Understanding adoption and how it affects your ability to influence.
When new technologies, innovations or inventions come into the marketplace there is always an adoption curve, some progress quicker over time than others, some take a very long time but they almost always follow a pattern of adoption.
The Five Stages of Adoption:
We map this out with a bell curve called the diffusion innovation curve and this is broken down into five categories.
- Initial entry
- Early Adopters
- Early Majority
- Late Majority
This is important because unless you understand where you are in the innovation curve you will not understand how willing people are to adopt what you have.
Cloud Computing is a great recent example of how adoption works
Let’s take for example cloud computing. It has been given much hype over the last five to seven years and it is really only now that people are beginning to understand when it is appropriate to make use of cloud computing and when it is not.
When cloud computing was first released into the marketplace almost everyone was skeptical about it.
Very few trusted cloud and only the most daring adopted it.
These who first adopted cloud computing are what we call the “Initial Entry” crowd. If you were trying to sell cloud computing in those formative years it was a very hard sell.
The initial cloud computing had almost no credibility but people were very curious about it. It is only this high curiosity that allowed cloud computing to have any potential for influence and enabled it to gain entry into the marketplace.
A few years later and early adopters started to come on board.
Cloud computing had built up some credibility to go with all the marketing hype and people were seeing that cloud was commercially ready for some use cases.
This made influencing people into using cloud computing easier because curiosity was still high and credibility had grown.
Right now in 2017, we are sitting in the very early stages of the Early Majority for Cloud Computing.
Despite what many marketers would have you believe, not everyone is using cloud and those that are, are generally using it only for specific use cases.
Though the early adopters have passed and it might seem like cloud is ubiquitous it still has a long way to go.
This stage, however, has made cloud in many cases a much easier sell. The Credibility of Cloud Computing has grown to the point that it is starting to have sustainable effective influence and people are now working with cloud when it makes sense for them to do so.
Generally speaking in any scenario the early majority will only adopt new markets when a certain percentage of people have already adopted it.
After the Early Majority come the Late Majority
This field of people represents the section of people that will wait until it has proven itself time and time again before they will adopt it.
Many in this field will be looking to see who wins the race in the competition between players in the same marketplace.
Like when Beta and VHS competed for market space, they will be waiting to see if non-cloud based products leapfrog cloud in cost and performance. My prediction for cloud computing is that the Late majority will not come into effect until 2020 as there are many hurdles that cloud needs to overcome before most people will adopt cloud as a general practice.
Finally, the Laggards dragging up the rear, negative till the last.
These are the people that will only change if they HAVE to.
If their computer didn’t die, they wouldn’t replace it with a new one.
If their car didn’t die, they wouldn’t replace it with a new one.
And the same goes when we apply this to cloud, these people will only adopt cloud if they have to because they have no choice in the matter.
They are happy with their antiquated systems because it is safe. No amount of Curiosity or Credibility will ever get these people to shift.
Now I don’t think cloud will replace everything, it’s one of many tools that are available to businesses but what we see in the behavior of a laggard, is that a laggard will not adopt cloud even if it would work really well for them until they absolutely have to.
Always remember, if it’s good for your customer, then you are influencing with integrity.
Diffusion innovation curve – understanding adoption
Adoption of new things takes time for people to see it build up credibility. The early majority will adopt after xyz%. The Laggards will only change if they have to.