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Change Management

Technology Diffusion

Serensoft's approach to implementation of any new technology — whether we are talking open source systems like Sakai or OSP, or Administrative / ERP systems — focuses on the Diffusion of the technology to the end users, as well as the technical aspects of implementation. Any solution can have the absolute best features in the world coupled with a flawless technical implementation, but if the technology is not properly or appropriately diffused out into the user community... the best that you can hope for is underutilization. Conversely, proper technology diffusion will help your end-users capitalize on their use of the system.

Change Management

Technology diffusion is essentially an exercise in the application of change management. The best implementation that only focuses on the technical pieces of the process fails to take into account barriers to adoption among end-users.

In order to get the most out of any new system, it is imperative that those undertaking the implementation have an understanding of change management principles. Serensoft's Providence MethodologySM provides an approach to technology diffusion that recognizes and accounts for both intrinsic and extrinsic barriers to technology adoption in a higher education environment.

The three primary Extrinsic barriers to adoption of new technology in higher education are:

  1. Lack of institutional support
  2. Lack of financial support
  3. Lack of time to learn new technologies*

It is the Intrinsic barriers that are much more significant than the extrinsic barriers and require a much more nuanced approach to effectively deal with them. Some of the Intrinsic barriers to new technology adoption include:

  1. Beliefs / preconceptions about teaching, technology, classroom practice
  2. Willingness to change
  3. Fear (of change, of time commitment, of appearing incompetent, of technology lingo, etc.)

Whether you are adopting a learning management system at your institution for the first time, or replacing a legacy ERP system (Jenzabar, Sungard, Campus Management), it is imperative that you look far beyond just the technical details — and that you carefully consider the issues of technology diffusion and change management. Serensoft will help your institution and faculty get the most out of any new technology implementation.

* "Barriers to Adopting Technology for Teaching and Learning" by Darrell L. Butler & Martin Sellbom, Educause Quarterly, Number 2, 2002