In today’s digitally-driven economy, organizations must achieve digital adoption excellence in order to stay modern, competitive, and profitable.
Digital adoption – the process by which users use digital tools for their intended purpose and to their fullest extent – is a fundamental function in the modern workplace.
Today’s business world, after all, is powered by digital technology, which is continually evolving.
In such an environment, digital adoption helps businesses:
- Innovate and find new ways to profit from emerging technologies
- Keep up with competitors and customers’ expectations
- Improve employee productivity and engagement
- Increase organizational performance
Digitization, digital transformation, and digital maturity, in short, depend on digital adoption excellence.
Below, we’ll look at a few essential ingredients that can help companies improve their digital adoption strategy.
5 Must-Have Ingredients to Achieve Digital Adoption Excellence
Here are a few key components to focus on when designing or redesigning digital adoption efforts:
1. A structured approach to digital adoption
Digital adoption is a business function and, like any other business discipline, it has its own set of objectives, strategies, and methods.
Since successful digital adoption depends on understanding and implementing those best practices, it is important to understand these foundational ideas and use them to build a structured adoption program.
Structured adoption programs focus on key stages in the user journey, including:
Once these stages have been mapped out, then adoption specialists can set goals, define measurable objectives, and then create a plan to achieve those objectives.
2. A plan to achieve digital maturity
Digital maturity is a measurement that refers to an organization’s overall digital capabilities. More mature organizations have modern IT systems, tightly integrated digital technology stacks, and forward-thinking organizational cultures, all of which can boost organizational performance.
A digitally mature company will have several advantages in the digital economy, including:
- Improved ROI from digital tools
- Smoother, faster implementation of digital tools
- Less software-related frustration and resistance from employees
- Better outcomes from digitally-driven business endeavors
A structured digital adoption program that covers all of the areas mentioned in the previous step, such as user onboarding and training, will help companies streamline the adoption of new tools.
Improvements to the adoption program, in turn, will accelerate the journey towards digital maturity.
3. A digital-first business strategy
The modern economy is being driven by digital technology, so it pays to take a digital-first approach in business.
In fact, according to IDC, half of global GDP will be generated from digitally transformed enterprises by 2023. The economy itself will become digital-first, which will set new standards and demands for companies that want to compete.
IDC claims that a new “species” of digital-first business will be created, whose business models are built around principles such as:
- Hyperspeed, the ability to deliver services 100 times faster
- Hyperscale, producing 10 times as many apps and services
- Hyperconnected, “supersizing” digital supply chains and distribution networks to enhance innovation
These predictions align with the predictions of many other research organizations, who also suggest that tomorrow’s economy will look radically different from the pre-2020 era.
McKinsey, for instance, suggests that we will be entering an entirely new paradigm, which they call the next normal. That era will be defined by a different economic structure, new customer expectations, different business prerogatives, and more.
Since digital adoption strategies are so essential to building a digital-first organization – and succeeding in tomorrow’s digital-first economy – business leaders should find ways to align and integrate the two.
4. A digitally savvy workforce
Digital savviness improves employees’ ability to drive digital transformation, innovate with new technologies, and more. Also, the more skilled employees are, the more easily they can adopt new digital solutions.
Yet at the same time, their digital skills depend on the organization’s digital adoption efforts.
A well-structured, employee-centric digital adoption program ensures that the workforce can stay digitally literate.
As we saw above, those digital skills will become even more important in the years ahead, and an organization’s performance may even depend on how skilled the workforce is.
Adoption programs should therefore focus heavily on employee metrics such as:
Not only will a robust training program improve employee performance, it will also improve retention and loyalty. Employees, after all, prefer working for employers who provide training and development opportunities.
5. A modern IT infrastructure
Another main focus of digital adoption programs should be the actual tools themselves.
While many companies focus exclusively on software implementation, it must be recognized that the value of digital tools depends heavily on employee skill levels and how those tools are utilized.
That being said, skilled employees can accomplish only so much with outdated tools.
Legacy tools and software can inhibit growth in several ways:
- The workplace and the workforce will become less efficient
- It will become more difficult to integrate newer technologies with obsolete tools
- If supply chains and business partners upgrade, legacy tools will hold back the entire network
In short, IT systems are the foundational machinery that enable a company to participate in the digital economy – and they are the very tools that digital adoption efforts revolve around.