There will undoubtedly be some disruption and of course, change for most individuals is an uncertain time.
This article explores some of the key factors to consider when timing the adoption of new technology, how they should link with business needs, and fostering a culture of innovation within an organization.
Before adopting new technology, it’s essential to identify a clear business need. This could involve improving operational efficiency, enhancing the customer experience, or gaining a competitive advantage or dominance.
Maturity of new technology
Assess the maturity of the technology. Early adoption can provide a competitive edge, but it may also come with greater risks if it has not been fully tried and tested.
Costs and budget
Evaluate the costs associated with the new technology and assess whether there is a suitable return after its adoption for the business over an extended term. There may be tax benefits or incentives available. The costs may not be direct, as staff may need to purchase new equipment alongside the technology itself, such as an updated mobile device.
Staff readiness and training
Assess the readiness of your franchisees to embrace the new technology. They might have already been craving change or the opposite, so a training programme might be needed to ensure a smooth transition.
Compatibility and integration
Ensure that the new technology seamlessly integrates with existing systems and processes. In franchising does the mapping software integrate with your CRM, to ensure the right franchisee receives the right leads for their territory
Regulatory and compliance
Be aware of any regulatory requirements and compliance standards that may apply to the technology. You may need to make technological changes to complay. A good example is the changes to Making Tax Digital in 2026.
Ensure it has cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data and systems from potential threats.
Assess the organisation’s tolerance for potential disruptions during the adoption phase. Additional time may be needed for franchisees and their staff to complete a task until they become familiar. Of course technology may speed this up
Stay informed about industry trends and technological advancements to make an informed decision on timing the introduction.
Reputation and support
Consider how the adoption of new technology might affect your organisation’s reputation and ensure there is adequate support in place for your network and that they understand the technology themselves.
User acceptance and feedback
Once you begin to adopt the new technology gather feedback from pilot users and involve them in the decision-making process to ensure others buy in to the change
Aligning Technology Initiatives with Business Needs
Understand the goals and objectives
Begin by understanding the organisation’s overall goals and objectives.
Identify Technology Needs
Identify specific technology needs that align with the business goals and the reason for considering the technology in the first place.
Complete a gap analysis
Conduct a gap analysis to determine what you currently use in the business, is lacking or what is missing completely. For example are leads automatically passed to franchisees and is there an automated communication flow?
Prioritise technology initiatives based on the positive impact they will have on the financial performance of the business and the overall business objectives. Ideally they should do both
Create a technology plan
Develop a comprehensive technology plan that includes scope, timeline, and resources needed.
Allocate the necessary resources, both financial and human, to complete the adoption effectively.
Involve key stakeholders, such as franchisees, their staff, customers and suppliers throughout the planning and implementation process. In fact, it might have been feedback from one of your stakeholders that drove the desire for new technology
Promote collaboration between IT and other departments, particularly Operations, to ensure a smooth transition.
Review and adjust
Continuously review the implementation of technology and be prepared to make adjustments as needed. This may be easier if the technology can be customised rather than off-the-shelf
Establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of technology initiatives. Typically this will be time saving, customer satisfaction, cost saving or profit enhancement driven
Communicate the progress and benefits of technology adoption to all stakeholders. You might want to involve a pilot group in the roll-out of the technology
Be flexible and adaptable in response to changing business needs and market conditions.
Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the organisation.
Fostering a Culture of Innovation
Innovation is essential for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business landscape. Here are key elements to foster a culture of innovation:
Encourage and reward creative thinking and problem-solving.
Promote a culture of continuous improvement where franchisees and their staff are encouraged to find better ways of doing things.
Embrace change and be open to adapting to new technologies and market shifts.
Create a safe environment where calculated risks are encouraged and failure is seen as a learning opportunity.
Foster collaboration among franchisees and head office to generate innovative ideas.
Keep a close eye on market trends and customer preferences to align innovations with market needs.
Technology and Research
Invest in research and development to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.
Be willing to reevaluate and adapt your franchise model to accommodate innovations.
Cultural and Organisational
Ensure that the organisational culture supports innovation and that structures are in place to facilitate it.
Prioritise solutions that improve the user experience and meet franchisee and customer needs.
Economic and Social Impact
Consider both the economic and social impact of innovations on your organisation and society at large.
In summary, the successful adoption of new technology in a franchise requires a strategic approach that considers various factors, including business needs, timing, alignment with objectives, and fostering a culture of innovation. By carefully addressing these elements, organisations can maximise the benefits of technology adoption while minimising risks and disruptions.