Robert Allen | Smart Insights | Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0000

A useful model for those looking to bring about digital transformation

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is largely credited to Fred Davis in 1989, when he was part of the Computer and Information Systems, Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Michigan in the US. This was at a time when computers were being introduced into the workplace and Davis was looking for a way to predict and explain system use both for vendors and IT managers. TAM was designed to measure the adoption of new technology based on positive attitudes towards two measures:

  • Perceived usefulness
  • Perceived ease of use

Its foundations lie further back in time when Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) developed the ‘Theory of Reasoned Action’, but Davis wanted an easier to use model, to look at technology at work. Recognised as a leading model in explaining users’ behaviour towards technology, many researchers have subsequently developed and extended this model, creating more complicated versions, but the original model is still used and widely recognised. This model was a forerunner of measuring user experience and the questions applied in the original study are still valid today.

technology acceptance model

This model can be used when considering rolling out a new piece of technology to the whole business, after an initial trial. Conduct surveys of staff to ascertain the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use. Rating answers on the scale below, you can build a score for each value, and then use this to evaluate your staff’s overall attitude towards the technology.

use of use

For example, the questions below could be used to ascertain the value of Google+ to your marketing team.

google + ease of use

The Technology Acceptance Model is a good foundation for creating a new web portal, especially in the B2B area. Many companies organise login areas for clients to enable online order processing. Using TAM ensures you can create a more useful and easier to use system than your competitors.