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14 Pillars that make an amazing Digital Adoption Strategy

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Last year more than 73% of businesses failed to generate value out of their Digital Transformation initiatives and 70% of change programs failed because of resistance from the employees.

The failure rate is so high even then companies in 2019 spent  40% of all technology spending towards Digital Transformation (Source: Forbes).

The picture is quite clear.

Organizations understand the value of Digital Transformation but they are unable to leverage value out of it because of poor digital adoption strategy.

The leaders often fail to plan the adoption process because they do not treat digital adoption as a subset of their transformation initiatives but rather consider it to be a different entity altogether.

As a result, businesses fail on the transformation front.

In this blog, we will discuss in detail what strategy an organization must adapt to maximize their efforts.

But before jumping to that, we must know:-

What is the Digital Adoption Strategy?

Digital adoption strategy is a process of creating a plan to adopt any application seamlessly. To achieve this organization needs to optimize the process, remove roadblocks, and design a framework that supports the organization’s goal.

Organizations usually optimize their existing processes but most of the time they straight away jump to create a plan without removing roadblocks.

If these roadblocks are ignored then they could pose a serious threat in the execution stage. 

The obstruction in the adoption process could arise because of the following factors:-

  1. Inability to set realistic targets
  2. Lack of collaboration
  3. Poor communication
  4. Failure to measure goals 
  5. Long time to training 
  6. Lack of feedback

These roadblocks have to be addressed while creating the strategy.

Why does digital adoption matter?

According to IDC the global spending on technologies and services that enable digital transformation will reach $2.3 trillion by 2023.

It indicates that every other company has either invested or will invest in their adoption efforts to boost their transformation initiatives to compete with their peers.

In such a scenario if your organization refrains from investing in these efforts then you are depriving your organization of growth, as you would be unable to compete with your competition who have started to reap value out their efforts because of proper digital adoption strategy in place.

Digital adoption is not very tough if you plan it upfront with your digital transformation efforts. The perfect recipe for success is analyzing the problem, encouraging users, relevant training, understanding users, and providing support.

Keeping all these in mind we have listed 14 important digital adoption strategies that would act as a checklist for your organization.

  1. Proper vision from leadership
  2. Understanding the current state
  3. Defined responsibilities across the organization
  4. Overcoming the resistance and cultural barrier
  5. Equal focus on training
  6. Staying on top of current trends
  7. Poor data governance
  8. Ensure proper collaboration
  9. Deliver content in multiple formats
  10. Analyze during the pilot program
  11. Provide personalized training post-deployment
  12. Focus on support-ticket reduction
  13. Keep your employees informed
  14. Analyze, measure, improve and repeat

14 Pillars That Make An Amazing Digital Adoption Strategy

1. Proper vision from leadership

“A vision without a strategy remains an illusion”

– Lee Bolman

The C-suite executives need to have a common vision that aligns with the objective of the organization and help you understand where your initiatives will take you and how?

It’s often discovered in the later stage that the vision regarding digital transformation is perceived differently across the silos which leads to a lot of mess, eventually leading to confusion.

It’s always better to have a well-defined end-goal by having a consensus among the top brass.

It will not only save time but also unnecessary conflicts.

2. Understanding the current state

Accessing the current state of business processes, the effectiveness of technology, and the efficiency of users is essential to lay the foundation for the next phase of transformation.

All this can be achieved by conducting analysis using data. It will help you to identify the gaps in respective areas and create a strategy for them.

While planning users should be at the center of decision making.

You can use Digital Adoption tools that are powered by insights. These types of tools help you in the initial phase to understand how the application is being used by users, and also identifies gaps in the business processes.

3. Defined responsibilities across the organization

Its always better to have defined responsibilities to avoid confusion in the latter stage.

Most of the time it is assumed that the CIO must enable successful digital transformation but nothing could be further from the truth.

As 71% of leaders think that workforce is imperative for success. It’s a collective effort, every C-suite executive has their part to play. Also, mid-level managers and executives should be assigned responsibility at each stage to enable smooth business transformation efforts.

In short, just like Baseball, Ice-hockey, and Football, the adoption process also needs a cumulative effort for success.

4. Overcoming the resistance and cultural barrier

When an organization goes through a change an invisible barrier starts to build which slows down the process of adoption.

It’s a cultural barrier that is created because of resistance from the employees.

They resist due to a lack of awareness, understanding, knowledge, and training.

In most cases, they are not aware of the impact that the shift from the current system might have on them and hence they perceive it negatively.

And in some cases, they are afraid of the new technology or application. As adopting it would risk:-

  • Loss of old knowledge
  • Loss of familiarity
  • Loss of job security
  • Long time to learning

All these assumed risks create a cloud of doubt among the employees and to counter the change they resist.

The organization must assure its employees and should create a sense of security by providing them with relevant training, encouragement, and rewards.

Once it’s done correctly your employees will become competent with the new process and tools. This will in turn boost their productivity and confidence.

5. Equal focus on training

Most of the transformation efforts fail during the digital adoption process. Usually, companies value technology more and spend more time on their deployment.

In the process, they ignore the adoption phase, which eventually haunts them in the later stage as employees are:-

  • Unfamiliar with the deployed technology.
  • Lack of proper training.
  • Unable to adopt it on time.

All this leads an employee towards frustration as management expects their people to work on these technologies as soon as possible.

The better way would be to give equal importance to the adoption phase and create digital adoption strategies well in advance.

This can be achieved by:-

  • Analyzing the training needs and understanding the gap.
  • Providing personalized training to each user group.
  • Enabling tools that would increase engagement, productivity, and adoption rate.
  • Providing content in numerous formats and making it available at all times.

Once all these factors are considered then the employee training would happen rapidly. Eventually resulting in less time to adoption and increased ROI.

Technology is changing daily. Each day we are seeing new trends and approaches that would have an impact on your business in a matter of a few months.

It’s always ideal to have an eye on these trends and to understand their implications.

Since transformation is a continuous process taking decisions based on these trends would be beneficial for your organization to stay on track and ahead of your competition.

The organization must have a flexible, open, and agile mindset. Further, they must be open to suggestions coming from their employees from any level. This helps them to catch up on things that they could have possibly missed.

7. Poor data governance

Once the user starts to use the application, it’s often identified that they caught up in a state called feature hell.

It leads them to bypass the system and somehow try to finish their job inside the application without utilizing it properly.

They either skip certain steps or fill the dummy data which eventually would lead to wrong analysis and leading to poor decision making.

A situation like this should be avoided by incorporating a tool like DAP (Digital Adoption Platform) that helps you to:-

  • Assign important fields as mandatory
  • Eliminate duplicate data and alerts the user
  • Guide users to fill it in the desired format.

Features like these ensure that correct data is captured without any human error.

8. Ensure proper collaboration

When you enter into the digital adoption phase it is very essential to collaborate with each department, team, and individuals to get better results out of your efforts.

When L&D (Learning and Development) is preparing the content it always needs a helping hand from the respective teams. They need guidance from the HR team and crucial feedback from the Team Leads, Managers, and Project Owners to create content that helps them with current and future requirements.

Content is designed in such a way that it could train employees at each phase of the project and boost their productivity. To ensure this L&D team should use tools like Apty that enhance employee efficiency and productivity by guiding them from one step to the other in any application.

9. Deliver content in multiple formats

The content must be designed in multiple formats as each user is different and they all consume content differently.

Once the content is available in various forms then it becomes easy for a user to learn a new application and reinforce that learning with some other form of content.

The different types of content could be as follow:-

  • LXP courses
  • LMS courses
  • Live online training
  • PDF
  • PPT
  • Videos
  • Knowledgebase
  • Walkthroughs and Workflows (On-screen guidance)

All these formats empower a user and open a door for opportunities for learning. The digital adoption platform allows you to create walkthroughs, tooltips that guide users inside the application. It reduces the load on the L&D department and propels the learning curve of any users.

10. Analyze during the pilot program

A well-structured company usually runs pilot projects in a controlled environment to test the water before going live with it across the organization.

If your company is not doing it already then you should adopt this method as it is very useful to identify the issues in the newly implemented project.

Not only that but you can also analyze and understand the technology, process, and business impact within the small group. It would give you a clear picture of where the current system stands and what changes could make it better.

In this phase, you should not rush the process as missing key aspects could have an adverse effect on your initiative. Hence, take time and then expand it to the larger group and always be on analyzing mode to avert any possible mishap.

For this, you can use tools like DAP that will help you analyze how the user is behaving while adopting an application. This kind of tool will help you understand where the gap is and how to overcome those gaps, further, you will get a recommendation from the tool itself but such a feature is only available with Modern DAP.

Deep dive:- Intelligent and Modern Digital Adoption Platform

11. Provide personalized training post-deployment

Empower users with personalized training. Each of your users is different and they perform different functionalities. Having the same kind of training for all the user groups will not make sense and would irritate your users.

The best practice would be to understand each user type and create training content that satisfies their requirements.

Things to consider while structuring customized training flows:-

  • Understand the main user groups and subgroups.
  • Create a training standard for each group. 
  • Based on your understanding allocate the resources and create training modalities that would suit a particular group.
  • Incorporate traditional training and complement it with the modern form of training methods like LXP and DAP.
  • Make all the relevant resources for a user available inside the application by using tools like in-app guidance which houses all the workflows, pdfs, knowledgebase URLs, videos, etc.

Most important things of all never compromise with your training as it could make or break your digital adoption initiatives and eventually your transformation efforts.

12. Focus on support-ticket reduction

While going through business transformation focus on reducing your support tickets.

As in 2019-2020 US businesses lost $62 billion as a consequence of poor customer service.

If you create a plan to reduce the service tickets then you would be able to utilize your resources better and boost your ROI considerably.

You can use tools like in-app guidance which act as a repository of information as it contains pdf, ppt, videos, walkthroughs, and relevant links.

It simply reduces the dependency of users and helps them to feel confident as they can find answers via in-app guidance on their own.

This also reduces pressure on the support team and helps them to focus on bigger issues.

13. Keep your employees informed

An organization goes through a lot of changes and so do the implemented applications. It becomes challenging for companies to update their employees regarding these changes over a mail.

Businesses can overcome this by using solutions like DAS (Digital Adoption Solution) which helps them to put the announcement within the application itself. It appears as a pop-up and remains on the screen until the user acknowledges the message provided.

Then these acknowledgments can be studied at the backend by the admin to verify the success rate of the announcement.

It ensures effective communication and this method never fails to notify the user about anything.

14. Analyze, measure, improve and repeat

The businesses are constantly under transformation to make it effective and relevant these organizations should always analyze the gap in technology, user onboarding, user experience, and business processes.

Then they should also measure the impact of these analyses or draw insights to tweak the adopted practice and methods.

It will help them to improve and prepare for the next transformation wave. Most of it can be achieved by using applications like Apty which help you to get two types of analytics and these analytics are:-

  • Application analytics:- Helps to understand how users are using the deployed application and identify gaps.
  • Walkthrough analytics:- Helps admins to recognize where the users are struggling with the Walkthroughs (workflows) and help them to improve the flows.

Read More on this:- Digital adoption done in the right way

On the whole

Digital adoption strategies should be considered upfront. It should be laid by keeping the focus on people who will use it. The key ingredient for success is communication, collaboration, proper structure, relevant training, right tools, and thorough analysis.

It’s up to you how you go about it but using applications like Apty will ensure that your digital adoption efforts stay on track.

It performs numerous functionalities like in-app assistance, personalized walkthroughs, on-demand training, and automation.

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Krishnan Kaushik V

Krishnan Kaushik V

Krishnan is a Marketer and Content Crafter. He has an in-depth understanding of Digital Adoption, Transformation, and Enterprise applications that helps business to generate business outcomes. In his former life, he was an IIoT & Automation engineer. You can find him trying new recipes, riding a bike, and wondering about the most complex object on the face of the earth i.e Human Brain.

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