March 20, 2023

Is tech adoption still a problem in a tech-centric world?

If the words ‘tech-optimized,’ ‘data-driven,’ ‘automated solutions,’ and ‘artificial intelligence’ leave you intrigued but slightly unsettled, then you fall on the side of most business personnel when it comes to evaluating the role of technology in your business. Integrating technology into your business has its ups and downs, and the risk is what ends up keeping people on the fence instead of making the jump into the unknown. 

Businesses are realizing the potential of technology to change company performance and employees’ lives for the better every day, but it can be nerve-wracking going into a quarterly review with your executives proposing a massive investment in a new technology without guaranteed results. We took that leap of faith back in 2017, investing in our now proprietary technology, Purply, but it hasn’t been a straight path to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It took years to fine-tune Purply to the high functioning, time-saving, and incredible (if I do say so myself) technology that it is today. But – team-player that we are – we’re going to share with you the lessons we’ve learned along the way when it comes to integrating technology in earth-shattering ways for your business.

I spoke with our Senior Account Director, Crystal J., to get a good picture of the ebbs and flows of adoption in the workplace.

Q: Why do you think it is so difficult for companies to integrate new technology systems?

CJ: I would say the biggest obstacle for companies is that they are unable to truly evaluate the success and effectiveness of their new technology or added features if the adoption isn’t there. Whenever employees’ workflows are disrupted and they’re asked to change the way they do things, some level of pushback is to be expected. If adoption isn’t close to 100% it is really difficult to tell whether the new system is more or less effective than the old one, and when it’s a matter of learning something new versus sticking with what is familiar to us with nothing to differentiate that the new way is better, we’re bound to want to stick with what we know.

Q: In the early stages of Purply, what were the biggest challenges the team faced?

CJ: Definitely jumping the gun when it came to rolling out new tools. Rushing the tech led to poor adoption of the new features and the domino effect of rolling out one too many lackluster tools made everyone temporarily skeptical of the technology. Today, we have additional stakeholders, including upper management, vetting features before they’re pushed live; this has dramatically improved our system. We have meetings almost every month with the tech team now to propose features we think could improve employee workflows and to review tools before they’re implemented. We also do trainings on Purply™ updates now so there aren’t disruptions in productivity levels following changes. 

Q: If Advertise Purple could take what it knows now back to 2017 and recreate Purply with that knowledge and experience under its belt, what would it do differently?

CJ: I’d reiterate the need to take more time in the development stages before going live with new tools.  Thinking through different scenarios and problem solving ahead of time, instead of tweaking the systems after we run into issues, would have been a prudent move, in hindsight. Maybe an A/B model for testing different versions of new features could be great to see what works best for our teams. In its infancy, we had instances where an old feature was completely replaced with a new version, which led to some issues when the feature wasn’t ready and didn’t serve the same functionality as the old system. I would also say that Purply™ didn’t start out as the company hub it is now. When we first introduced Purply™ it didn’t have a lot of unique features and adoption was low because people didn’t really
need to use it. As we added custom features specific to different roles in the company and increased its automated functions it became an integral part of every employee’s day to day workflow and cross-team communication.

Q: Can you summarize Purply’s purpose in one sentence?

CJ: Purply
is our northstar for company interaction and strategic direction.

Q: Do you think it’s possible to rely too much on technology?

CJ: In my opinion, yes… 

Q: Can you quantify the impact Purply has had on company and employee performance?

CJ: I’d say it’s increased our workflow efficiency by about 30%. On the account management side, we used to spend so much of our time pulling data and finding trends. Now that Purply™ performs that role, we have become the communication experts. We changed the departmental structure post-Purply implementation and focused on having specialized teams for different functions which has increased the collective knowledge of the company and made teamwork more integral in providing a holistic client experience. Having people who are extremely well-versed in their individual area has proven, in general, to be better for the company and our clients which is evident in the growth Advertise Purple has experienced in the last 6 years since we started working on Purply

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