The Best Practices of Digital Adoption

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The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the workplace as we know it. In the face of the manifold nuances of remote work and a huge digital shift, IT Leaders across industries were forced to rapidly respond to best support their businesses, leading to a surge in tech tools that allowed for streamlined communication and adaptable connectivity. This mandatory evolution, a key learning from 2020, also revealed in even greater clarity the surging demand for digital adoption. As IT leaders look back on their findings 2020 and investigate solutions for 2021, it is clear that understanding how to successfully implement digital adoption solutions is more critical than ever.

As remote workforces scale at an unprecedented pace and formulate strategies so that they can remain resilient and competitive in this changing world, we want to share some of the best practices of digital adoption for IT Leaders across industries that will help them avoid facing challenges in the long run as we transition into 2021.

Involve Relevant Stakeholders

It is important to recognize and involve the right set of stakeholders for implementing and deploying Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP). The stakeholders often range across different departments – such as IT, HR, and business owners for employee-facing applications, and product team stakeholders for customer-facing applications. While any particular stakeholder may function as the owner of multiple DAP initiatives, they can also play the facilitator role in certain scenarios. For example, while the IT Leader may be the lead on strategic operations, it’s key for them to work with the HR leader to fulfill key objectives in areas like employee training and productivity. Understanding the multifaceted digital needs of your business from all perspectives will lead to success by virtue of the collaborative approach it requires.

Strategic Talent Management

As part of the overall DAP talent strategy, a few key roles should be clearly defined to divide responsibilities for the strategic as well as operational activities. The roles will vary within each organization but having a clear leader for important operational and strategic activities will lead to minimal confusion and thus enable the smooth implementation of DAP at scale across the organization, as well as ensuring the upkeep of DAP and the content created. Some of these key roles should be a DAP Director, DAP manager and key admin, but the exact character of these particular leadership teams will vary based on each organization’s needs and workforce. Assigning a DAP champion is key when it comes to managing the array of enterprise applications as adoption of a company’s technology stack is crucial for employee onboarding, productivity, and maximizing ROI.

Optimizing Performance Management

It is key that enterprises measure and track DAP performance on an ongoing basis to optimize the DAP initiatives to better realize the ROI, especially when many disparate applications and processes are involved. It is critical to identify which metrics are important, when to track them, and how to quantify them to understand the actual business impact. Some key areas to track are cost, adoption, satisfaction and growth. That is to say, has there been a benefit reflected in training and support costs? Is there a rise in user adoption? Have customer retention rates increased? Is there revenue cost as a result? Setting these metrics will help leaders to identify the value of digital adoption.

Setting Up a Center of Excellence

A DAP Center of Excellence (CoE) is typically established when the enterprise DAP initiatives are at scale, i.e., when there are numerous applications or business units for which DAP has been deployed or the number of walkthroughs created is large. CoE enables better governance, management of content and its standards, and promotes collaboration among different business units and teams. CoE is typically responsible for maintaining development standards and proven practices and trends and for centralizing resources. It can track, measure, and report performance of key metrics, essential while comparing developments and deficiencies in adopting DAP across business units/functions. Such a cross-functional team can also help demonstrate the success of the DAP initiatives to upper management or C-level executives.

Business leaders searching for tools to help guide their companies through unprecedented challenges have turned in droves to digital adoption solutions to enable massive transitions to remote work and digital processes. While such needs were certainly important before these shifts, they’ve now become absolutely essential to the operational success of many enterprises, which are relying more on digital tools than ever before. This surge means that differentiation will come from implementation. How smoothly does your DAP interact with the applications it touches? How completely does it respond to the needs of individual business units? To what degree does it provide leadership with the KPIs they need to evaluate its impact? Is the DAP provider responsive to bespoke needs? In what ways are organizational adjustments being made to respond to these new needs and initiatives? Companies that are able honestly to appraise answers to these questions in the affirmative will free themselves of the friction of transition that restricts their competitors.

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Khadim Batti is co-founder and CEO of Whatfix.

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