Have you heard? Apparently, 8 out of 10 of businesses can’t achieve digital success.
That’s according to Michael Gale’s research on digital transformation (in collaboration with Forbes). It says that 84% of companies are unable to implement a tech-driven approach successfully.
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These are not promising statistics.
Something needs to change, and fast. Make no mistake, digital transformation is not just in the future. It’s in the here and now. 89% of today’s businesses are prioritizing digital strategies.
With so many enterprises trying to become tech-forward — and failing due to poor implementation — clearly, it’s time to develop a strong digital adoption plan.
After all, failing to plan is planning to fail.
But first, what is digital transformation?
Digital transformation occurs when an organization “rewires” their entire operation in order to match the digital world.
Writing in Entrepreneur, Manish Dudharejia highlights that, “for this to work, a successful approach to digital adoption is crucial.”
We believe that the 3 golden rules of digital transformation are:
- Focus on digital adoption
- Recruit strong leadership
- Create a culture of change
This is how to avoid being in Michael Gale’s 84%.
And what is digital adoption?
The most important rule of digital transformation is to focus on digital adoption, which is:
“achieving a state in which digital tools are being used as intended, and to their fullest extent.” WalkMe
The 3 golden rules of digital adoption are:
- Focus on user experience (UX)
- Use a digital adoption tool
- Develop a digital adoption plan
4 reasons why you need a user-centric digital adoption plan
- To get ROI
- For better morale
- For better productivity
- To remain competitive
1. To get ROI
There are lots of horror stories out there about organizations spending millions on new systems and apps that fail to bring in ROI.
An adoption strategy is key. Organizations spend money on new technology but don’t allocate enough resources to its adoption. This is a huge mistake.
Ultimately, it’s about the end users. How can you get them to change their behaviors, to learn and love a new system and way of working? You need a strategic digital adoption plan that addresses their concerns and needs, not just the organization’s.
2. For better morale
A by-product of having a solid digital adoption plan in place is better employee morale.
Adobe’s 2016 Future of Work Report shows that state-of-the-art technology is more important to the vast majority of employees than an office’s design or on-site amenities. A massive 81% of respondents said so.
Adobe’s study also found that workers who said their company’s technology is “ahead of the curve” feel doubly motivated and valued — even, more creative — than those at companies where the technology is “behind the times.”
Technology can make or break the employee experience. It can be incredibly frustrating. If we’re not able to perform necessary tasks with it, or achieve our goals quickly and easily, not only does it hurt productivity, it also ruins morale.
It can even lead to employee burnout — or “software frustritus” as this video shows!
We know that happy employees are more productive — by 20% according to SMF’s research Happiness and productivity: Understanding the happy-productive worker.
Happiness can raise sales by 37%. And it’s worth noting that, between 1998 and 2005, the stock prices of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” rose 14% per year. This is in comparison to only a 6% increase for companies not on the list.
Remember, digital adoption is about improving user experience. So your digital adoption plan needs to focus on the “happiness” of its intended users.
3. For better productivity
Better productivity can be achieved through less frustrated employees. But also, executing your adoption strategy ensures that every stakeholder in the organization is working in the same way, with the same tools.
This has a number of productivity benefits. It improves communication and collaboration, for example, if everyone is comfortable using an integrated digital system.
It also streamlines operations by standardizing work and software across the company.
But the “proof of the pudding” is always in the adoption. Rolling out new technology is not in itself enough. Users must use it, run with it, and love it.
Otherwise, it’s just another potential cause of employee frustration.
“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
4. To remain competitive
According to McKinsey, when it comes to digital transformation, it’s the fastest adopters that will gain the advantage over their competition.
They will reap the financial rewards, with three-year revenue growth (of over 12%) nearly double that of businesses “playing it safe”.
“In digital scrums…it is first movers and very fast followers that gain a huge advantage over their competitors.” McKinsey
Digital is clearly the future. And adoption must be driven from the outset of any implementation.
Businesses that fail to develop a solid, user-focused digital adoption strategy will soon fall by the wayside.
Leaders need to step up and understand the critical role they must play in supporting a tech-driven culture that embraces digital change. That is how to win.