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5 Digital Adoption Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Digital Transformation

Digital Adoption Mistakes

“A lack of digital adoption can…result in thousands and potentially millions of dollars lost in the long term.” Philip Kushmaro,

5 nightmare digital adoption mistakes

  1. Poor training
  2. Irrelevant KPIs
  3. Short term thinking
  4. Weak leadership
  5. No strategy

1. Poor training

Nearly all CEOs (90%) believe their business is facing disruptive change as a result of digital technologies. 70% say their organization doesn’t have the right skills to adapt. (source: Deloitte)

So training has become a crucial element in the battle to dominate in the digital revolution. Without effective training, users won’t have the skills to be able to use digital tools as intended, “and to their fullest extent.”

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This renders the implementation of new technology pretty pointless.

With the creation of new digital tools has also come the development of different training methods. Training managers need to explore a variety of tactics and technologies to combat costly learning and forgetting curves.

Walmart, for example, uses VR to train employees for new roles. And augmented reality (AR) can help maintenance engineers fix equipment.

Traditional face-to-face training achieves extremely poor retention rates. Technology, on the other hand, can provide real-time, personalized, contextualized, training solutions. These training methods hold the key to successful digital adoption.

A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), for example, incorporates AI, machine learning, and automation to provide real-time, contextual guidance to digital users.

Placed on top of the digital tool being adopted, the DAP learns user behavior to provide a personalized training experience. This accelerates and improves the adoption experience.

2. Irrelevant KPIs

Not defining relevant KPIs could be one of your organization’s biggest digital adoption mistakes. And it’s a challenging process for many businesses.

One reason for this is the poor distinction between usage and adoption. Another is the fact that digital KPIs are still relatively uncharted territory for many businesses.

There are many ways to measure success in digital initiatives. Your digital KPIs won’t necessarily be the same as John Doe CIO’s KPIs at the organization down the road. They point is that they must be relevant to your business.

“The biggest limitation [of digital KPIs] is the lack of a clearly defined digital ambition…

“Having a clear idea of your digital ambition will give you some ideas of what you should be measuring to measure your progress. You can’t measure something you don’t have a measuring stick for.” Paul Proctor via

You should base your digital adoption KPIs on:

  • What the new digital tool is intended to achieve
  • Its features
  • Performance outcomes
  • User satisfaction

You might also want to divide your KPIs into two categories, says Gartner analyst Paul Proctor. The first set of metrics assesses the company’s digitization progress. The second assesses revenue sources generated from new digital business models.

3. Short term thinking

What do they say, if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen? Well, if you don’t have the stomach for an ongoing process of The future is here. Actually, the future was here a few years ago.

That’s if you remember watching Back To The Future when the Doc and Marty travelled forwards to the date October 21, 2015.

But in reality too, we’re achieving futuristic levels of technological progress.

Your AI assistant calls up a hair salon and converses with the receptionist to book your appointment. Your car brakes by itself. Meetings are coordinated and scheduled for you at work without any input from a human being.

The adoption of digital technologies is today’s greatest excitement — and challenge. Failure to successfully adopt new technology could sound the death knell for your business.

Your enterprise can’t afford to make any digital adoption mistakes.

continual evolution, you’re going to struggle to succeed with digital adoption.

Digital adoption should not be approached with short term thinking. It’s something that needs to happen continuously throughout an organization’s digital transformation, which is never-ending.

CIOs must approach digital transformation and adoption with an eye on future developments, trends, and business needs. That way, you can be proactive, not reactive.

“…digital transformation isn’t the result, it’s the process. As technology continues to develop, you have to be prepared to continually redefine the finish line. […]

“Coming in first place demands determination and a strong will to constantly evolve.” WalkMe

4. Weak leadership

Business leaders need digital adoption in order to become better leaders. But digital adoption also needs leaders in order for it to work.

Lack of strong leadership and executive buy-in is a common barrier to all sorts of organizational change, including digital adoption.

So borrow some change management principles. Research organizational change models like Kotter’s 8-step process and Prosci’s ADKAR. Whether the approach is bottom up or top down, you need strong leadership, champions, and believers to “walk the walk”.

“There cannot be digital transformation without leaders who have mastered the ins and outs of digital adoption.” Manish Dudharejia, Entrepreneur

Digital transformation won’t be successful without commitment and determination from everyone in the business. So lead by example. Encourage debate. Share influential digital transformation resources.

Focus on creating an organizational culture that embraces change and technological evolution, to set yourself up for repeat digital adoption success.

5. No strategy

Digital transformation is already taking place in businesses around the world. According to IDG, 89% of today’s businesses are prioritizing digital strategies.

That means 11% aren’t. This is the greatest of all digital adoption mistakes. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Having a strategy is one thing. Executing it successfully is quite another. And there are plenty of challenges that threaten to prevent you from doing so.

Tackling these challenges head on is how to secure your digital adoption, and therefore transformation, success.  

Avoid these digital adoption mistakes and you sidestep failure.

Develop a digital adoption strategy that incorporates long-term big picture thinking. Define relevant, meaningful KPIs from the outset. Use contemporary training methodologies and get active support from your leaders.

Do this and the future is yours.

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Digital Adoption Team

A wonderful team of Digital Adoption, Digital Transformation & Change Management Experts.