HR Technology: The Adoption Cycle… and Beyond!

Key Takeaways - HR Technology: The Adoption Cycle… and Beyond! (in partnership with Anchorstone)

2020 was the year of technology adoption, with organisations having to digitalise many of their operations to be able to work remotely. Or was it simply the year of technology implementation, where adoption was taken for granted?

70% of Transformations fail through lack of sponsorship and early planning.


The BTN partnered with Anchorstone for this VIP roundtable, which focused on the implementation of HR Technology and the value of an effective adoption strategy. The session was hosted by Mark Cunningham (Managing Director at Anchorstone Consulting), who led the group of senior HR executive around the discussion of the role that adoption plays in the success of an HR Technology Transformation.

Everything we do as an organisation affects the people that we have within our organisation and if we are trying to successfully deliver a new technology solution within our People environment, the earlier we bring in that end-user, the better chance the transformation has when it comes to stickiness.

Mark led the discussion by looking at where HR leaders should focus their efforts if they want adoption to be widely successful when it comes to HR technology. Is it simply that people are not doing enough upfront planning when buying a product? Why are we even doing it? What is the vision? Have we engaged our execs and got them on-board?


Adoption starts so much earlier than ‘getting people involved’.

Implementing HR Technology isn’t a digital transformation, this is culture change and real people challenges. The focus should not be entirely on the end-user using the product but rather on starting the journey in an efficient way through readiness and preparation. Organisation design and culture need to be considered as often organisations miss the consideration that capabilities are about to change as a result of the transformation. Your organisations' culture can have a positive impact on understanding whether employees will embrace the chance and aid the journey. We should then start to understand our operational service model and how we can educate both the employee group and the execs. If we have insight around our employees capabilities, we can educate through them rather than focusing on adoption solely through system usage. Adoption is everything above and beyond system usage.

If we can start to personalise the delivery and give employees an experience that is as close to what they become to expect in their personal life with phone applications and connected home, then we can immerse people in the experience.

The role of culture has been discussed in great detail across the workplace landscape in recent years, yet it still gets overlooked when planning for effective adoption. The adoption has to be done by people and by those who understand what the outcomes are and what we are trying to achieve.

Successful adoption is difficult to determine as in some cases adoption rates’ are not a sufficient measurement. How can we truly understand it has made a difference? If a new HR technology is implemented, try to understand where the benefit sits for everyone else. HR software is only beneficial to HR but if the platform increases retention, this benefits the wider organisation.


Humans & Machines are good at different things

There is never a conversation around technology to be discussed that doesn’t allude to the role of artificial intelligence.

The group spoke about the role of readiness when it comes to AI and how to reduce/eliminate dissonance before it even arises. AI should never try to make people obsolete but empower them to do things that challenge them. If we, as people leaders, can utilise AI for simple interactions such as during multi-step applications processes for candidates to create a better hiring experience and giving a company a voice, the human will remember the experience where AI cut through the clutter.

The role of chatbots was discussed and whether organisations actually needed this iteration of AI at this moment in time and whether is solved or transformed anything. Technology should never be purchased for technology sake, finding blended-use cases where human and AI can work in tandem to show value is where success can be monitored.

The purchase and implementation of technology are easy, adoption and success are where the difficulty lays. If AI picks apart data from CVs for example, how can this work cross-culturally? We must learn from what the AI is capable of to create a mindset to be able to deploy the technology successfully.

A common and well-publicised negative press of AI has been around the ability to magnify the bias that is represented within an organisation. The bias of the organisation is a problem in itself that has arisen at a human level, in which AI can actually be implemented as a way of fixing this bias.

AI is never going to be the ‘solver’ but to make it stick, we need to identify projects on small wins a proof of concept and managing expectations realistically internally, prior to any launch.  Realise what makes a human good (Decision making) and what makes a machine good (Analysing mass amounts of data) and the removal of fear can be done by showcasing that humanity and technology can be operated in tandem.


Adoption is never about someone using a product/service, adoption is the journey and people transformation that occurs. Success is built upon the readiness and culture of your organisation and the champions of the project asking 'are they doing the right things for the right reason'?


About Anchorstone

With over 20 years’ experience in setting up, running and successfully delivering HR, Finance & Operations technology and transformation projects, our team are uniquely qualified to provide Advisory & Assurance services around the effective delivery of Cloud Products, from inception to go live and beyond.

We work closely with our customers and partners to accelerate delivery, reduce risk, save money and drive adoption across a wide range and scale of projects. We offer impartial advice that ensures you get maximum value from both your technology and your service partners. We have been the customer, the vendor, the partner and the end user. We are HR, Finance & Operations.

We have walked in your shoes and we understand what is required to make your project a success and deliver a significant return on investment for your business. We are Anchorstone.