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The Missing Link: Everything Digital Adoption Can Do for Your Company

The Missing Link: Everything Digital Adoption Can Do for Your Company

By WalkMe Team

The race to stay ahead of the digital transformation curve has long been underway, but in recent times, leaders have realized the need to pick up the pace.

Companies that couldn’t adapt to the rapidly evolving digital advancements are simply no longer real contenders in their markets. Products and services are more and more dependent on their digital offerings. And digital adoption is at the forefront of digital success.

What does digital adoption mean?

Digital adoption is defined as achieving a state in which digital tools are being used as intended, and to the fullest extent.

It is about more than just basic functions — digital adoption happens when technology becomes second nature to its user.

Consider the computer in your pocket — your smartphone. While your grandmother might only use hers to make and receive calls, for the average user it is an extension of the self.

Today, the majority of the western world has effectively adopted their smartphone, using it for everything from shopping to scheduling to self-expression.

Users open app after app each day, usually using them to perform the same narrow list of tasks each time, and not necessarily utilizing the software fully. We are too busy for digital adoption and instead just settle for mediocre digital usage.

Why is digital adoption so crucial for the modern organization?

If everyone seems to be onboard with smartphones, what is the big deal about technology adoption in the workplace? Isn’t it simply a matter of time?

Yes and no. As time goes on, people (specifically the younger cohort) are becoming more comfortable with technology, but they aren’t necessarily becoming better at using software. They certainly aren’t keeping pace with the ever-changing digital landscape.

For organizations, this is a different matter.

To realize the full value of software, it’s imperative to monitor its usage. This is not a new concept and in order to justify the expensive investment that new software demands, CIOs know a proven positive ROI is essential. This requires monitoring how users (often employees) engage with a given software using analytics.

Because there are so many digital platforms both in the workplace and the consumer space (and that number is quickly growing), finding a way to get users up to speed is critical. The digital adoption challenge will touch every business in one or both of the following ways:

Customer digital adoption

Once upon a time ‘tech companies’ were a distinct category in the corporate world. Today, if you don’t have a sleek modern website and a well-oiled mobile application — you are doing it wrong.

Any business that owns a digital platform, be it a website, SaaS platform, mobile application, or other, should be concerned with the digital adoption of their customers.

For example, if you are a bank — your objective is customers who are comfortable and competent in meeting their banking needs on mobile, such as checking their balance or transferring funds.

Without user adoption, your customers will continue to drain bank tellers’ time and resources while the investment in R&D and development will go to waste. This result will end up costing your business dearly.

WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform offers proactive and reactive guidance for customers while they are in your app or on your site. The engagement provides 24/7 on-demand support, and this can be for 100 customers or for millions.

Our DAP can integrate with your support center so that the team that you love and trust is still customer-facing, providing your unique company touch, while WalkMe is streamlining questions and problems along the way.

This means that your customers will be able to onboard (train and fully utilize) your service or product practically by themselves. This reduces ramp-up time and decreases the demand on your own support team.

A DAP ensures that your customers get the best of your product with new feature shoutouts, suggestions for a “better way” to complete processes, and feature promotions that are subtle but effective.

Organizational digital adoption

As organizations digitize their back-end processes, employees must keep pace. Especially now, post-COVID19, business leaders across all verticals need to ensure that their sales teams know how to sell and their organization can function smoothly, even if they’re working remotely.

One essential component that simply cannot be overlooked, especially when the crisis involves remote work, is having an excellent Digital Adoption Platform to drive high performance and productivity across all platforms.

Software adoption for employees means the fully functional use of systems such as CRM, HCM, ERP, and others. These are sophisticated platforms, often highly customized to the needs of the company they serve. The opportunity for manipulation is large, and so for the user to extract value, they must have a strong grasp on features and practices.

Barriers to digital adoption for customers

With so much noise in the digital sphere, consumers are wading through the noise every time they open a device.

Consumers wield the power. It is difficult to win their attention — much less retain them long enough for them to adopt your platform. Without digital adoption, customers will not experience the value of your product, platform, or service, and will be likely to churn.

The drag of ineffective product onboarding

The solution to the above barrier is of course, successfully onboarding your customers.

Often the onboarding process is not adequate to introduce customers to all the features they might need to use. On the flip side, onboarding that is too long and tedious can cause customers to give up on your application altogether.

According to Socialbakers CEO, onboarding is imperative for customer renewals: “At Socialbakers, we found that the key to renewal in 12 months depended on the first 6-8 weeks of usage.”

IBM uses WalkMe and the platform has allowed their customers to fast forward through ramp-up time and utilize the product fully from day one. IBM’s CIO Nilanjan Adhya recently shared how effective a Digital Adoption Platform has been for their customer success:

“With WalkMe, we have been able to get our customers to quickly accomplish what they need to do without having to learn the product or go through extensive documentation,” he says, “This has significantly accelerated time-to-value for our customers and improved outcomes overall.”

Lack of support during and after the consumer adoption process

Low-quality support can pose an obstacle to the consumer adoption process.

Users with invariably come across difficulties using your application. It is critical that they feel there is someone to turn to when things get stuck.

When everyone is stuck at home and struggling to use their devices, apps, and digital tools more, there is likely to be an increase in support demands and a decrease in patience. Make sure that this is an area that you have covered.

Now is not the time that you want to see poor ratings and reviews on your customer support. Instead, you want to make sure that your customers feel that they are guided, supported, and well cared for.

Barriers to digital adoption for employees

Number of business platforms

Business software is evolving to become highly specialized. As the all-in-one platform becomes less prevalent, the average worker must navigate many systems to complete a simple task.

The number of platforms an employee uses on an average day is a huge barrier to technology adoption, and without the appropriate strategy, can lead to employee overwhelm, and a loss of productivity.

B2B software often has sophisticated UX

There is a dramatic difference between consumer technology and business.

Have you ever peeked at the screen while checking out at the grocery store, or purchasing movie tickets? The dated interface is a far cry from what we are used to seeing in consumer-facing applications. While the UX revolution has swept the B2C world, B2B is still lagging.

Often less polished and many times more complex, the UX of business software renders a long and tedious learning curve.

Poor training and onboarding

Adoption does not occur by accident. Without effective employee training and onboarding strategy, the new product adoption process will be slow and employees will not gain functional knowledge of the tools they use on a daily basis.

One of the biggest barriers to digital adoption is the archaic training processes many enterprise companies still have in place.

For companies with employees working from home, maintaining engagement is extremely important for keeping the morale up and productivity high in this new and challenging work environment.

The inevitable resistance

In the digital age, nothing remains static, least of all software. In the Next Normal specifically, it’s time to embrace change.

Fortunately, in the digital era, we have access to software that enables the full range of tasks and communication necessary for a team to function. A digital strategy is essential now more than ever and as a leader, it’s important to know how your team can be managed remotely and still be successful.

It is common for companies to migrate systems or roll out a new platform — in fact, this happens so often that at any given point there is likely to be a learning curve for new software. For many employees, this may feel taxing, causing them to consciously or unconsciously avoid the effort involved in learning this new system.

The “old is better” mindset is more harmful than you think, employees’ resistance to change can exponentially slow down the new product adoption process. With the new remote-work reality, employees will need to be extra supported to make the new digital imperatives work. A DAP can ease the tension around new software and systems.

True user adoption has benefits

Simply put, when true technology adoption is achieved, the life of the user is improved.

This result is significant. If we are speaking about consumer adoption — this will manifest in personal benefits for the user. Raising the customer experience will have implications for perceived value, brand loyalty, and likelihood to spend.

Employee adoption also has a huge ripple effect. The user will enjoy smoother task completion and less frustration while the organization will see improved productivity and positive ROI.

In an interview with WalkMe, CIO of enterprise software company Red Hat, Mike Kelly was quoted saying, “Our job as leaders is to deeply understand what our business model is, how it works, how efficient it is, and then introduce and leverage technologies, and get everybody rallied around adopting them in a way that helps mitigate any issues associated with that.”

For your organization, and for your customers, make sure that your digital adoption strategy leaves no one behind, maximizes your technological investments, and paves the way for a brighter future.


WalkMe Team
WalkMe pioneered the Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) for organizations to utilize the full potential of their digital assets. Using artificial intelligence, machine learning and contextual guidance, WalkMe adds a dynamic user interface layer to raise the digital literacy of all users.