Understanding the nuances

Technology implementation vs. technology adoption

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  • Insight
  • 5 minute read
  • 22/05/24

In the fast-paced landscape of innovation, businesses constantly seek to leverage technology to gain a competitive edge. Nowadays, working with technology is part of a company’s day-to-day life. Whether through the adoption of a modern workplace, the integration of SaaS solutions or even the arrival of Generative AI, technology is at the forefront of a number of discussions. However, it's crucial to differentiate between technology implementation and technology adoption, as they represent distinct phases of the digital transformation journey.

Chapter 1 Technology implementation: building the foundation

Technology implementation refers to the process of installing and configuring new technology within an organisation. This phase involves selecting the right technology solutions, planning their integration into existing systems and executing the deployment. Therefore, the implementation mainly focuses on the technical aspects of the technology itself.

Key aspects of technology implementation include:

  • Strategic planning: Organisations must align their technology implementation efforts with their overarching business objectives. A comprehensive strategy ensures that the chosen technology addresses specific pain points and supports long-term goals.
  • Infrastructure setup: This involves establishing the necessary infrastructure to support the new technology, including hardware, software and network components. Compatibility with existing systems is crucial to ensure seamless integration.
  • Customisation and configuration: Tailoring the technology to suit the organisation's unique requirements is essential for maximising its effectiveness. This may involve custom development, configuration adjustments and workflow optimisations.
  • Go-live:  Equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to utilise the new technology is vital for successful implementation. Training programmes and user documentation help mitigate resistance to change and foster adoption.

Chapter 2 Technology adoption: embracing change

While technology implementation sets the stage, technology adoption focuses on encouraging widespread acceptance and usage of the newly-implemented technology across the organisation. Indeed, implementing technology within an organisation comes at a price, and the adoption is the process that allows the company to optimise its return on investment. It encompasses the cultural, behavioural and organisational shifts necessary to realise the full potential of the technology investment.

Key aspects of technology adoption include:

  • Change management: Managing change effectively is critical to overcoming resistance and fostering a culture of acceptance towards the new technology. Clear communication, stakeholder involvement and addressing concerns are essential elements of successful change management initiatives.
  • User engagement: Actively involving end-users throughout the adoption process is key to driving engagement and ownership. Soliciting feedback, addressing pain points and highlighting the benefits of the technology help create buy-in and enthusiasm.
  • Measuring and monitoring:  Continuously measuring the usage and performance of the technology allows organisations to identify areas for improvement and optimisation. Feedback loops enable iterative enhancements to better align with evolving business needs. 
  • Upskilling: Despite providing introductions and onboarding training sessions for new technologies, the constant development and advancement of the tools demand continuous learning efforts for employees. Therefore, updating skills remains an ongoing and vital aspect of the adoption journey, safeguarding against skill obsolescence. Indeed, updating skills therefore becomes a continuous and necessary component of the adoption process, preventing skill obsolescence.


Implementation vs adoption

Chapter 3 Why is it important to understand the nuances?

Understanding the difference between technology implementation and adoption is crucial for any organisation. The implementation phase involves the actual process of integrating a new tool into an existing system or workflow, while adoption refers to the enablement to use the implemented tool efficiently. 

Knowing this helps any organisation to establish the most effective strategy, allocate the right resources and ensure a successful outcome by effectively addressing specific challenges at each stage.

Our proven methodology of four building blocks at the centre of your enablement efforts:

Proven methodology of four building blocks at the centre of your enablement efforts

Contact us

Let's talk about your company's needs. Drop us a line through the form below and we'll get back to you.


Jeremy Wikler

Senior Manager, Technology Change and Adoption, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 46 41


Giulia Di Cristo

Manager, Technology Change and Adoption, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 16 35