Digital transformation is the buzzword trending through the business world, but digital adoption is where it’s really at for enterprises. Although they sound very similar, digital adoption and digital transformation are not the same things. And between the two, digital adoption is far more important.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is an ongoing journey, not a destination. Digital transformation has been defined as the process of adapting all your business workflows and systems for digital tools. Ideally, once you’ve gone through digital transformation, you’ll reach a state of digital maturity.
Digital transformation involves changing the way that your business works to incorporate digital tools and processes. It’s holistic, relating to your entire way of doing business. What’s more, you might never fully achieve digital transformation, because digital tools are constantly updating and upgrading themselves.
If you aim at digital transformation, there’s a risk that you’ll end up stuck in an endless loop of digital Darwinism, where your technology becomes out of date as soon as you master it, leaving you to struggle to introduce the next upgrade.
What Is Digital Adoption?
Now you’re wondering, what is digital adoption? Digital adoption has a definite endpoint. It can be defined as the point when your employees or customers are using your digital tools to their fullest extent. If you’ve introduced a new digital tool or app, and your employees or customers are using all the feature sets, you know that you’ve achieved real digital adoption.
Your digital tools are only as good as the people using them. You could implement the best digital tools and create the best digital transformation plan for your enterprise, but if your employees or customers aren’t adopting them, all their power is going to waste. Digital adoption could be thought of as the actualization of your digital transformation goals.
Why Is Digital Adoption So Important?
Digital adoption actually contributes to your digital transformation. Without successful digital adoption, you’re unlikely to be able to reach digital transformation. Here’s why:
Part of digital transformation is gaining the best possible ROI from your digital assets. You want to know that you’re spending your money on tools and apps that will advance your business goals, make your business workflows more efficient, and reduce errors and mistakes in your business processes.
Digital adoption helps you prove your money was well spent by ensuring that you gain the highest possible ROI from every tool. If you achieve digital adoption, but find that you’re not hitting your expected ROI, it’s a sign that the given tool isn’t appropriate for your needs.
Reveal Friction Points
Because digital adoption has a fixed goal, it’s possible to track your digital adoption trajectory using a digital adoption platform (DAP). DAPs like WalkMe gather data on the way that users are interacting with your digital tools and reveal the impact these tools are having on productivity and profitability.
DAP data helps you discover abandonment points, areas of friction, and ways in which users are struggling to master the full potential of your digital tools. For example, if your employees are using customer support software to reply quickly to customer questions, but aren’t using it to coordinate responses across the whole customer support team, it reveals an area of friction.
You can then dig deeper to find out whether they are struggling to understand how to use the tools for collaboration, or hadn’t realized that the tools exist, or need more training to make it faster for them to use the tools than to stick to their old workflows. Overcoming this sticking point is a key step towards digital transformation.
Develop Digital Transformation Strategy
Every business goal needs a clear implementation strategy, and digital transformation is no exception. Digital adoption is your guide towards digital transformation strategy. It helps you map the challenges that stand in your way and discover when and where more training is needed. With digital adoption tracking, you can assess how long you need to allow for digital transformation and plan a realistic digital transformation time frame.
Digital Adoption Underpins Digital Transformation
Successful digital adoption is a milestone on the road to digital transformation. It helps you to prove ROI on your digital tools, discover underlying friction that’s derailing your digital adoption timeline, and develop a realistic and achievable digital transformation strategy. Focusing on digital adoption alone brings you a long way down the road towards digital transformation.
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