Ensuring a Better Adoption of Digital Tools in Your Team
Digital transformation and technology management is one of the most challenging jobs, to achieve this recently the organizations have gone beyond the role of CIO and created a new role called Chief Transformation Officer (CTO). With the advent of the CTO, the executive will make sure the technology is being transformed as intended by the organization. To achieve proper transformation, an organization should have a well-defined agenda, goal, and digital adoption plan in place. The Digital transformation fails if the implemented application or software tools and applications are not adopted properly.
Not all companies can afford a Chief transformation Officer and even might find it difficult to plow resources and capital into ensuring that the tools and applications developed are being used to their full potential and that the stakeholders are benefiting from this intended digital transformation initiative. Through this blog post, we would help you understand the importance of digital adoption, identify the risks and challenges, and help you think through a plan on how you might attempt to mitigate some of these challenges.
Understanding Adoption of Digital Tools
Businesses have met unforeseen challenges and disruptions in the last decade which enforced organizations to opt for the digital route. Today, over 65% of the world's economy is digital and by 2023 the digital transformation investment is expected to hit $6.8 trillion. The number of applications used by these organizations in the last few years has increased drastically and the rate of acquiring software is not going to reduce any time soon. These new-age applications are enabling efficiency, agility, productivity, and most important all- improvement in ROI.
However, companies are wasting 37% of their software spending. In the US alone the cost of unused software is $30 billion. It clearly shows that organizations are unable to make most of their application stack. Many people might say the problem is with the onboarding, training, or even with the software but it can't be further from the truth.
Digital adoption is, in the simplest terms, achieving a state in which your employees and/or your customers are using a provided software, tool, or any other digital asset properly and to its full potential. The reason why such adoption is crucial is because of the positive effects it may have on the general workflow, work atmosphere, and quite possibly the whole business.
If digital adoption is achieved, there will be:
Improved stakeholder (customer / employee / partner) satisfaction
Increased stakeholder performance
Better integrated work
Optimized and automated workflow
Helps the organization stay competitive.
It is a great opportunity to be able to achieve all these positive effects with one step, however, since these effects are very drastic, so are the negative effects if the digital adoption is not applied or applied poorly.
Key Challenges to Digital Adoption
As much as you would want your organization to have a higher ROI on the digital tools you have invested in, there are numerous barriers to digital adoption which you need to keep in mind while kickstarting your digital transformation initiative. Digital projects have a higher risk with regards to adoption, changing needs, etc. which must be kept in mind while attempting to draft your adoption strategy.
Ineffective Onboarding and Poor Training - Whether it’s an employee or a user successful onboarding and training play a vital role in the success of Digital Adoption. Research suggests that poor onboarding could cost up to 213% of the employee's salary. Further good training ensures employee retention and 69 % assurance that an employee will stay for three years if experienced good onboarding experience. In the case of users, they will leave the application if it consumes too much time while onboarding.
Lack of Support – Supporting the stakeholder through the journey is an integral part of Digital Adoption. Very often your customers would like to rely on that support as they want someone to have their back. 71% of companies lose their business because of poor support. These are staggering numbers and clearly show the importance of timely support when dished out to the stakeholder could have a tremendous impact on the adoption.
Resistance to Change - Employees are generally resistant to change, and this is the biggest barrier to Digital Adoption. Change is common for any business; every business migrates from its old system to the new system to catch up with current trends and meet the expected demands. If they do not change just because they are not comfortable, the reliance on old technology will become a significant disadvantage for the organization.
It is the responsibility of an organization to make sure that employees are on board with the organization’s vision. The organization should further set the expectation and enable resources to make these processes smooth.
Disparate Applications Used by a User - Today, to complete their work, employees, use numerous applications. As a result, they get confused or lost, or just too much time is wasted on transitioning between tools or migrating data from one tool to another. Further, it affects the productivity of the employee. A proper strategy must be in place to make employees comfortable with an application.
Building a Digital Adoption Strategy
With the advent of the pandemic, companies have transitioned to remote work and have adopted tools that they have probably never thought they would use. You might have probably experienced the same thing, at least saw many companies transform their whole workflows to keep up.
But transforming your company from a traditional business to one that is digital isn’t as easy as it sounds. Leading your staff to success will be as difficult as finding and integrating the right systems.
Wondering how you can speed up the adoption process with full efficiency? The trick is to start small, measure, and tweak agility and adoption. You could keep in mind the following pointers below while you design your digital adoption strategy.
Ensure adequate leadership support – A vital prerequisite before digitizing your organization is ensuring that you have the buy-in and support of senior management. Not only is it necessary for them to lead by example and encourage staff to make changes, but they are the ones that sign off on the projects, and the budgets, to implement new digital solutions. You need to ensure that your upper management is genuinely behind digitizing workflows which is a part of their KPIs. Research conducted by McKinsey suggests that less than one-third of all organizations consider their digital adoption and transformation projects to have been successful.
But these transformations are 1.6 times more likely to be successful when the company also employed a Chief Digital Officer or an identified senior resource who is spearheading the transformation initiative. This is because they bring relevant expertise to the senior management team, and they are also there to advocate for digital transformation at the top level. This research also found that having a clear story that justifies the need for the transformation, and instilling a sense of urgency in the need for change, are also effective strategies.
Address resistance to change- If there is a general resistance to digital adoption among staff, it is essential to identify and address the underlying concerns. While there are many reasons why staff might be reluctant to change, the two most common are:
1. Fear that they lack the skills to adapt to the new technology and that their lack of skills will lessen their value;
2. The belief that change is being implemented for change’s sake, and will not only not improve work productivity but make some tasks more difficult.
It comes back to them telling the story of why the change is both important and urgent, and how it will benefit staff and the company. The digital solution development process should also be consultative, showing staff that solutions are genuinely being designed to meet their needs and streamline workflows. Information about training should be made available from the outset, and staff should be reassured that they are supported and have the time that they need to learn the new systems.
Incentivize change- Tracking and demonstrating the impact that digital adoption is having on the company’s key performance indicators can be an effective incentive. If information can be shared about how adoption is gradually saving staff time, boosting productivity, or increasing sales, this can provide staff with the incentive that they need to overcome inertia and start actively making changes. Moreover, there must be champions who should be identified and rewarded for promoting digital tools among their peers and colleagues.
Be agile and experimental – It can be frustrating when we invest a lot of resources and energy into creating a system to serve a specific purpose, such as hosting meetings, only to find that staff prefers to bypass this system and use something that they are already familiar with. But if the aim is to empower staff to do their jobs as effectively as possible using digital tools, these frustrations should be embraced rather than rejected.
A good approach to handle this might be to start small and identify quick wins which could be adopted easily. Once you measure the impact, you can easily tweak it to ensure adoption with the various stakeholders.
The Digital Adoption Best Practices Checklist
Digital adoption can become complicated and there is no one thing to go about it but it is always ideal to have a checklist or best practice document by your side to stay on track.
Some of the best practices you need to keep in mind include:
Understand the users to analyze the current adoption rate
Measure the existing process efficiency
Ensure leadership support buy-in from all the stakeholders
Start with a strategic plan
Use training and onboarding tools
Start with a strategic plan, and be flexible to iterate.
Track, and measure the outcomes
Optimize the digital adoption process
QuickReach: Boosting Agility In Your Digital Transformation
The advantage of a No-Code platform like QuickReach in your digital transformation journey is that you could adopt a flexible approach to your digital adoption. You can choose to iteratively launch digital tools and applications to potential users to test their ease of use. They could then be iteratively improved to ensure that the applications are relatively simple and easy to use. The learnings and inputs could then be valuable to the business users while launching the next application on the QuickReach platform.
Some of the advantages of using a platform like QuickReach include:
Much faster than full code- Since QuickReach is a No-Code platform, the time to assemble and launch software applications is faster than what it would have taken if your company was looking to develop the applications using the traditional methods. You could look to launch basic apps within hours using existing templates and slightly more complicated ones in a matter of days or weeks, unlike in traditional app development methods which could take anywhere between months to hours.
Faster and easier to integrate with existing systems- QuickReach makes use of rest API which makes it easier for companies to integrate with existing systems and bring them all on one platform which ensures visibility and interoperability. For legacy systems, QuickReach makes use of in-built bots to ensure that the systems communicate with each other, and that data is not left isolated or unused.
Scalable- The modular nature of which QuickReach has been built ensures that the platform is scalable, implying whether it’s a department that is initially using the platform, or eventually the entire company is subscribed to the platform, its performance would not be affected. It is also interesting that you could identify a pain point and launch an application to solve it and then iteratively look to tackle pain points that are lower in priority.
QuickReach would allow you to reduce significant pressure on the IT team in delivering countless digital projects in your company without the need for coding or any kind of technical intervention. The sophistication of the platform ensures that its more comprehensive than stand-alone workflow, form, and integration software.