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Using Digital Adoption to Reap the Benefits of Digital Transformation
Thu, 23rd Feb 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As businesses adapt to a constantly shifting environment – from market volatility to the evolution of the workplace – many will be funding digital transformation initiatives to adapt to this new climate. In fact, IDC recently projected that global spend on digital transformation projects is set to reach $3.4 trillion in 2026. However, economic uncertainty has fuelled pressure to quantify the impact of these digital transformations on business outcomes.  

Prior to undergoing new digital transformation projects, organisations need to be sure that they are gaining the maximum value possible from their existing digital investments. In order for these digital technologies to deliver on their promised ROI, employees need to actually use them. Technology should enable employees to work more efficiently and productively rather than being a source of confusion, frustration, or distraction. The key to unlocking ROI, increasing time to value, and unleashing productivity lies in the adoption of digital technologies. And the sooner businesses understand that, the sooner they can set themselves up to reap the many benefits of increased digital adoption.

In particular, business leaders need to understand the following:

The role of the office has changed, and the digital transformations that enabled this to happen are not going away

Onboarding new employees and the ongoing use of technology have changed to fit the needs of remote and hybrid workers. The accelerated digital transformation projects executed for the sake of business continuity during the pandemic will remain. But we’ll be seeing more smart businesses take stock of actual ROI of digital investments as they realise that the technology enabling remote work is here to stay.

While the office used to be the epicentre of work for most businesses, that definition has changed over the last three years. Now, the workplace could be at the office – but it could also be at home, in a café, or on an aeroplane.

As such, the role of physical offices will change. Instead of being used for everyday work, they will become venues, with employees travelling in for meetings and special events. The office will mean different things to different employees based on their preferences and how they work best. Generally speaking, collaborative work and important staff bonding will take place in offices, but most knowledge workers will continue to accomplish independent work from almost anywhere. 

In response to this change, businesses have changed the way they onboard and train hybrid and remote staff. Non-office-based staff undergoing onboarding may not be able to access help easily from afar. As such, technology will be used as the primary means for guiding staff through the onboarding process, and it will remain just as critical in maintaining a unified digital employee experience across complex tech stacks well into an employee’s tenure.

New digital adoption technologies will demand new skills and roles

Intelligent digital adoption technologies, such as digital adoption platforms, will become increasingly critical for employees to access step-by-step on-screen guidance whenever and wherever they need it in order to do their best work.  

The platforms also provide analytics and insights into how employees are using technology on an aggregate level. This data can be used to continuously improve the employee user experience and efficiency, while enabling business leaders to evaluate their tech stacks based on actual usage and measure the business value achieved from each investment. To support this endeavour, a distinct new line of work has emerged across enterprises: the Digital Adoption (DAP) Professional.

With organisations struggling to extract promised business value from enterprise apps and software, we’ll see increasing numbers of businesses creating a DAP Professional role within their organisational structures. DAP Professionals focus on equipping employees with the ability to fully harness all of the technology available to them in the face of a complex and ever-changing tech stack. Forward-thinking large enterprises already have teams of DAP Professionals focused on planning and executing digital adoption strategies.

As the prevalence of digital adoption platforms grows, we will see DAP Professionals becoming increasingly common and in demand. Through digital adoption platforms, these individuals unlock the ROI from tech investments and help expedite technology’s time to value, two huge benefits amidst the current economic climate. With enterprises wasting almost $100 million USD annually from not being able to derive full value from their digital investments, it is no wonder that by 2025, enterprises plan to invest up to $31.6 million to improve digital adoption1.  

Digital adoption needs to be a cross-departmental initiative

According to research from 2022, almost half of enterprises believe digital adoption should sit within the IT department. That will change in 2023 as digital adoption becomes a cross-departmental endeavour. It has become increasingly clear that digital adoption directly affects a company’s bottom line, and as such, each department can benefit from the increased productivity of employees fully harnessing the digital technologies at their fingertips. 

Improving the adoption of digital technologies is an opportunity to reap the promised rewards from existing tech investments, which will be a key business metric moving forwards. The rise of digital adoption as a means of maximising both employee utilisation of digital products and the true business value from tech investments goes hand in hand with the increased business focus on determining the true ROI from digital transformations. Naturally, demand for DAP Professional talent will increase as businesses seek to fully maximise their technology investments and drive desired business outcomes.