price will never be higher than this. Some companies prefer to wait out the drop in pricing. If a company is working within a budget, it is not easy to take on the implementation of technology, no matter how beneficial it may be. Thus, companies prefer to wait for prices to reduce and be within their budgetary parameters.

2. Quality and goal of production

Certain technology advancements might be beneficial to one company but may not be to another. Companies have goals and set production quality limits. They also have a constant consumer base that is in need of satisfaction and supply. If the advancement proposed is not sufficient enough to meet their needs or jeopardizes quality; then companies will stick to the technology versions at their disposal as they await a better option.

3. Getting the staff on board

Big companies and firms do not find adoption of technology to be an immediate necessity. This is because they have hundreds of staff at their disposal. Technology adoption requires training of staff among other requirement. Getting all the staff on board in terms of technology use and application is not easy. Some are not technology savvy thus; it may take more time to help them learn the right ways to maneuver around the new solution. Time is money, and this eats into the production and efficiency of the company. Thus, some firms do not see the need of upgrading their technology units as long as the ones at their disposal are still supported.

4. Risk of incompatible systems

Being an early adopter is risky. Before any implementation or adaptation of a system, planning and strategizing of required steps is necessary to ensure there is a backup plan if the adaptation fails. Business is risky by nature, and some firms do not see the need of feeding into this nature.  They prefer planning and analyzing their options before embarking on big plans for adopting the new business technology.

5. Birth of new business units

Being on par with the current technology is not as easy as it sounds. With the adoption of new technology comes the need to train and eventually create new business units to deal with the change in technology. Allocating new tasks to employees slows down the internal efficiency of the workplace. Thus, creating new business units to cater to the change is the best way to maintain and eventually speed up the productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Creation of new business units needs planning and budgeting, which is not in line with accommodating the early adoption of technology advancements.

From the above, it is evident that adoption of technology is not an easy task. It requires effort, time and finances, to be an early adopter of technology. It is also evident that some firms have the means to be early adopters; nevertheless, they opt to look at other surrounding issues before making a calculated decision. So, do you prefer being the late majority or early adopter? The ball is in your court.

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