IDBS Blog | 17th December 2018
Technology change means more than just bringing in new tools - staff behaviour needs to change too
The global pharma industry has always been cautious when it comes to adopting new technologies.
Returns on investment from research efforts are volatile and restrictive, ever-changing regulations add to a culture that is already slow to adopt.
Despite this, it would be difficult to find a time in the past when pharmaceutical businesses faced a more disruptive time than now – a time when drug companies must innovate in the laboratory with technologies to improve recording, collecting and analyzing of information.
However, the truth is that implementing new technology won’t help scientists in the lab capture and manage data, streamline information management, protect intellectual property and foster collaboration within and across labs if staff are resistant to change.
To increase adoption, equal focus must be given to both the technology and the people using it.
Here are three approaches we have found to be successful in transitioning reluctant users:
- Training: Researchers and scientists directly impacted by the new technology should be given one-on-one training sessions, followed by a to-do guide so they have a complete understanding of the technology’s capabilities and don’t need to worry about committing it to memory
- Transparency: The designated manager responsible for training staff should raise any concerns and issues to leadership, mitigating risks and alleviating anxieties that can lead to resistance and decreased adoption
- Tracking (monitor and course correct): Introducing new technology can disrupt workflow significantly, so consider how the implementation schedule can be broken down into bitesize stages. New technology impacts everyone, so listening to stakeholder opinions and concerns and adjusting deployment as needed, is crucial to achieving adoption
Return on investment will only be achieved if the new technology challenges are recognized and addressed at the outset, and the team is on board and committed to its deployment. Otherwise, new technology could just be an expensive tool that no one uses effectively.