Most IT managers and CIOs have got it all wrong.
They’re so focused on what technology to implement, they forget about the users who have to adopt it.
But the reality is, the “most crucial objective of any major IT transition is outstanding adoption.” (source: Santarosa Consulting)
But how do you measure success? It’s not as simple as just measuring usage. You need relevant and specific digital adoption KPIs.
Why you need specific digital adoption KPIs
If you don’t define and monitor specific digital adoption KPIs, the desired outcomes of your technology implementation are likely to suffer.
This is Salesforce’s advice to its customers:
“Tracking user logins is a good start, but it’s not enough. Because it can be confusing to figure out what to measure, you need to develop a framework of key performance indicators (KPIs).”
It’s important that stakeholders are involved in the process of determining that framework, and that KPIs are based on a number of factors.
For Rephael Sweary, president and co-founder of WalkMe, this starts with how you define “adoption”.
“I have heard some people defining adoption by having people trained and do something,” Sweary told CMSWire.
But true digital adoption is more than that.
According to WalkMe, the definition of adoption is, “achieving a state in which digital tools are being used as intended, and to their fullest extent.”
So, the intention behind the implementation of the new technology is important. So are its features. Because if they’re not being used properly or at all, and they’re intended to be, adoption has not been successful.
Referring to this definition of adoption, we can begin to develop relevant digital adoption KPIs.
3 important types of digital adoption KPIs
- The tool
- The user
- The outcomes/performance
1. The tool
Let’s start off with the tool or technology itself. Why has it been chosen? What features and benefits does it promise?
A digital tool has not been fully adopted if users don’t understand or aren’t aware of all its features. This category of KPIs comes from the “to their fullest extent” part of WalkMe’s digital adoption definition.
Here’s an example. A medical centre introduces a new app for their customers that includes a feature for requesting repeat prescriptions.
The medical centre gets good usage numbers, because their patients are familiar and comfortable with the idea of using it to book appointments. However, a survey reveals that people aren’t aware of or don’t trust the new repeat prescriptions feature.
This doesn’t constitute digital adoption because the app is not being used to its fullest extent. So, formulate KPIs based on the technology’s features and intent.
2. The user
It’s important to measure how satisfied users are with the tool they’re adopting. Dom Nicastro writes in CMSWire about the importance of user value.
Nicastro also includes comments from Shaun Slattery, Ph.D., director of consulting at Igloo Software. He recommends surveys, focus groups, and user experience testing to gauge satisfaction in relation to digital adoption.
Ultimately, digital tools are intended to improve users’ lives in some way.
CIOs and CDOs base their choice of technology on how much better it can help people to do their jobs. And digital offerings are developed for customers on the basis that they will provide them with a better experience.
So user satisfaction KPIs are a really important way to measure successful adoption.
4. The outcomes/performance
“Digital is more than a set of technologies you buy. It is the abilities those technologies create…Digital is the application of information and technology to raise human performance.” Accenture Strategy Blog 10
We love this statement. It sums up the purpose of digital adoption perfectly: to raise human performance.
In a business context, this is hugely valuable. If you roll out a new digital sales tool, some of your digital adoption KPIs should be based on overall sales performance. Has it improved? In what way?
Efficiency, morale, and productivity — these are all factors that have a huge impact on performance.
Going back to the definition of digital adoption, Rephael Sweary has one of his own.
“My definition of adoption is changing the habit of how they work into a more efficient manner.” CMSWire
So, develop digital adoption KPIs that measure how your employees are being more productive or efficient. These are powerful metrics that will speak volumes for your digital transformation efforts.
Developing relevant digital adoption KPIs starts with your definition of adoption. From there, you can define metrics based on the tool, its user(s), and business outcomes. These are the core components for measuring digital adoption success.