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The National Technology Readiness Survey: Technology Readiness and Key Trends Charles L. Colby President Rockbridge Associates, Inc. 703-757-5213 – [email protected] Major Points… Expect an e-Service Revolution (“You ain’t seen nothing yet!”)

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The national technology readiness survey technology readiness and key trends l.jpg

The National Technology Readiness Survey:Technology Readiness and Key Trends

Charles L. Colby


Rockbridge Associates, Inc.

703-757-5213 – [email protected]

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Major Points…

  • Expect an e-Service Revolution (“You ain’t seen nothing yet!”)

  • Major barriers to e-Service are confidence, affordability and training

  • Despite barriers, Internet and e-Service usage is pervasive and growing

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Our Research Program

  • National Technology Readiness Survey

    • Authored by Parasuraman and Rockbridge

    • Replicated in 1999, 2000 and 2001

    • Nationally representative telephone survey

    • Sponsored by the University of Maryland Center for e-Service

  • Other efforts in Austria, Sweden and Singapore

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The Book

  • Techno-Ready Marketing: How and Why Your Customers Adopt Technology (Parasuraman & Colby: Free Press, April 2001)

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5 years of Research

What are we learning about the consumer behavior of technology adoption?

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What is Technology

Readiness? (TR)

  • TR refers to people’s propensity to embrace and use new technologies for accomplishing goals in home life and at work

  • TR reflects an overall state-of-mind; it is not a measure of competence

  • TR is determined by optimism, innovative tendencies, insecurity and discomfort

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  • Technology not for ordinary people

  • Distrust tech support

  • Want the basic model

  • Technology fails at worst time

  • E-commerce not safe

  • Need confirmation that technology works

  • Prefer talking to a person

  • Technology gives control

  • Technology more convenient

  • Want most advanced technology

  • Computers expand hours of business

  • Want to tailor technology

  • Thought leader

  • First to acquire new technology

  • Keep up with developments

  • Like high-tech gadgets







Technology Readiness Index:Distribution

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Drivers of Technology Readiness



Technology Readiness



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TR Dimensions

  • Optimism: Positive view of technology; belief that it offers increased control, flexibility and efficiency

  • Innovativeness:Tendency to be a technology pioneer and thought leader

  • Discomfort:Perceived lack of control over technology and a feeling of being overwhelmed by it

  • Insecurity:Distrust of technology and skepticism about it working properly

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Characteristics of Technology Segments

Optimism Innovative- Dis- Insecur- ness comfort ity

Explorers High High Low Low

Pioneers High High High High

Skeptics Low Low Low Low

Paranoids High Low High High

Laggards Low Low High High

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Acquiring Customers

Technology Evangelism

Future-Ready Design

Proving Benefits

Retaining Customers

Customer-focused Design

Responsive Customer Support

Reassuring Communication

Implications for Marketing e-Service…

…from Techno-Ready Marketing

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2001 NTRS

What are we learning about the e-Service marketplace?

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In the 2000s, e-Service will grow, powered by the user







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Instant Internet Access



Home networks

Wireless networks



Home Videoconferencing

Voice over Internet





Time savings

Enabling users to access e-service in their homes

Important Technologies

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Examples of Corporate Initiatives

  • Credit Card Company allows its customers to service accounts online

  • Brewery creates an online game to build loyalty among young males

  • Oil company provides an online coupon program for card members

  • Student loan provider markets new products through an exclusive online customer website

  • Mortgage company originates loans online

  • Long distance company signs up new customers on the web

  • Network marketing goes online, creating an leading e-commerce business

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Hold Everything!

Didn’t the Internet crash and burn with the dot.coms?

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Continued Growth

  • NTRS shows consistent growth in the past three waves

  • Penetration is projected to hit 90% by 2006

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Shifting Paradigms

Make way for .gov, .org, .edu

  • E-Service usage among those online (2001):

    • 61% researched health information

    • 60% purchased goods and services online

    • 55% visited a government web-site

    • 38% checked bank account info

    • 37% visited a “.org” website

    • 21% did business with a government

    • 20% moved funds across accounts online

    • 11% took a course online

    • 10% bought or sold securities

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Insecurity and Discomfort are Significant Barriers to Adoption

“Do not consider it safe giving out

a credit card number over a computer”

“Technology systems not designed for use by ordinary people”

“Do not consider it safe to do any kind of financial business online”


77% 73% 69%

67% 65% 61%

58% 59% 56%

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The Technology Divide Adoption

72% of adults have a computer at home

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Reasons for the Divide Adoption

  • Lower TR consumers are less secure and less confident about technology

  • Most of those who do not own computers would accept one if offered to them for no cost

  • Affordability is a major obstacle

  • Most “have nots” feel they need training to use computers

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Critical Mass Adoption

Do barriers really stop people from

taking advantage of interactive technology?

58% have home internet access

21% can get access elsewhere

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The Internet is a Pervasive Medium Adoption

79% of adults get online somewhere, although

10% go somewhere besides home or work.

Where do they go?

Friend or relatives house – 70%

Public library – 41%

College campus – 26%

School – 14%

Portable device – 13%

Government office – 9%

Cyber café – 6%

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Conclusions Adoption

  • We should be prepared for a boom in e-services

  • We should expect that nearly all consumers will benefit from and use e-services

  • For all consumers, we need to find ways to make technology easier to use, safer and more reassuring

  • For “have nots,” we need to address issues of affordability and training

  • We should not underestimate the drive to use technology when it becomes essential