User Adoption : Overcome Digital Transformation Hurdles

The impact of technology over the past decade and the ability of organizations to effectively absorb it has been the focus of billions of dollars, countless hours of expert involvement and, yet,the probability of achieving targeted outcomes and ROI is elusive. In 2011, the joint work of MIT and Capgemini invented the term, Digital Transformation, replacing the prior concept of Business Transformation, recognizing the extreme strategic impact of technology, particularly the maturation of the internet, upon businesses.

Some are looking for newer and more innovative ways to increase operational efficiency. Others are trying to capitalize on the opportunity that technology represents to get their products to the market faster than ever. Some want to improve their ability to meet and exceed customer expectations. Many hope to accomplish all of these things at the same time and viewdigital transformation as the way the primary path.But the chasm between an expensive, disruptive and time consuming digital transformation project and a successful post go-live digital transformation is a deep one.

Why Digital Transformations Fail

According to recent research, one of the major reasons why most digital transformations fail ultimately has to do with a lack of up-front commitment from management at the company.

For the sake of example, let’s say that a company’s digital transformation is separated into two key phases. The first involves upgrading some piece of legacy technology to a newer and more sophisticated alternative. Those legacy applications simply became too expensive to support, or they lack features needed to remain competitive. Believe it or not, this is actually the easy part of the process and once challenging and difficult factors like data migration are accounted for, is also one of the fastest as well.

Phase two, on the other hand, would be those user-facing initiatives – meaning the steps taken to mitigate disruption for employees, to make sure that they actually know how to use the new tools they have, and to help them buy into the idea that all of this effort is going to be worth it. This is the core element that most organizations fail at – they think that all they need to do is get the new system in place and everything else will more or less take care of itself.

However, the Rand Group studied digital transformation success and found that 70% fail or provide suboptimal performance post go-live. The risk factors identified are many and varied but a common thread is the failure to address the user impact of absorbing new or updated technologies and applications. Despite knowing this, company and project leadership routinely under-resource the training rollout and post go-live onboarding and adoption effort. Then seemed surprised when effective user adoption falls short and productivity, workforce satisfaction and negative business impact occurs.

This is why digital adoption solutions are such an invaluable part of the process – they focus on the most critical aspect of a digital transformation, the workforce.

The Impact of User Adoption Solutions on Digital Transformations

A digital adoption solution can help mitigate the risk of poor workforce adoption. It stands to reason that if your employees aren’t actually using the new tools you’ve given them, you’re not going to get the intended outcomes of the transformation or the expected return on investment. A digital adoption solution is a tool designed to help make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

The Opus Digital Adoption Solution from Epilogue Systems, for example, is powerful enough for any size business and versatile enough for any enterprise application involved in your digital transformation initiative.Opus creates digital adoption content quickly and easily, which is key because the final phase before go-live includes user training and that phase is almost always compressed from original scheduled time to something less. Further, budget overruns that occur in earlier phases usually result in budget reductions for training efforts. And the effort to create user documentation for training, compliance and in-application support requires far more time and resource than the time and budget that remains. As a result, it is almost universal that the march to go-live does not support the user in the volume and manner needed. Hence ineffective adoption and failure or suboptimal outcomes for the long, expensive and disruptive digital transformation effort that requires revision, rework, dollars and delayed outcomes.

Opus overcomes these constant obstacles because Opus can document complex and enterprise applications as fast as any task can be executed. A variety of documentation is automatically created to provide utility on the project:

  • User acceptance test scripts created or revised in a matter of minutes
  • Go-live training content and artifacts that can be incorporated into blended training efforts (CBT/ILT, eLearning)
  • Post go-live adoption support via in-application context and role relevant guidance at the user’s moment of need, including: job aids, Section 508 compliant documentation, simulations for watch/listen, trying before doing, and testing.
  • Process and procedure documentation for regulatory and other compliance

This content creation process simply requires someone familiar with the application task to be documented to perform that task while Opus is in record mode. There is no Opus learning curve required. Once completed, the recording becomes part of a workflow process that guides the edit, review and publication processes. From this “recording” the multiple outputs described above are automatically generated –  in-app guidance, training, assessment, UAT and compliance and more. It’s perfect for use by subject matter experts, because no training is required to record task execution. But more than that, it’s a process built for high velocity and that scales to any volume of documentation needed – meaning that it can support even the most complicated digital transformations applications.

As alluded to above, a digital adoption solution like Opus can help you manage the workflow of projects, teams, tasks and even content in a way that allows you to verify that everyone is always moving in the right direction at all times. In just a few quick clicks you can gain better visibility over the workflows and project/task management features needed to create, review, approve and maintain content in support of your transformation. Plus, Opus creates and enables standards for the look and feel of content – thus creating the most consistent experience for your workforce, not just for your transformation project at hand but across all digital adoption efforts going forward.

Plus, the Opus dashboard gives organizational leaders an “air traffic control” view of all workflows and activities within the system. So not only can they see what works, they can also see what doesn’t – putting them in an excellent position to do something about it as quickly as possible.

But perhaps most importantly, digital adoption solutions like Opus are perfect for getting users more engaged with the applications that are now available to them. By supporting users within the application in a way that is straightforward and easy, you’re not just reducing time to full adoption – you’re reducing time to competency as well. In addition to getting your users excited about the digital transformation faster, they’ll also be able to unlock the full potential of these new systems – speeding up your time to a solid return on investment.

This of course brings with it the added benefit of reducing or even outright eliminating the costs (not to mention the disruption) associated with ineffective application training you may have been using in the past. Soon, you’ll see reduced support calls and peer disruption, all while experiencing a dramatic increase in user satisfaction and productivity.

Of course, these are all the short-term advantages that a user adoption solution like Opus can bring to the tables. The best of these platforms can also continue to play an invaluable role well after your transformation is complete, as is the case with Opus and its powerful reporting tools.

With Opus, you can track and report on progress, utilization and even effectiveness moving forward. This includes tracking workflow and project/task statuses, utilization and even monitoring content aging.

If your digital transformation was technically successful but you’re still not quite where you want to be, you’ll be able to determine why almost immediately. You’ll know more than just that a problem has occurred – you’ll know exactly what happened, when and why and WHAT you need to do about it. That level of insight is nearly impossible to achieve on your own but with a user adoption solution, you can do so easily using the real data and actionable insight that your users have been generating during the entirety of this process.

According to another recent studyabout 71% of organizational leaders cited their workforce as an extremely important element in supporting their digital transformation strategy. This is because at the end of the day, a digital transformation is about more than just technology. When executed properly, this is an opportunity to totally transform the business. You’re tearing down the old and building something new in a way that lets you take advantage of new markets, scale and evolve in all the ways you need to be successful for the next decade and beyond.

You simply cannot get to that point without your employees, which means you cannot get there without baking digital adoption into the very DNA of your digital transformation. Thankfully, digital adoption solutions like Opus allow you to do precisely that – all in a way that allows you to worry less about the potential risks of your digital transformation so that you can focus all of your attention on the value it will bring to your business when it is finished.

Increase user productivity
Reduce business cost
Enable customer success

Schedule a call with one of our digital adoption specialists.