Employee experiences with enterprise software have a huge impact on user adoption, according to Gartner

Sixty percent of users say they are frustrated with new software at work, and their word of mouth can have a huge influence, according to Gartner. Here’s how IT can make it work in their favor.

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A survey of professionals who use technology products and services in their daily work reveals that 60% say they have been frustrated with business software in the past 24 months. According to the report, these same users can trigger a chain reaction of word of mouth that influences software adoption across an enterprise.

The Gartner survey of non-technical professionals found that it’s common for users to share their opinions about software with those around them. Forty-two percent said they complained to their peers after a negative review, and the same percentage also reported the experience to IT.

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Positive sentiments are still shared, but not as frequently: 38% said they recommended apps to their peers after a good experience. Additionally, 10% said they share their opinions in the form of software reviews on social media or other websites, and 25% said they share their experiences with their managers.

In addition to having an increased influence on purchase and adoption rates, the study also found that 24% of users said their IT teams let them choose most of the software they use, which Gartner research vice president Craig Roth describes it as “the democratization and consumerization of IT,” which has “enabled employees greater discretion over the software they use and the how they use them,” Roth said.

Far from being a problem, Roth said, this study can serve as a barometer to gauge how users react to new software. “IT needs to understand that users can and will resist using software that annoys them. But they can also be your best defenders if treated well,” Roth said.

How to create users who advocate for new software

It can be difficult for IT to respond to the idea that if users don’t like a product, they will avoid using it, which the study found was the case for 81% of people. Forty percent of respondents said they resisted using an app after a negative experience and, when forced to engage, used it minimally. The remaining 41% said they spent more time exploring new app features after a positive experience.

Nurturing this latter type of experience is what IT teams need to do, Roth said, and companies that do it well can create a culture of engaged users who are responsive to new software and changes to their daily work.

To avoid this, Roth said IT teams should start by looking at previous successful software deployments, determining what went well, and how to remove attitudes, policies and technologies that can help replicate those results. .

It’s also important to engage with all of the different types of users in a business and respond accordingly, Roth said. “Users who like to engage with new technologies and who are early adopters – what we call pilots – should be recruited as champions and train the trainers,” recommends Roth.

On the other side of the user spectrum, there are those who view new technology as a “time-wasting disruptive influence,” Roth said. These users “need to be contained by staying aware of their concerns and at least letting them know they can be heard.”

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A third type of users, what Roth called “acceptors”, are a small group (unfortunately) who accept new technologies and use them without too many complaints. These types of people are rare, and their numbers will only decrease as user attitudes begin to have more and more influence on software purchases. IT must be prepared that even this small percentage [of acceptors] is probably directed to the future,” Roth said.

In other words, be prepared to work with early adopters and stubborns to shape a better future for future software deployments.