According to Gartner’s now famous projections, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) revenue is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth of 15.65% from $58.6B in 2017 to $99.7B in 2020! Clearly the benefits of SaaS are more than evident to all buyers and vendors.
What is not so evident is that technology adoption continues to be one of the biggest challenges companies face and is the biggest deterrent for companies in getting the ROI on their technology investment. 43% of the CIOs interviewed for the Harvey Nash-KPMG 2017 study stated ‘resistance to change’ as the biggest impediment to digital success (Only 25% state lack of budget as a major issue).
Technology adoption is mostly seen as the short term problem that’s typically thought to be solved by training employees on the software when an application goes live. However, not doing enough to prime users for continued software use is indeed the reason companies struggle with flattening engagement with software.
Regardless of the industry, companies are rethinking their growth strategies hinged on the latest and greatest in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, blockchain and Virtual Reality. Echelon states its prominent focus on IoT, LeGrand talks about connected future, Uber (having already transformed the transportation industry) talks about self-driven cars, not to mention the numerous start-ups in healthcare, financial service, manufacturing and so on.
With such dramatic changes around the corner, the vision of companies is heavily dependent on using technology to make their offerings more personalised, seamless and effective. Companies that fail to ramp-up employees, will never be able to leverage it to their advantage, much like the failure to accept the digital revolution wiped out a significant number of Fortune 500 companies.
So, what can companies do, to not just drive technology adoption but to also make sure that employees engage enough with the technology to continually become more efficient, productive and creative over a period of time. This ultimately leads to more newer and more relevant ways of creating and delivering value to customers.
A very commonly witnessed problem is that users hit an engagement plateau when they have learnt the bare minimum set of features to manage their day-to-day tasks. They no more find it gainful to make an effort to learn more. There can be various reasons for that such as lack of time, lack of initiative, lack of guidance and so on.
From the point of view of a company that made the buying decision for the cloud solution to be able to benefit from a suite of best-practice based features, this is not good news. How well users leverage a system in the early days also determines the possible long term engagement. Not to mention the limited drive they will have for adopting the monthly released innovations of the cloud solutions.
All this ultimately means that the potential benefit to business from technology adoption is either delayed or remains forever elusive. As an example, in case of a CRM, sales executives might use the basic features of leads creation, activity addition and contact management to garner everyday effectiveness. However, they might have limited knowledge and hence only limitedly use advanced features such as engaging with colleagues globally over the collaboration space to leverage learnings in dealing with a prospect from a highly regulated industry.
All companies invest in end training programs (classroom or e-learning) to help users get started. However, the forgetting curve tells us how employees retain only a fraction of what they learn as a one-time knowledge transfer. The enterprise sales enablement function and the learning team needs to help employees get started on the SaaS solution in an easy and targeted manner. They should also augment that training effort with plans to help move employees from beginner to intermediate and advanced stages of technology adoption.
The value of accessing any information, anytime, results in positively drastic gains not just in productivity but also in the possibilities. And this is not achieved by run-of-the-mill technology, but by identifying what will make a difference to your business, what offers competitive advantage and how employees can be enabled to leverage these to their advantage.
A breakthrough technology: digital adoption platforms provides an easy way to offer personalised and contextualised information to users to provide a smooth and productive user journey. It is widely known that feature-richness in B2B software comes at the cost of usability. As with anything else, its a trade-off.
However, technology adoption tools can layer-up on any software to render a consistent and use-case based help UI. Users find all the help they need, without needing to go out of the system or bother colleagues. Various other features make it possible to design journeys based on the user proficiency and their goal.
The Everett Rogers Innovation Diffusion model suggests that how well a technology is accepted depends on: relative advantage: to what extent a technology is better than status-quo, observability: how visible are the results of the innovation and trialability: the possibility to experiment with the innovation on a limited basis.
Technology adoption solutions are designed around ability to showcase new technology capabilities, usage benefits, and guided-use for trial and learning. In fact, Whatfix’s learning-specialised features can be used to even create micro-learning plans for users and track that learning as it happens.
You are only getting half that value you can if you don’t leverage the analytics of the software, the other half being plain automation. Actionable analytics that reflect who used your content and how can be a goldmine of information to base on how to fine-tune your content and also design interventions needed to transition users from one stage to another.
Certain groups of people for instance might have natural affinity for some features versus others. These groups might not be always be intuitive and so it is useful to get information based on the actual activity in the system. The data can be used to point to complexity in your set-up. For instance, if you see that some walkthroughs are being used over and over again by the same user-base, it means that the process is so complex that people aren’t able to figure it even after repeated use.
Enterprises today adopt not one but more than 10-12 cloud applications on an average to run their business. With expanding the base of applications covered by the same digital adoption platform, companies see incredible gains as users drastically save time in searching for information and in getting onboard on new software.
As a matter of fact, the multiplier effect of such a situation are imaginable with the famous McKinsey report that says employees on an average spend about 20% of their time looking for information. By just making information available in an expected manner, so much information discovery time can be saved. Whatfix, as the most enterprise-ready solution in the market, can make it possible to search for information across all the disparate systems of a company and make contextual and personalised information available to an employee, whether it comes from an HR system, or a CRM system.
It is safe to say that when planning the returns on your technology, its best to think of long-term gains as with any other investment you make. With digital adoption platforms to aid, there is no more an excuse to say ‘There’s only so much we do!’