8 out of 10 of businesses can’t achieve digital success.
That’s according to Michael Gale’s research on digital transformation (with Forbes). It says that 84% of companies aren’t able to implement a tech-forward approach successfully.
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We know that adoption is a huge barrier to digital transformation. And unfortunately, digital adoption carries with it a whole load of complex issues.
If digital adoption were easy, the majority of companies would be a lot further on with their digital transformation by now.
But a “jumping without thinking” approach is rife among traditional enterprises that are desperate to catch up.
Focusing on the technology itself but forgetting its successful implementation leads to failure. And the digital adoption challenges have proven insurmountable for some.
But first, what is digital adoption?
Digital adoption is defined by WalkMe as “achieving a state in which digital tools are being used as intended, and to their fullest extent.”
Writing in Entrepreneur, Manish Dudharejia points out that adoption is essential if digital transformation is to be successful.
So, in order to improve your chances of successful digital adoption, you should:
- Focus on user experience (UX)
- Use a digital adoption tool
- Develop a digital adoption plan
These three golden rules will help you to avoid the following digital adoption challenges.
4 nightmare digital adoption challenges you need to address
- Resistance to change
- Poor leadership
- Updates and legacy systems
- Outdated processes
1. Resistance to change
Resistance to change is the bane of every change manager’s existence. It’s also one of the trickiest digital adoption challenges to overcome.
After all, how do you get people to adopt something new when they don’t want to change their behavior? It’s as much a human behavioral science issue as it is a digital adoption one.
Tackling this adoption challenge requires a strategic people-focused approach, coupled with knowledge of contemporary change management and adult learning principles.
Even then, it’s not necessarily an easy ride. So you need to equip yourself with the right tools to facilitate your digital adoption.
A Digital Adoption Platform, for example, is a great way to ease employee concerns, accelerate the learning process, and generally achieve better results.
2. Poor leadership
This is one of the most common digital adoption challenges we see and a serious cause for concern in some markets, the UK for instance.
According to a study by CBI, 10-15% of the difference between British and American firms’ digital transformation is due to a leadership failure. When it comes to digital transformation and adoption, weak leadership can make organisations less innovative.
“Leadership development builds the desire and vision to improve adoption.” DataIQ
Business leaders need to create a culture that embraces innovation, digital adoption, and constant evolution. As opposed to resisting it.
3. Updates and legacy systems
The dreaded system updates — don’t you wish you didn’t have to deal with them? Yeah, so do employees.
System updates are a fact of modern business life. Because technology is constantly improving, software updates are frequent — and frustrating. Just when members of staff have gotten used to a system, it gets upgraded.
Productivity waivers as employees have to familiarise themselves with the changes. This contributes to the growth of what is sometimes referred to as “software frustritus”. (See the video below.)
4. Outdated processes
This ties into our leadership point. Old structures and out of date processes make the adoption of technology within that environment so much more difficult.
Everything that pertains to the technology being adopted must facilitate that adoption. Or at least not hinder it.
In Kotter’s organizational change management process, this is called “enabling action by removing barriers”. It’s a simple idea really; you’re just making the desired behavior change as easy as possible to do.
If there are forms to fill in, review and shorten or remove them. If there’s a login process, make it quick and simple. If you’re trying to encourage a customer to purchase, accept the most common payment methods.
Don’t ask too much of your users. If you do, their resistance will increase.
Some final words
“Organizations looking to complete digital transformation processes, or migrate their existing services online require buy-in and adoption from their users, or they risk losses that could do more than set back their IT budget.” Philip Kushmaro, CIO.com
Digital is the future and the future is here. Businesses that fail to adapt won’t survive. Digital transformation requires successful user adoption. So it’s important to drive adoption from the outset of any implementation.
Don’t underestimate the digital adoption challenges you face. Businesses that do will fail to see a return on any technology investment.