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Rapid adoption of productivity innovations

Seeking to explain how and why new ideas and technology spread, Everett Rogers discussed the following five factors in his book, Diffusion of Innovation:

  • Relative Advantage – How improved is the innovation over the previous alternative?
  • Compatibility – How hard is it to integrate a product or service into one’s business or life?
  • Complexity – Is the innovation of intuitive design or will users likely tune out because it’s too difficult to operate?
  • Trial-ability – Can the product be easily tested and experimented with before adoption?
  • Observability – Greater visibility leads to more communication about the innovation.

Uber, the ride-sharing company that has rocketed in its eight-year existence to a valuation of billions of dollars, puts checks in all of those boxes. Seemingly overnight, there was a solution to the problem of cabs being expensive, hard to find and not comfortable, clean or safe. Uber put it right at our fingertips, where we can order a ride, track the vehicle and pay with just a few clicks on our smartphones.

The best productivity innovations also accord with Rogers’ factors – making them easier and faster for workers to adopt and enjoy. This is proved by the rapid uptake of process automation software in financial institutions, healthcare organizations and other industries plagued by manual processes. Smartly designed process automation solutions combine user-friendly design and substantial efficiency with affordability and smartphone-simple usability.


Sometimes referred to as Robotic Process Automation or RPA, process automation software is considered a gateway technology by productivity experts because it is the quickest way to improve operational efficiency. Anywhere a task or process involves manual intervention is a good place to implement automation. Operations personnel can start by using process automation tools to write digital scripts that act like automated employees and then expand their application as they see fit. In fact, automation’s low risk, cost, and quick implementation are key reasons for its high adoption rate, according to Gartner, Inc.


Performance is elevated when you reduce processing time and eliminate errors while lifting the contribution and morale of your people. Process automation software is designed to be easily mastered by your workforce to help create a culture of improvement as it equips employees to develop their own solutions to reduce menial and mundane tasks.


As automation software’s success and acceptance continue to grow so does the bottom line savings for companies in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and more. ROI for Robotic Process Automation software can range from six months for a single-task application to instantaneous for full system conversion. For example, one bank recently expanded its use of Nintex RPA and saved more than $560,000 per year.

We think of disruptions in life as anything but easy; however, sometimes technology disruptions can turn a manual process on its head – making it smoother and easier. Process automation tools that are built with people empowerment and adoption in mind are among those rare “easy” disruptors. As you assess RPA options, make sure to keep Everett Rogers’ diffusion factors in mind.



For more information about productivity innovations, please read our use case, “Breaking the efficiency barrier: understanding data automation.



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