Adoption (software implementation)

In computing, adoption means the transfer (conversion) between an old system and a target system in an organization (or more broadly, by anyone).

If you have a problem with your computer, you may be able to use it for a long time. So then a new system needs to be adopted, after which it can be used by users.

There are several adoption strategies that can be used to implement a system in an organization. The main strategies are big bang adoption , parallel adoption and phased adoption . “Big bang” is a metaphor for the cosmological theory of the same name , in which the beginning of the cosmos happened at one moment in time. This is also the case with the big bang adoption approach, in which the new system is supposed to be adopted wholesale on one date. In the case of parallel adoption, the old and the new system are run in parallel initially, so that all the users can get used to the new system. n. Phased adoption and adoption,

Selecting an adoption strategy

The adoption strategy is to be selected and adopted in order to be implemented. The three types of adoption, Big Bang, parallel adoption and phased adoption, range from an instant switch to a strategy where users progressively start using the new system over a certain period of time.

(Eason, 1988). In this paper, we present the results of the study. Eason defines the following goals:

  • Possible requirement of a “critical mass” to make the system work.

If a critical mass is broad, gold might be, needed for the system to Work Effectively (eg due to network effects ), a big bang strategy might be the answer. (Rogers, 1995)

  • Need for risk control, if risk is involved.

Minimizing risk to the ongoing operation of the organization can be very important. Parallel and phased introductions might help to control these risks, depending on the situation.

  • Need for facilitation of the change.

The organization has to be ready for the changeover. Socio-technical preparations such as training sessions and ready-made scenarios must be clear.

  • Pace of change

If the new system is designed to deal with new requirements, such as business process reengineering , the speed at which the organization is changing over to the new processes or attempting to meet other new requirements.

  • Local design needs

The system might need to be adjusted to the users needs. In this case, the chosen strategy must provide the opportunity to do so.

Eason Matrix Table

The present selection of adoption strategies is based on a number of factors. Other criteria are called variables (Gallivan, 1996). Gallivan suggests that the appropriate adoption types depends on:

Innovativeness of the Individuals
Attributes of the ones That are to adopt the innovation / system

The type of innovation
Is it a process or product innovation?

Attributes of the innovation itself
Preparedness, communicability and divisibility

The implementation complexity. 
How complex is the implementation or what is it?

These variables are of a higher level than the criteria of Eason and should be handled as such. Based on table 1 and on the mentioned higher level variables by Gallivan, one can make a selection of an appropriate strategy to choose.

Preparing an organization for adoption

In order to prepare the organization for the adoption of the new system, This is necessary to be able to have a plan or an overview of the changeover, and can be done by creating requirements for the system. Once the management has determined the requirements in a report of determined changes, they need to adapt to the change-process. If there is no agreement, the management needs to discuss the requirements again and again until they do agree. If agreement is reached, the organization can take further steps. So now the test-phase can be prepared, in which the validity of the data which will be used will be checked and in which trials will be held (Eason, 1988).

In parallel, it is highly recommended that a comprehensive user adoption plan be prepared working together with the business and the affected users. This plan should consider all pre- and post-system rollout communications; User training & documentation; Any internal marketing efforts that will be undertaken to drive adoption such as system branding or swag; As well as the role of the company in the management of the business.

See also

  • SAP Implementation


  • Eason, K. (1988) Information technology and organizational change, New York: Taylor and Francis
  • Gallivan, MJ, (1996) Strategies for implementing new software processes: An evaluation of a contingency framework, SIGCPR / SIGMIS ’96, Denver Colorado
  • Rogers, EM (1995), Diffusion of innovations, New York: Free Press
  • Dodson, J. (2011), 4 Stops to Navigate the Treacherous Highway of Enterprise Adoption Software, Washington

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