Digital adoption programs

How to Structure Digital Adoption Programs: A Quick Guide

Digital adoption programs are crucial for any company that wants to keep up in today’s fast-paced economy. To maximize the returns on those programs, however, it is important to structure and manage them properly.

The performance of digital tools, after all, depends heavily on how efficiently and effectively those tools are adopted.


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Below, we’ll look at a few best practices and principles that can boost the outcomes of digital adoption efforts.

How to Structure Digital Adoption Programs

When designing any digital adoption program, it is necessary to begin with a clear definition of digital adoption.

Digital adoption refers to a state where users have the ability to use digital tools as they are intended and to the fullest extent.

This definition differs from software implementation, which only focuses on the deployment of new tools.

By emphasizing the need to fully utilize tools, digital adoption specialists can align their strategic priorities properly around that aim and create well-structured adoption programs.

Here are a few more ways to improve digital adoption initiatives:

Develop a dedicated digital adoption function

The technology revolution is far from over, and as long as it continues, digital adoption will be a necessity.

To maximize software ROI and minimize the disruptive effects of implementing new tools, business leaders should consider permanently dedicating resources to digital adoption.

This means:

  • Hiring or training digital adoption specialists, as mentioned below
  • Creating a digital adoption department
  • Aligning digital adoption programs with business strategies
  • Integrating digital-first strategies into the workplace

In short, digital adoption should become a core function of the organization, since organizational performance is so closely tied to digital maturity.

Hire or train a team of experts

To implement a successful digital adoption program, it is important to have qualified team members at every level, including:

  • Builders who construct and implement digital adoption solutions
  • Managers who oversee digital adoption projects
  • Leaders who design and lead digital adoption programs at scale

As with any other discipline, it is best to either hire specialists, train employees, or both.

Digital adoption certification, for instance, is a good option for existing employees who want to learn more about digital adoption from industry leaders.

Understand and plan around the adoption life cycle

The digital adoption process focuses on optimizing stages in the user journey such as onboarding and training.

When developing a structured digital adoption program, digital adoption managers should:

  • Map out the important stages of the product adoption process, including onboarding, training, and support
  • Set clear goals, measurable objectives, metrics, and KPIs
  • Test various strategies for improving those metrics

A process of continual improvement, such as this one, is foundational for any digital adoption program – yet the right strategy cannot succeed without the proper tools.

Use digital adoption platforms

Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) are onboarding and training solutions that can significantly improve adoption outcomes.

DAPs streamline the adoption process through several key features:

  • In-app walkthroughs and product tours that quickly introduce users to products, features, and workflows
  • Contextualized guidance that boosts engagement and knowledge retention
  • Self-service solutions that reduce the need for technical support
  • Software analytics that offer insight into user behavior and training needs

The proper use of these platforms can have dramatic results on employee performance, while also reducing software-related frustration.

Integrate digital adoption into the organization’s overall strategy

To succeed in today’s economy, it is important to become a digital-first organization.

Those that cannot use digital technology effectively will lag behind the market and, in a worst case scenario, be overtaken by their competitors.

Rather than simply implementing modern tools, business leaders should find ways to use those tools to innovate and create new forms of value.

A digital-first strategy can help organizations keep up with the changing economy, in other words, but building a digital-first organization depends on having a solid digital adoption program.

After all, companies that cannot adopt new tools swiftly will certainly not be able to use those tools to innovate.

Build a digital-friendly culture

Culture is another factor that affects employees’ willingness and ability to use new digital tools.

Having a pro-technology mindset will significantly affect employees’ skill levels, their digital savviness, and their adaptability.

A few cultural traits to cultivate include:

  • A pro-learning mindset
  • Data-centrism
  • User-centrism
  • Creativity and innovation

Traits such as these can significantly boost adoption efforts, especially when used in conjunction with the other strategies covered here.

Final Thoughts

A well-structured digital adoption program can significantly boost employee performance and, as a result, organizational performance.

In fact, as we move forward into the digital age, digital adoption may even become a strategic imperative.

Given the uncertainty and volatility in today’s markets, it is advisable to begin planning for that digital future as soon as possible – after all, those that wait too long could easily be left behind.

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