Why is Digital Adoption Suddenly a Thing?
Do you remember life before you bought your first smartphone? Sure, you might have lived twenty, thirty, forty, or more years before unwrapping your first pocket-sized computer. But if you’re like me, you might look back occasionally and wonder how you ever lived without 24/7 access to Google, email, bank apps, social media, etc. Today, the ubiquitousness of smartphones and our reliance on them for instant access to information, communication, and entertainment make them an integral part of our daily lives. The thought of returning to the pre-smartphone era is enough to make us shudder. Now, the emergence of digital adoption solutions is beginning to exhibit the same effect. Digital adoption is a relatively new concept. But already, companies that have achieved the benefits of digital adoption on their software investments are wondering, how did we ever think about integrating new technology without it?
Wait! What’s digital adoption, exactly?Digital adoption refers to how well people can actually use a piece of technology. Achieving digital adoption means that your users reap the complete value of a given digital tool because they can utilize the full range of features with ease and efficiency. For example, say your sales team has just implemented its first CRM platform. Previously, they recorded all required information in a series of Excel spreadsheets. Now, the power of customized reporting, advanced analytics, automated email flows, and much more is at their fingertips! Except not really, because none of your sales team members have any clue how to use the platform. Instead of reaching more prospects, increasing efficiency, and closing more deals, your salespeople are wasting time scratching their heads trying to figure out how to navigate the new interface and complete daily processes. In this scenario, digital adoption is low. When this is the case, all the potential benefits your software offers remain out of reach.
Enter: Digital adoption solutionsThe logical solution to this all-too-common problem is one that bridges the gap between a software’s potential benefits and the usability problems that prevent people from achieving them. Sounds obvious, right? In fact, a 2017 article about WalkMe, who pioneered digital adoption technology, referred to it as “the most obvious tool in the world.” Exactly. Why is digital adoption so obvious? Well, why spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on enterprise technology without any guarantee it will bring you value? For enterprises that have already successfully deployed digital adoption solutions, the idea of giving it up is just as scary as throwing away your smartphone.
How does it work?A digital adoption solution effectively eliminates usability barriers by guiding users through processes with ease, irrespective of their experience level using the given platform. It is a form of overlay technology, which means it’s compatible with any type of enterprise software, website, or app. Using an algorithm, the solution assesses a broad range of contextual factors in order to understand a user’s intention, role, needs, and challenges. Based on this information, it provides prompts that seamlessly guide users through tasks, much like a GPS directs a driver through unfamiliar roads. You can create customized content so key processes that you identify will always come with instructions. Additionally, a digital adoption solution uses artificial intelligence to learn about a user’s behavior, anticipate where they will encounter friction, and proactively deploy tailored support.
How does it provide value?WalkMe’s digital adoption solution, the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), provides organizations value through four main avenues. Insights The DAP analyzes user behavior and provides insights on a dashboard so you can easily understand where users struggle the most, which processes have low completion rates, which features are being under-utilized, and other key takeaways. Based on those insights, you can create more effective prompts and ensure optimal usability. Guidance Every user has different needs and questions. The DAP continuously analyzes a user’s context — meaning their role, the process they are working on, their overall goals, and many more factors — and provides relevant visual cues that guide them through the process step-by-step. Automation Few things make a process easier or more efficient than automation. By eliminating empty clicks and tedious steps, users can sail through processes while remaining confident they are completing them accurately. Not only does productivity rise, so does the user experience. Engagement With the help of AI-driven rules, you can better engage your users via proactive prompts that deploy automatically, depending on a user’s current actions. For example, if the DAP senses that a user is stuck on a certain step in a process, it can ask the user if they need help and provide a Walk-Thru before the user drops off.
That sounds great! So, why is digital adoption just becoming a thing now?The benefits of a digital adoption solution seem obvious now, right? But it wasn’t always that way. Digital transformation isn’t exactly a new initiative. Companies have been steadily increasing their investments in digital technology for years. According to the IDC, spending on digital transformation technologies is expected to reach $1.18 trillion in 2019, up 17.8% from 2018. Despite increasing momentum around transformation efforts, we’re all too familiar with the grim success rates of digital transformation. Just 16% of digital transformations have enabled organizations to achieve long-term performance improvements, according to McKinsey’s 2018 Global Survey on digital transformation. Every failure is a major source of frustration and waste. But for many organizations, it’s been difficult to pinpoint exactly what led to this failure. We know that poor digital adoption is almost always the reason. Think of it as the big umbrella reason, with all of the contributing factors underneath:
- Inadequate training and software onboarding
- Lack of digital guidance tools
- Poor change management
- Insufficient IT support
- Employee resistance