What advice will a digital adoption consultant offer during consultation?
Below, we’ll explore digital adoption in detail, including:
- What a digital adoption consultant does
- What advice they would offer
- The pros and cons of hiring an outside consultant
- Other approaches to improving your digital adoption process
Let’s start by understanding the digital adoption process.
What Is Digital Adoption?
Digital adoption is a business endeavor that includes a few processes, such as:
- Implementation of New Technology – Technology adoption is essential to digital adoption. Namely, organizations install, test, deploy, and implement new software or technology. But digital adoption’s definition extends further than the definition of technology adoption, as we’ll see below.
- Training and Onboarding Users – Onboarding and training are essential to digital adoption efforts. This is essential to ensuring users understand the “how” and “why” of a new solution. It also ensures users are productive and engaged.
- Maximizing Technology Usage – If users aren’t using a tool to its fullest extent, the organization isn’t getting the returns it could be getting. Maximizing utilization, therefore, is a question of ROI.
In short, digital adoption is a process that extends beyond implementation – it includes maximizing utilization, onboarding, project management, and more.
Because digital adoption is a complex process, many organizations consider hiring consultants.
What Do Digital Adoption Consultants Do?
Digital adoption consultants may bill themselves as digital transformation consultants.
Or digital transformation consultants may provide digital adoption consulting as a sub-service.
Because both terms are relatively new, definitions and labels in the business-to-business community are still new.
Regardless – to achieve the goals mentioned above, consultants:
- Help with digital adoption, transformation, and implementation. The consultant will typically customize his or her services to meet the needs of the organization. From a general, big-picture perspective, the consultant’s aim is to fill gaps, provide assistance as needed, and improve weak points.
- Provide project management and oversight. Project management is a critical component of any new digital adoption process. Consultants can work with in-house staff to help design project roadmaps, establish KPIs, set goals, create strategies, and more.
- Offer technology expertise or industry knowledge. Another crucial service offered by consultants is expertise. Scaling businesses must also scale their technical capabilities – this includes adopting new software platforms, improving infrastructure, and choosing the right technology solutions.
- Train in-house staff. Training has become a core component for digital adoption processes. Adoption consultants may also assist with training solutions, by offering training solutions themselves or helping organizations design their own training programs.
- Provide change management services. Change management has become critical in today’s enterprise. Consultants can help employers garner support from employees, assess risk, predict project outcomes, and design effective digital change strategies.
Clearly, digital adoption consultants offer many solutions and services.
The services offered by a given consultant will depend on that consultant’s specialty, their background, as well as the needs of the organization.
Pros and Cons of Digital Adoption Consulting
Every organization should evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of working with a third-party consultant.
First, let’s look at the benefits:
- Specialized Support – As mentioned, a consultant can offer expertise in a specific area, such as sales automation, digital adoption platforms, and so forth. This is ideal for organizations wishing to adopt specialized technology solutions.
- Improved Adoption Projects – One of the primary purposes of hiring a digital adoption manager is improving adoption projects overall. This improvement can mean everything from increased efficiency to improved employee performance.
- Higher ROI – Higher ROI is one of the top concerns for any organization. Specific benefits to adoption projects – such as decreased costs, improved productivity, and shorter learning curves – translate into higher ROI for the organization.
However, it’s also worth considering the downsides to third-party consulting:
- Over-Reliance on Outside Support – Organizations that rely too much on outside support can fail to develop their own internal capacities. For this reason, it is important to work with consultants who can help develop that capacity.
- Cost – Third-party consulting can be less expensive in the short-term. However, over the long run, it may be advisable to invest in internal capabilities, including digital adoption and change management functions.
- Unfamiliarity with Your Business – An outside expert may have specialized knowledge in their field. However, they may not understand your industry as well as you do. This unfamiliarity can result in advice that is less than optimal, or out of sync with your organizational imperatives.
It is certainly worth considering these downsides.
However, the client organization typically has control over the involvement of the consultant.
With the right strategy, it is hard to argue against the benefits of third-party digital adoption consultation.
Final Thoughts: Other Digital Adoption Solutions
Finally, let’s look at a few other ways to improve digital adoption projects:
- Hiring In-House Digital Adoption Specialists – Digital adoption managers and digital change managers
- Digital Adoption Platforms – Digital adoption, onboarding, training, and automation solutions, such as WalkMe
- Digital Literacy Programs – Ensuring that employees stay competent, engaged, and productive
- Career Development – To improve employees’ digital skills, while also improving long-term retention and loyalty
With the right mixture of digital adoption approaches, an organization can ensure that its technology, people, and strategies stay relevant and competitive.