We live in the digital age, but in many enterprise-level businesses, you wouldn’t know it. Many companies have vague plans on how they will move to a more digital approach. Despite this, much of their operations, both internal and customer-oriented, remain stuck in an earlier era.
These companies may not enjoy the significant benefits made possible by digital adoption. For example, research from McKinsey & Company reveals that companies focused on customer analytics are 23 times more likely to acquire new customers and 19 times more likely to achieve higher profitability than the average.
The benefits are clear. However, many organizations at the corporate level lag behind startups in adopting and embracing the digital solutions now available. Although in fairness, several factors can prevent a business from achieving digital adoption, despite efforts to improve the use of technology. Here are four things to consider.
1. Inability to understand what digital adoption really is.
A key problem holding businesses back is that many business leaders don’t understand what digital adoption really means. Some assume that it simply means providing advertising via social media and other digital platforms. Others make the mistake of believing that it is only an improved form of computing.
In reality, digital adoption is an extension of a company’s complete digital transformation. As new software is introduced to streamline operations, digital adoption occurs because end users are able to take full advantage of these upgrades. But Michael Gale’s research at Forbes reveals that 84% of companies say they have failed this crucial process.
2. Lack of employee training.
Speaking of digital adoption, Tamara Rosin, editor-in-chief of WalkMe, explains in a blog post that: “You choose cutting-edge technology to get there, and then dive into the implementation. But then, few employees actually use the technology, and those who stick to a small range of basic features.”
Rosin continues, “Complex business processes lead a lot to give up before you even finish a task. The demand for IT support becomes unmanageable. User frustration and stress severely affects employee morale. The tools that were supposed to elevate employee productivity to new heights become barriers to completing daily work.”
All of this indicates that when companies don’t understand what digital adoption entails, they tend to overlook one of the most crucial elements of digital adoption success: employee training. Without quality training, employees will not benefit from new technologies and may even use their own favorite applications instead. In fact, a McAfee research study found that more than 80% of employees use unapproved SaaS applications at work. Without a solid digital adoption solution in place, even the best software will not improve results for your business.
3. Underestimate the disruptive nature of digital.
Part of the reason why employee training may be overlooked in digital adoption efforts is that corporate leadership tends to underestimate how disruptive new digital products can be. This is a trend that has unfortunately been repeated too often in the business world. Just consider what happened to once dominant brands like Blockbuster and Kodak, each of which did not anticipate how disruptive digital competitors would be.
Likewise, the adoption of new digital technologies will disrupt the way you do business. This will change the processes for your employees. It can change the way you interact with customers. It could even lead to a change in your range of products and services.
The consequences of digital adoption can have far-reaching effects on your business operations and your employees will feel the brunt of these changes. Planning ahead for potential outcomes will help you make the pivot a success.
4. No change based on value.
Change for change is rarely a good idea, and it applies just as easily to digital adoption. Any transformation effort to implement digital technology in your business must focus on how it will bring significant value to your business and to your customers.
Whether your new technological tools are used for Big Data collection or automating key supply chain tasks you have to start with the end in mind. Focusing on how a particular change will add value to your organization as a whole will help you better understand how it will affect employees and customers. This in turn will guide you to be more effective in the digital adoption efforts. In summary, our increasingly digital economy technology has introduced many new challenges for startups and businesses, but it has also created key growth opportunities. As businesses overcome the barriers that prevent them from truly embracing digital, they will be better equipped for what the market has in store for the future.