The Ultimate Guide to Digital Adoption

The digital age is here, and it’s impacting every business. As technology continues to change and evolve, the digital world will become an even more integral part of our lives than it already is. No matter what industry you’re in or how many employees and customers you have, digital transformation will be necessary to move your business processes forward and remain competitive in today’s landscape. 

And as a leader of a company, this transformation can seem daunting when there’s no digital roadmap to follow. With increasingly complicated tools, outdated learning systems, and a stagnant approach to corporate learning, it’s no wonder that achieving digital adoption is so hard. In fact, employees forget up to 50% of the information presented within one hour; but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

This digital adoption guide will help you navigate and realize the full benefit of your digital transformation projects and provide a roadmap for success when adopting new technologies and tools to empower the people in your organization. By the end, you’ll understand what digital adoption is, how it’s been handled in the past, how to overcome adoption challenges, why change is needed, and what strategies and tools are available to help you successfully take your company’s digital transformation to the next level.

What is digital adoption?

First, to establish a common definition, digital transformation is a process that integrates technology, such as enterprise applications, to create new ways of doing business. This can mean any number of things, but really it boils down to changing the way your company interacts with customers, prospects, other companies, and employees. It can also suggest new operational processes and compliance policies.

While it can be as simple as updating your website to create digital content, digital transformation usually involves initiatives such as integrating new technologies like productivity suites or your CRM into existing tech stack. At the end of the day, the goal is to improve efficiency so employees can be more productive while simplifying processes for customers and partners.

Digital adoption brings those digital transformation initiatives to life by introducing new tools and technologies, training employees on how to use them, and ensuring employees actually use them to the full benefit of your company. Most important, digital adoption occurs when an organization takes complete advantage of new digital tools.

When workers and leaders use new technology to the intended extent, a positive return on investment can follow. This adoption paves the way for a boost in profits, workflow efficiency, and employee and external relations. 

Sadly, digital adoption isn’t just buying new software and training employees. There’s a much bigger adoption problem that threatens even the most promising transformation initiatives.

Outdated training and the threat to digital adoption

Throughout the years, technology has evolved but corporate training is often stuck in the dark ages centered around classroom training filled with outdated slide decks. Some organizations have progressed to webinars and online courses via learning management systems (or LMS’s for short) as the preferred method for companies to host and assess learning content to employees. But the problem hasn’t been the LMS’s themselves; instead, the problem is the format through which the information has been delivered.

For employees, these lecture-style training sessions mean they’re being presented with large chunks of information all at once, whether it’s in-person or on a screen. Unfortunately, this delivery method results in employees forgetting around 75% of the course content after just a few days. Meaning that once training has finished, accessing help may require searching through files, watching videos, or sorting through endless databases to find answers, even to somewhat basic questions. 

With such a knowledge retention drop-off of the material learned through traditional LMS’s, it’s no surprise that 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail. This begs one to ask: how can you create a plan that properly leverages technology to increase the rate of successful digital adoption and transformation?

Planning for successful digital adoption

Any good plan is made up of a few parts, each of which has several steps. Company leaders should determine, first of all, what their organization truly needs and what their goals are. This will help them lay out the rest of a plan that is more specific to those needs. The next step is to consider the best options for how to achieve those goals.

After that, take a look at your company culture to see how the people within the organization will handle change. This is one of the most crucial steps in digital adoption, as sales reps especially are hesitant to change. Next, assemble your training teams to coordinate training the rest of the company, (including managers), design your training content and roll out your training plan. 

From there, it’s a matter of carrying out those plans in a measured, strategic way. But as the implementation stage approaches, it can be difficult for companies not to get stuck handling the details and logistics. However, even the most complex digital adoption strategy can become simple when broken into two sides: the “soft skills” and the technical side.

Soft skills or “people skills” are one side of executing this plan, and they help leaders identify what trainers and employees need, keep teams organized, and accept feedback. You can think of this as the “what” and the “why” of a digital adoption strategy. But for many leaders, the technical side is where they get stuck—which we call the “detail trap.”

Overcoming the digital adoption detail trap

Teams fall into the detail trap by hyper-focusing on small details such as organizing wikis, searching databases, or editing training clips or presentations. The volume of information can become overwhelming as managers try to accommodate several different departments, apps, and locations all at once. This can lead to the time-consuming process of creating training resources in many disparate formats that are cumbersome to update and may never even get used.

The detail trap can derail even the best digital adoption plan because it’s a sticking point for implementation. But with the right digital adoption solution, company leaders can avoid this altogether. The use of lightweight, contextual learning software can eliminate getting stuck on the tedious details of training each department by making learning accessible, digestible, and relevant to each application. 

Software that allows for this type of workflow gives company leaders more time to focus on building and leveraging their soft skills—the people side of things—like keeping teams organized, gathering and implementing feedback, updating processes, and moving forward with effective digital transformation.

The future of learning is lightweight and contextual

Some organizations are digital champions—they were early adopters of new enablement technology and have reaped huge rewards. But, as we covered earlier, digital adoption has been a struggle for most companies. The reasons vary, but it often boils down to ineffective training, a cumbersome rollout plan and not communicating the “why” behind the change.. And in today’s constantly changing world, the need for practical employee training is more significant than ever.

Acknowledging the detail trap that implementation teams often fall prey to, combined with the general administrative burden of a legacy LMS and one-size-fits-all approach of corporate training, the need for a new solution is clear. To effectively train and develop employees, we need a solution that serves up just-in-time learning in digestible formats.. 

Employees are no longer all in an office setting and will need to learn how to use new apps both remotely or in a new hybrid workspace. Contextual, lightweight training reinforces learning repeatedly regardless of their location and can lead to better long-term job satisfaction. With this new type of experience, employees find in-app training, right when and where they need it, no longer having to spend valuable time switching between programs to find answers.

With microlearning content delivered directly in the app itself, employees can find answers that apply specifically to their situation directly in the software they’re using. The information is delivered in small, easy-to-digest bits rather than large blocks of content, which helps employees learn more quickly and with better information retention, flattening the learning curve.

This brings us to digital adoption platforms, which are the tools that enable and empower leaders and teams to manage digital transformation successfully. 

Choosing the right digital adoption platform

While there are several digital adoption platforms available, they are not all created equal. So it is absolutely essential to choose the right one for your organization because the platform you select could make or break your digital transformation effort. 

The right digital adoption platform should guide a company into total digital transformation quickly and easily. It should also integrate with apps, monitor employee progress, reinforce learned material in real-time, allow seamless communication across the organization, have all training stored for easy access, and empower company leaders to embrace digital transformation.

Many platforms and strategies fall short of these requirements and lack the ability to onboard quickly and easily. Relying on search databases is still a problem, and trainers may end up creating too many different types of training that are hard to edit and scattered in too many places. Some platforms don’t actually solve the problem of the detail trap; instead, placing a temporary band-aid on it. 

While the exact definition and specific requirements of what makes a digital adoption platform successful will always be in motion, one thing remains true: these systems need to be flexible enough to keep up with constant innovation and further empower company leaders to embrace this flexibility as well. This means less bulk and more power. Often, a “less is more” approach is most effective for driving users to embrace change. 

This fundamental shift in approach is easier for lightweight systems because they can pivot quickly with new innovations while saving time by focusing on the contextual learning that is genuinely needed to eliminate much of what causes the frustration inherent in legacy LMS systems.

To achieve this, all training should be stored, created, and edited in one central tool while being accessible across the organization within the flow of work. Processes, policies, and programs may change often, so the ability to alter training on the fly is a must. 

Having a centralized system avoids the fragmentation of storing training resources across multiple folders, apps, and drives by allowing trainers to create training with just a few clicks and edits all from the same app. In-app walkthroughs should be fast and easy to set up without the need for coding. Trainers and leaders should also be able to quickly update this training content, which would populate through the system at once. 

The right digital adoption platform can allow company leaders to embrace what is truly needed to make the team’s efforts successful. When considering the digital adoption platform for your company, make sure to take all of those things into account and choose the one that will empower you and your team the most.

Making your company’s digital transformation a success

Digital transformation is happening. As technology continues progressing, the digital world is becoming even more integral in our everyday lives. Regardless of your industry or the size of your company, digital transformation is necessary to remain competitive in today’s landscape. 

But outdated learning management systems and methods for corporate training simply aren’t compelling enough for the needs of today’s workforce. Instead, digital adoption should embrace the philosophy of “less is more” through lightweight, contextual training that is delivered in the flow of work.

Of course, the same plan of action and roadmap won’t work for every company—but that’s why a digital adoption platform must be flexible and easy to set up and administer. There will be challenges, but by following this framework of proper planning, selecting the right technology tools and partners, and executing a cohesive strategy that everyone can rally behind, you’ll be equipped to face those challenges and create a digital advantage for your company. It’s also important to remember that digital adoption is a long-term process, not just an implementation phase.

Final thoughts

Digital transformation is not slowing down any time soon. If you are dedicated to being competitive in today’s market, then you need a digital adoption strategy to make that happen. There will undoubtedly be some challenges along the way, but we’ve got your back. 

Spekit’s digital enablement platform helps companies get their onboarding, training and learning initiatives off the ground quickly to reach their goals with minimal ramp-up time. Digital transformation is a monumental task, and at times, it may seem like a million things are going on at once. Still, Spekit’s lightweight, contextual learning platform allows you to stay focused on what truly matters: enabling your employees and sales teams to do their very best work. 

To learn more about how Spekit can help you transform your digital adoption efforts with digital enablement, let’s chat and we’ll be glad to give you a demo.

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Digital Adoption