Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) as an Emergent IT Strategy Post-Pandemic
Enterprise-wide digital adoption is a digital transformation (DX) requirement now, as hybrid work cultures are normalized following the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Enterprise Talk recently wrote that DX is top budget priority for CIOs, and even the “fringe benefits” of starting on the transformation journey are no longer optional, and have rather become even more important because of it. In the face of this change, the importance for leadership teams to set strategic direction when essentially rewiring business operations to be digital-first is made clear.
Boosting digital adoption in today’s data-driven business climate is imperative, as is access to leading edge technology, but not without that make smarter strategies. To successfully modernize their organization, the entirety of the leadership team needs to be onboard. At the wheel of digital transformation efforts, CIOs can influence key decisions about the integration of technology into more business strategies, but must also understand that standardizing departmental data is a foundation to any DX initiative. Research from firms such as IDG make it clear that keener digital strategies need to be a top priority.
Here are three digital adoption trends that are impacting CIO IT roadmaps:
The Role of Continuous Improvement in Digital Adoption
The effort doesn’t stop there, however. More importantly, IT leaders also need to view and communicate to the rest of the organization that the modernization of business processes need to be seen as as part of a continuous improvement (CI) effort. As the organization evolves throughout its DX journey, digital adoption—meaning the degree to which using digital tools are used—must also maximized across the company workforce. The level of skill with any digital tool implemented as part of the digital transformation of the business directly aligns with the overall success of the effort. CIOs must be able to communicate this to departmental peers.
Distributed Teams Are the Future of Work and Jobs Are Evolving
Hybrid and remote work cultures are also here to stay. CIOs are now making strategic decisions for their IT roadmaps. These includes the earmarking of new technologies to aid in the organizational transition of supporting immediate future of work factors such as these. All the while, IT leaders need to make contingencies for continuous improvement a necessity, because job tasks are also continuing to evolve as work becomes more digital. In fact, it’s thought that soon 85% of jobs—or more simply, ways of doing work—that will exist in just a few short years have not even been invented yet, according to a 2020 report from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).
An Agile Learn Approach to Digital Adoption Processes is Paramount to Productivity
With digital transformation driving future of work initiatives amidst the growth of distributed remote workforces, it’s not enough for CIOs to be armed with a digital mindset and continuous improvement strategies. An Agile Lean methodology approach to enabling digital adoption across their organizations is key to protecting employee experience and productivity.
The adoption of a Lean approach of thinking about continuous improvement in the organization, shifts the focus from the business in and of itself to one of discovery. In other words, the efforts of Lean methods are on understanding and mapping the value stream of workers and business processes to the company. This is done while minimizing operational liabilities, like lost effort or error rates and maximizing performance indicators across the workforce, such as process accuracy, labor force availability, and governance or compliance.
The Role of DAPs in Digital Transformation ROI
To help maximize the impact and return on investment (ROI) of digital transformation, while adopting a Lead approach to continuous improvement, IT leaders have been turning to Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs), to augment business processes across the organization by raising the extent of the adoption of digital tools among workers. DAPs are a type of software that has emerged as a growing initiative on IT strategic plans in recent years. The platforms essentially act as company-wide hubs for streamlining data and business procedures with employees remotely, or even in hybrid or on-site roles, helping to augment staff capabilities across operations.
Increasing Digital Adoption User Productivity as Hybrid and Remote Work Evolve
While the need for modern IT solutions like digital adoption is increasing post-pandemic, there is still a learning curve for companies to overcome in terms of acceptance that the digitization of business processes is becoming the norm, even as the hybrid nature of work continues to evolve. Simply stated, not all employees in an organization are going to see the total value of certain digital tools as a necessity, or even in the same capacity as their colleagues. This has led IT teams to rethink how to enable business continuity across the company’s technology stack as they digitize business operations across departments, disparate processes, and distributed teams. In fact, CIO Dive recently wrote that nearly half (42%) of CIOs are looking to technology to help overcome this digital adoption disparity across their business.
Here are two ways that CIOs and IT leaders are unifying business processes:
- Adding more digital tools – Technology teams are choosing to invest in even more IT solutions which can enable company employees to use the digital tools they already have more efficiently, based on a Constellation Research survey of 500 leading CIOs. The need for finding a remedy to the gap of workers not yet ready for a digital-first business environment through increasing digital adoption is clear.
- Investing in digital adoption training – Meanwhile, about one-third of CIOs surveyed, according to the article, are also choosing to help workers improve their use of existing IT applications by investing in digital adoption education and training. “It’s much easier to extract value [by] increasing adoption of capabilities you already have versus continuous launching of new capabilities,” current CIO and Digitization Officer at RB, Filippo Catalano explains in the article. He cites user frustration using old tool sets as well as companies being prevented from realizing their full value as factors of poor digital adoption practices.
Using Continuous Improvement to Increase Transparency in Digital Adoption
Implementing continuous improvement efforts that cut down on digital adoption frustrations and unnecessary costs is crucial to the success of digital adoption strategies. Successful IT teams are those that implement digital adoption solutions that can save workers time, because proficiency is key to improving user productivity and confidence while increasing business capacity for digital adoption. Improving collaboration across distributed teams and departments is also crucial for maximizing ROI of digital adoption and DX initiatives.
Management consulting firm McKinsey illustrated what successful continuous improvement looks like in practice, citing on their blog how one company used CI to improve productivity. By simply implementing a system to track how underutilized their assets were led the organization to find new ways to make the assets more productive. The company increased their productivity by 20% in less than two months. Continuous improvement methodology, coupled with a digital adoption platform that can exponentially systematize collaboration across remote and hybrid teams, can enable even better operational transparency, asset or tool utilization, and performance.
Adoption Software is Accelerating Strategies that Prepare for Future of Work
The onset of remote and hybrid work cultures, and the rise in adoption software as enterprise tech investments work to catalyze continuous improvement strategies across the business. However, these efforts also require the support of internal resources to prepare for Future of Work realities.
Here are two digital transformation requirements for successful digital adoption strategies:
- Change Management – The support of Change Management agents needs to be as part of the DX transition. Whether already part of an organization’s departmental makeup or not, change managers can communicate, facilitate, and advocate for how the updates to digital adoption will impact distributed teams across the company.
In other words, having a collective team that manages the changes and can take a systemized approach to aiding the business in its adoption of new goals, technologies, and processes also gives CIOs the opportunity to help develop a framework to support organization performance as its own future of work initiatives continue to evolve. Adoption software can also facilitate continuous improvement processes such as enhanced performance transparency to improve the utilization of tools and increased employee involvement to make daily workloads more efficient.
- Business Strategy – Aware of these business catalysts, future-forward CIOs have an increasing opportunity to serve as key influencers of operational innovation. While shepherding digital business growth, IT teams are leveraging adoption software solutions to augment and expand team performance and productivity while accelerating the onboarding, training, and adoption of new and existing IT applications with ease. At the helm of these digital adoption initiatives, CIOs can influence business strategy simply by showing the breadth of impact that adoption software can have on the digital transformation across the organization.
Knowledge Sharing is Key to Maintaining Business Continuity During Digital Transformation—Adoption Products Can Help
In addition to executing business strategy with the help of Change Management, CIOs can also use adoption software to democratize knowledge sharing across teams.
Here are two ways that Adoption products support this initiative:
- Leveraging Centers of Excellence (CoE) – As part of the business leadership team, there is an opportunity for departmental heads to extract greater value from their IT counterparts. Many organizations will create Centers of Excellence (CoE) to help translate capabilities across their teams. Often found at larger enterprises, established CoEs also enable IT leaders to serve as influencers amongst their peers, furthering the opportunity for sharing skills among key top experts in specific business activities to help maintain business continuity across tasks.
In fact, knowledge sharing between teams is critical for overcoming the lacking user adoption levels likely during enterprise digital transformation projects. It is also a key element of continuous improvement in action and a reflection of good Change Management. To deliver the expected ROI of digital transformation initiatives, enterprise IT projects that employ adoption software to prioritize the transfer of business process knowledge can more easily leverage the extensive practice experience of team members across departments.
- Establishing Super Users – Another way adoption tools can extract value from key experts is by enabling the developing an internal network of super users across their IT applications and enterprise software systems. The growth of a super user network should be a measurable activity of a CIO’s IT strategy to increase business continuity. Super users can lean on their operational expertise to use adoption tools to make updates to step-by-step guides within the applications their peers use every day. This democratization of knowledge can improve time to proficiency and keep performance and productivity high. This super user network can protect the collective ability of the team even as software application features change through new deployments, upgrades, or releases.
Adoption products are key to increasing the ability of distributed teams to upskill their capabilities and keep up with the pace of change during digitization of their business processes. Task automation is appealing but it is only a partial solution when there isn’t enough task predictability or volume, making adoption tools key in overcoming those barriers. Super users are also important for ensuring rapid response to change, cutting down on training development time during onboarding of systems or simply for maintaining data quality by reducing error rates across the use of existing enterprise applications.
Establishing Just-in-Time Training for Digital Workspaces and Remote Teams Using Digital Adoption Tools
Digital adoption tools are enabling on-demand access to information in a way that overcomes the overwhelming nature of transferring institutional knowledge. Adoption tools can also facilitate Just-in-Time (JIT) learning by making it easier for distributed teams to access the software application training they need anytime, anywhere. The contextual transfer of knowledge from the super user of any departmental application can be accelerated across digital workspaces and remote desktop teams.
There are two ways that using digital adoption tools can improve just-in-time training:
- Boosting user adoption and proficiency – Consider just how the use of digital adoption tools can increase business aptitude across any practical application, procedure, or business process, and what that means to cutting down on the time it takes to train distributed teams. Adoption software like OnScreen’s solution, for example, provide a step-by-step live guided walk through of how to navigate and complete any business process correctly in any web application. Enterprise teams that use digital adoption solutions can ensure high user adoption and proficiency to deliver ROI on digital transformation initiatives regardless of where they work.
- Leveraging the product framework – Digital adoption strategies working in tandem with continuous improvement and change management approaches are key to digitizing a business successfully. CIOs can employ digital adoption tools as part of their IT strategies to influence levels of business aptitude, business capacity, business continuity, and the success of just-in-time learning and knowledge sharing, but it all comes down to selecting the right DAP product framework.
Implementing the Right Digital Adoption Strategy and Capabilities
To implement a successful digital adoption strategy that enables just-in-time learning because of knowledge sharing, CIOs need to choose an adoption software solution that helps workers focus. Distributed teams who are completing business processes across shared web applications need the single skill at hand readily available in the moment as a contextual guide while they complete the task. The right DAP will make it easy to be attentive to only the information you need to implement the process right in front of the application’s user.
One tactic for implementing a successful digital adoption strategy is a to provide a contextual step-by-step walkthrough. Animating work instructions to appear in a real-time manner, overlaid on top of the business application can help guide users through any process or task right within the enterprise system. This is one of the benefits of a digital adoption platform such as OnScreen’s solution. The on-screen help can be quickly and easily developed and published by super users, trainers, or another subject-matter-expert, and any updates will be reflected in the guide immediately. This approach helps reduce the time wasted searching for information needed to complete the task at hand and increase productivity and time to proficiency during just-in-time learning.
DAP Software as a Factor of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
When it comes to total cost of ownership (TCO) not all digital adoption platform companies are created equal. There is no return-on-investment without adoption. Digital adoption platform software that is built to accelerate adoption without complicated workflows and change programs is critical to the success of an adoption strategy. When an organization is digitally transforming its business, CIOs need to be able to reduce resistance and disruption to business as usual. Choosing a digital adoption platform provider whose solution is focused on shortening implementation release cycles or improving project success is key.
Here are two use cases for selecting a digital adoption platform while factoring TCO:
- New rollouts – New software rollouts, including releases or updates, all require onboarding or training and re-training for first time users. Coupled with the emergence of distributed teams, it’s important to use a digital adoption tool that ensures these rollouts are successful by having guided stopgaps to improve use adoption across the project lifecycle, from staging all the way through user acceptance testing (UAT) and to live production.
- Digital culture – By digitizing business processes and enabling just-in-time learning, companies are better poised to deliver continuous innovation and learning opportunities to their distributed workforce. Higher proficiency with software applications that complies with business process methods like Agile Lean and Continuous Improvement can shorten the cycles for continuous innovation as a company culture that has been digital transformed form the inside-out.
Digital adoption examples that operationalize value to reduce TCO
Companies that adopt these examples of digital adoption can increase business value of digital transformation efforts through more agility in their operations. Further, some digital adoption platforms can accelerate continuous improvement and immediate ROI through adoption software features that enable an Agile Lean approach to improving processes. For example, OnScreen’s solution has feature provisions for analytics that constantly measure user productivity, time spent on tasks, and a feedback loop are important considerations for ROI that impacts TCO.
Another key differentiator in digital adoption platforms is whether the system allows for attaching or storing ancillary resources within the web application to maximize the operational value. Some DAPs make users store resources like videos or static documentation outside of the application itself, while others like OnScreen’s enable the user to link to anything within the guide itself as part of the flow of work—whether it’s another learning management platform (LMS), videos, or other documentation—that is critical to the fluidity in completing the business task at hand.
Below are two more factors to consider when creating digital adoption use cases to justify the total cost of ownership for your IT roadmap:
- SaaS as a factor in digital adoption solution TCO
Digital adoption tools like OnScreen are efficient on TCO because it requires little resources to operate and offers flexible licensing options. Choosing a solution that operates on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model means IT teams don’t need to worry about server installs or on-going maintenance of their adoption software. Other SaaS terms like pricing tiers based on number of users while offering flexible licensing that also doesn’t set limits on the number of production environments, applications, or business processes also plays a big part in reducing total cost of ownership.
- The ROI of the people behind digital adoption solutions
Selecting a solution that is simple to learn and use in minutes is not only critical to ROI factors such as time to value, time to proficiency, and just in time learning, but also to the level of comfort the authors of the in-app guides will have during their own use of the tool. Reducing the time that it takes to publish guides can be improved by using a digital adoption platform that includes project management and communication templates to use with applications. Solutions like OnScreen, for example, also come with a dedicated customer success manager and PMP-certified project manager that is proficient in the methodologies necessary to accelerate Lean Agile and continuous improvement cultures for organizations.
Building a Business Case for Digital Adoption Platforms
OnScreen’s team is fueled by Project Management Professionals (PMP) business leaders who have worked for some of the world’s leading software companies, making them acutely aware of how digital adoption can augment a digital transformation initiative to digitize and improve business processes. Not to mention, the team continuously makes updates to its digital adoption solution through customer-driven feedback.
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