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The Challenges You Need to Overcome During Your Digital Transformation

Andrew BarlowCulture2018 09 26
The Challenges You Need to Overcome During Your Digital Transformation
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As the leading global market intelligence firm, IDC requires no introduction. Its Designing Tomorrow white paper, which focuses on digital transformation and which involved over 1,000 companies in America, Asia and Europe, found that 73 percent of organizations are likely to go out of business if they don’t digitally transform.

The white paper examines the main barriers to a successful digital transformation and the KPIs used to measure success. It says the software picked to underpin a digital transformation is one of the less critical barriers, while the most challenging barrier during digital transformation is encouraging employees to adopt the wider impacts that come with the new technology.

Given this, organizations need to focus on helping their teams deal with the wider transformation. However, many companies are attempting to retrofit their employees into rigid processes defined by their new software rather than finding the right software that supports their digital strategy. This approach demonstrates that organizations are allowing software to dictate their transformation strategy rather than digitally transforming to benefit their employees.

AppLearn’s Finding

As a global leader in enterprise digital adoption with over a decade of experience working with leading brands, AppLearn has made groundbreaking discoveries in digital adoption.
These discoveries have been momentous for the industry and have transformed the way organizations tackle digital adoption.

From early in AppLearn’s existence, the company has had the same viewpoint as IDC: Software is only one part of digital adoption.

“In the early days of SaaS implementations, digital adoption was an unknown entity,” says Andrew Barlow, AppLearn’s director of product strategy. “Cloud technologies promised many benefits, but the challenge of adopting cloud and sustaining adoption in line with regular software updates was not considered.”

AppLearn believes that successful digital transformation requires employees to adopt the new digital way of working. The change requires you to not only consider the software being implemented, but also how users adopt the wider changes associated with digital transformation.

As such AppLearn has established various critical success factors, including changes in strategy, culture, behavior, process, skills and the technology itself.

AppLearn’s model, the Six Pillars of Digital Adoption, depicts this approach in further detail.

The 6 Pillars Approach

“We developed the Six Pillars of Digital Adoption to help organizations and practitioners alike think about digital transformation adoption differently,” Barlow says. “People were focusing all of their energy on showing people how to use the new technology and not focusing on why they had invested in it and how it would add value to their day-to-day activities.”

Adoption challenges fall into six clear pillars. When considering the effects that investment in digital technology will have on your business and users, you can use the six pillars to guide your change. It’s essential that you consider each of the pillars when planning for change to vastly improve the transformation process.

Pillar 1: Strategy

Is your digital transformation a change in strategy for both the organization and its users? An example of this would be a new recruitment technology that lets you source candidates through social channels whereas before job boards facilitated this process.

By pre-emptively identifying and preparing for these strategy changes, the new processes can integrate into the workplace much more efficiently.

Pillar 2: Culture

Does your current or proposed digital transformation create a change in culture and the way you tackle past processes?

The most common example of cultural change is when organizations look to create a self-service culture. These changes affect day-to-day transactional activities such as booking leave or submitting expenses. Previously these tasks would fall on HR; however, cultural changes place significantly more responsibilities on your employees. As a result, you must prepare and support your employees with the correct training.

Pillar 3: Behavior

Are you implementing a digital technology that will require people to “behave” differently? Behavioral changes often occur with transformations that require people to embrace new responsibilities or accountability as part of the process.

Areas such as sales and HR commonly face a lot of behavioral changes, and poor adoption can affect people’s ability to hire the right candidate or effectively sell a service/product.

Pillar 4: Process

Will your transformation change processes or add new ones?

In many cases technology is purely an enabler of a more extensive business process. It benefits users and allows for increased efficiency and task completion. Process changes can require multiple signoff steps and human interaction. As such, a person’s ability to adopt a process is equally as important as the technology.

Because of this, the appropriate training and support must be available to assist employees throughout the change process.

Pillar 5: Skills

Does your digital transformation require your employees to adopt new skills to complete tasks?

The transformation may result in your employees needing to learn new methods to complete processes and tasks. As a result, you must have training and support available that can facilitate the necessary skill shift.

Pillar 6: Software

Inevitably your digital transformation will change the way your users work. The change will almost certainly mean users will require an element of training to be able to complete tasks. Remember that “intuitive UI and UX” is in the eye of the beholder. Because of this, you need to locate employee specific training pain points and support those weaknesses.

As AppLearn discovered from its years of experience and IDC’s discovered in its study, each pillar must be addressed to ensure a successful transformation. By considering these challenges during your transformation, you significantly increase the positive return on your investment.

This content was provided by one of our UNLEASH sponsors.

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