When is the right time to invest in digital adoption?

7 minute read
Updated On | Jun 14, 2024 12:49:43 PM
Publish On | May 30, 2024 9:37:00 AM
Adam Clayton
Digital Adoption Practice Lead
When is the right time to invest in digital adoption?


Your business could have the finest, most capable technology on the planet - but without the necessary digital adoption, it would result in a waste of time and money. 

Digital adoption is vital for ensuring that users have the knowledge, training and empowerment to make full use of the technology at their disposal. This is especially important at a time when technology - and the potential of it - is advancing faster than ever before.

As Gartner has found out, only 35% of board directors say that their organizations are on track with their digital transformation goals. This underlines why digital adoption should form a core part of any transformation strategy, for new and existing technology alike.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at digital adoption in the modern technology landscape, including how it should closely mirror your digital transformation efforts, how beneficial digital adoption can be, and how to know where and when to commit your investment.

What is digital adoption?

Digital adoption is the process by which organizations and employees are fully empowered and able to leverage digital tools to achieve a particular goal or outcome. It goes beyond just teaching staff how to use software or devices; it also includes tracking and continuously improving how these tools are leveraged. This ensures that everyone can make the most out of the technology. 

Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) are powerful tools which support this process by offering:

- In-app contextual guidance to users, showing them how to execute their day to day tasks directly within the system/ application with clear guardrails around data inputs.

- Detailed analytics on how certain technologies are being adopted and potential improvement points.

- User surveys to feed back the voice of the user/ customer. 

Digital adoption vs digital transformation

Digital adoption often gets confused with digital transformation. Whilst the two are complementary, there is an important distinction between them.

Digital transformation can be thought of as a journey with a clear destination; an overarching change in business processes and models through digital technologies to achieve a business objective. New software or systems are the vehicles that are designed to help transport the business along this journey; however even the best vehicles require careful navigation to ensure that they remain on track to achieve their destination. Digital adoption acts like this navigation system, ensuring that users can effectively and efficiently use these digital solutions to reach the transformation goals. Thus, while digital adoption focuses on the effective use of technology, digital transformation is about fundamentally changing how a business operates and grows with technology.

Digital adoption vs digital transformation

Benefits of investing in Digital Adoption Platforms

No digital transformation should therefore be undertaken without investing in digital adoption at the same time. If you don’t, your user base and organization as a whole will be missing out on a range of benefits and positive impacts:

For a business:

  • Increased technology ROI: Digital Adoption Platforms can identify where technology features are not being fully leveraged and can encourage/ guide users to start utilizing the functionality to maximize the value of the technology. 

  • Process efficiencies: By integrating digital adoption effectively, organizations can minimize errors and rework. As users understand how to use technology to its fullest potential, workflows are optimized and inefficiencies reduced.

  • Cycle time reduction: Digital adoption can significantly decrease the overall turnaround time for key processes. As employees become more proficient with technology, tasks that previously took longer can be completed more quickly, resulting in a faster overall process completion time and a more agile response to market demands.

  • Reduce support tickets: With comprehensive digital adoption, employees encounter fewer usability issues, resulting in a decrease in support tickets. 

  • Increase productivity: Equipping users with the necessary skills and knowledge helps maintain ongoing proficiency, allowing employees to leverage technology more effectively in their roles, which boosts overall productivity.

  • Reduce training costs: By using digital adoption platforms, organizations can offer resources and training that reduce the need for extensive hands-on training sessions. This not only cuts costs but also allows for more flexible learning schedules.

For users:

  • Deeper trust: Increased digital adoption allows businesses to learn more about user and customer behavior. The knock-on effect of that is having the knowledge and capability to build personal, meaningful interactions that help develop greater trust and a connection between the user and the business.

  • Employee empowerment: When employees feel more proficient and comfortable with the digital tools they’re using, they feel more productive and less stressed about the job they’re doing. This empowers them to reach new heights in their work, and negates the demotivation that can damage employee wellbeing in the short-term, and talent retention and acquisition in the long-term.

  • Improve user satisfaction: Digital adoption enables the seamless, intuitive experiences that business users and customers alike are increasingly coming to expect. Furthermore, by leveraging Digital Adoption Platforms to monitor and continually improve Net Promoter Scores and customer satisfaction survey results across the user base, companies can ensure that feedback is captured, heard and acted upon.


When is the right time to invest in digital adoption?

Like any form of technology investment, understanding how, when and where to commit to digital adoption can be tricky. The best way to identify this is to look out for the symptoms of poor digital adoption, and the consequences that this can have on your organization overall.

Generally speaking, it may well be time to explore an expansion of your digital adoption efforts if you’re suffering from at least one of the following problems:

Icon_Unexpected ROI Not seeing the expected ROI of a recent digital transformation

If a digital transformation isn't meeting its ROI goals, focusing on digital adoption can help. Ensuring that employees are fully equipped to use new technologies can unlock the intended benefits and value of the investment.

Icon_Employee Attrition Employee Attrition

Inadequate systems can lead to employee dissatisfaction and high turnover. Effective digital adoption improves staff experience by ensuring they are confident and proficient with new technologies, thereby enhancing job satisfaction and retention.

Icon_Insufficient and inadequate software Insufficient and inadequate software

There are many reasons why software might not be up to the job. It could be too old, too complicated for a user to understand, lacking the capacity to do everything it needs to do, or hasn’t evolved and adapted to meet the changing needs of the business it serves. Any of these situations are telltale signs that new software in conjunction with a fresh digital adoption approach may be required, or that existing software just requires a bigger adoption push.

Icon_Lack of agility from internal staff Lack of agility from internal staff

If new strategies or plans are proving time-consuming to execute, or are more difficult than you feel like they should be, then a lack of digital adoption may well be part of the problem. Investing in adoption can give employees the tools and expertise to get more from the platforms they use, completing work more accurately and efficiently. 

Icon_Poor culture or lack of motivation Poor culture or lack of motivation

Sometimes it can be difficult to get employees engaged with digital transformation efforts. It can be through despondency (due to poor engagement or support), or it can be through complacency (feeling that nothing is broken, so there’s no need to try and fix it).

A renewed effort on digital adoption can improve engagement and awareness of the user base, ultimately enhancing the digital transformation journey by informing, supporting and monitoring the implementation of new technology. This helps to make users feel closer to the journey and supported in their day to day activities, resulting in them feeling much more positive about their work.

In summary

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to digital adoption. Every business is at a different maturity level in terms of its digital adoption and transformation journey, which means that a tailored approach is a must. 

Some businesses may need to improve their digital adoption efforts as a means to exploit new technologies like automation and AI; some may simply need some help maximizing the tools already at their disposal; while some may need a combination of the two. In any case, it can be very difficult for any organization to look internally and assess the best path forward, which is where the expertise of a third party can be invaluable.

Our Digital Adoption Practice, a key part of our Intelligent Automation services, equips your team with the necessary tools and knowledge to fully leverage your technology investments. Discover how we can support your journey at Ciklum's Digital Adoption Platforms.

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