The emergence of digital adoption platforms: A game changer for workplace efficiency

Ofir Bloch
By Ofir Bloch
Updated March 15, 2023

It wasn’t too long ago that the question “what is your digital adoption strategy” would have raised eyebrows. Helping users with technology was reserved for customers, not employees who took to classrooms or user manuals to understand how to use software.

Fast forward 5 years, and we’re witnessing a tipping point that’s about to change the market’s dynamics. With 67% of enterprises under pressure to accelerate digital transformation, digital adoption platforms (DAPs) have become instrumental in helping enterprises overcome digital friction and realize the full value of their tech stack. 

Global research firms, including IDC* and Gartner*** are acknowledging the role DAPs play in helping enterprises reach their digital transformation business objectives. 

Additional firms have singled out WalkMe for the unique role we play in the DAP sphere. These include the Everest Group, which named us as the leading DAP vendor for the third year in a row in its Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) Products PEAK Matrix® Assessment. 

Furthermore, The Forrester New Wave™: Digital Adoption Platforms, Q4 2022, Forrester’s first Wave evaluation of the DAP category, named WalkMe as a Leader in DAP. 

The origins of DAP

When WalkMe started developing the first DAP, our initial conversations with industry analysts and potential customers were often challenging. The first question they asked was usually, “what exactly is a DAP?” 

The simple answer is that they are invisible overlays on top of any application that enable employees and customers to adapt to changing workflows and software interfaces quickly and easily. 

DAPs emerged in response to the growing need for a more efficient and effective way to manage digital transformation. 

Traditional approaches to adoption, such as change management and training, were often inadequate in the face of the complex challenges associated with digital transformation. To solve these problems, DAPs offered a centralized platform for managing all aspects of the adoption process, from assessment and planning to implementation and monitoring.

Once our early customers, the DAP pioneers, started taking a proactive approach to their digital transformation efforts by onboarding WalkMe, the genie was out of the bottle. Since then, thousands of leading organizations worldwide started leveraging DAPs to improve business outcomes and maximize the return on their digital investments.

Tackling digital transformation challenges

Recently, we surveyed nearly 1,500 executives to discover how digital adoption is evolving. The results were revealed in the 2022-2023 State of Digital Adoption report, which shows that despite record levels of investment, 35% of organizational digital spend is wasted on projects that fail to meet their stated goals. 

Furthermore, enterprises only meet 41% of their digital KPIs every year, showing how a more targeted adoption approach can help them reach their desired business outcomes. The failure of digital transformation initiatives also contributes to poor application uptake, harming employee productivity and organizational efficiency. 

New technology can pose a challenge to employees. A majority of enterprises say their employees lack the digital dexterity to use applications effectively, and 61% say poor digital experiences lead to employee resignations.    

And yet, while organizations are recognizing that their transformation efforts are not effective, only 22% of them are using adoption as a KPI to measure their success. 

DAP is a strategic investment 

With global investment in digital transformation forecasted to reach $2.8 trillion by 2025,  organizations will soon have no choice but to take a strategic approach to ensuring employees are successfully adapting to new software. 

This was recently supported in the IDC TechBrief: Digital Adoption Platforms, which details how DAPs can help organizations boost software ROI with more effective use of their tech stack.*

Additionally, Gartner® predicts in their 2022 Market Guide for Digital Adoption Platforms that “By 2025, 70% of organizations will use digital adoption platforms across the entire technology stack to overcome still insufficient application user experiences.”*** 

Together, these reports illustrate how DAPs can drive the following strategic business outcomes: 

Increase efficiency and productivity  

DAP’s ability to direct users on the optimal way to use software has been shown to boost organizational efficiency and productivity. As noted in the 2022 Gartner® Market Guide for Digital Adoption Platforms, “DAPs provide a path to higher engagement and remove digital friction, thus increasing digital dexterity and overall productivity”.***

And according to The Forrester New Wave™: Digital Adoption Platforms, Q4 2022, “DAPs enable firms to continuously track and improve adoption, usage, and experience for all users.”**

Improve cost effectiveness

Gartner’s report acknowledges that DAPs enable organizations to drive more ROI by enhancing usage of existing assets and eliminating duplicative and/or non-impactful technology. “They provide consistent user experiences that help users complete work efficiently. DAPs also offer analytics driving actionable insights to improve experience and streamline work, improving ROI.”***

According to IDC, “DAPs can be deployed to encourage better utilization of the application and offer insights into which applications the employees and customers use most”. This prevents digital investments from “becoming shelfware or yielding a negative employee or customer experience”.*   

DAP is also a powerful tool for tracking application usage, giving enterprises the data they need to determine if the software they onboard is cost effective. 

Enhance the employee experience

According to the Harvard Business Review , the average employee will spend 9% of their time switching between apps. With poor digital experiences directly linked to employee churn, DAPs are uniquely placed to enhance user experience and help enterprises retain their talent.

As noted by the Gartner® Market Guide for Digital Adoption Platforms, “Digital friction increases dissatisfaction with the tools provided by an organization and leads to disengagement.” The report goes on to say that “Organizations with a high churn rate, or those that have applications with frequent process changes or where the UI is updated frequently benefit from a DAP”.*** 

WalkMe named leading DAP provider three years in a row

WalkMe was named the leading DAP provider for the third year in a row in the 2022 Everest Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) Products PEAK Matrix® Assessment

In Everest Group’s market assessment of 20 tech providers in the digital adoption space, WalkMe was singled out as the most mature vendor with best-in-class core DAP capabilities. 

Proven best practices and methodologies as well as our proprietary technology ensures optimized end user experience, helping WalkMe secure the top position. Our extensive partner ecosystem, community, training, certifications, and ROI indicator were deemed critical to ensuring measurable client success.

Forrester recognizes WalkMe as a Leader in DAP

According to The Forrester New Wave™: Digital Adoption Platforms, Q4 2022 report, “DAPs have been instrumental in managing the process of learning, adopting, and using enterprise software by all user roles.” 

And when it comes to enterprise DAP solutions, Forrester named WalkMe as a Leader. As noted in the report, WalkMe is seen as “best fit for large enterprises needing insights-led orchestration for digital adoption”. Additionally, we had the highest possible score of “differentiated” for 7 of 10 of Forrester’s evaluation criteria, more than any other DAP vendor in the assessment.    

WalkMe is more than a platform

WalkMe’s mission is to make technology user-centric by connecting users to workflows and technology to business outcomes. Through our low-code platform, organizations leverage data and take immediate action to simplify user experiences across applications. 

As the only enterprise-ready DAP solution designed for scale with built-in agility, WalkMe provides its customers with the tools they need to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. 

This includes our data-first approach and extensive analytics portfolio and dashboards, which enable users to focus on measuring the impact and ROI of their digital adoption. For anyone new to DAP, pre-built solutions allow you to get quickly started. Lastly, WalkMe is the only DAP that can identify changes in your underlying applications and offer a bulk replacement mechanism to rapidly address problems. 

To learn more about the power of DAP and how WalkMe can help you meet your digital KPIs, check out our webinar, “Digital adoption: The new imperative for software ROI”.


*IDC TechBrief: Digital Adoption Platforms, January 2022, IDC #US48678722

** The Forrester New Wave™: Digital Adoption Platforms, Q4 2022

***Gartner®, Market Guide for Digital Adoption Platforms, Melissa Hilbert, Maria Marino, Stephen Emmott, 14 September 2022. 

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Ofir Bloch
By Ofir Bloch
Ofir Bloch leads WalkMe's Strategic Positioning team, focused on enhancing the awareness, image, and position of WalkMe as the key player in the Digital Adoption space. Ofir has a strong background in market research, working with industry analysts and conducting competitive intelligence. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as well as a Disruptive Innovation Strategy certificate from Harvard Business School.