Running the tech race: eyes wide open or snoozing?

Technology is better than ever and possibly easier to purchase. This means that enterprises have access to the same set of systems, tools, and platforms. Investing in digital solutions does not create a competitive advantage. However, using technology investments effectively and realising their promised value might actually provide that advantage.

The potential benefits of successful digital transformation are significant, leading decision-makers to invest in more and more solutions. This mindset has fueled a surge in technology demand. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, IDC predicts that by 2023, one in three companies will generate at least 30% of their revenues from digital products and services, compared to one in five in 2020.

But are organisations generating their expected return on investment (ROI) from their digitalisation efforts? The answer, for most organisations, is no. According to a study by McKinsey, on average, enterprises only captured 31% of the expected value from their digital transformation efforts. The massive ROI left on the table is staggering.

So how can companies unlock the full ROI from their software investments? The key is maximising the impact of digital solutions within an organisation by ensuring employees fully utilise the provided technologies. Successful digital adoption has three key traits: it has to be widespread, well-informed, and ongoing.

Constant measurement and analysis

Businesses could potentially fail to achieve their desired ROI from their digital investments if the tools deployed are not utilised effectively by its end users. For example, if not all of the solutions’ features are being used or end users simply don’t know how to use even the core features as intended. This could lead to increased digital friction and frustration among employees, sometimes to the point where the complex user experience hinders productivity, known as Software Paralysis. With so many different digital technologies deployed across an enterprise, each with their own unique user interface, the need for widespread digital adoption has never been more pressing.

Improving digital adoption cannot be achieved without first understanding the full picture of how employees are interacting with the technologies already at their disposal. Measurement and analysis is absolutely paramount to know where digital adoption efforts should be focused, deployed, and continuously analysed for improvement. Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) sit as a glass layer on top of any software or applications across a tech stack and provide customised user guidance and automation across workflows right on the screen to improve the end user experience and provide data insights on usage.

Finally, identifying and addressing where users are getting stuck or incorrectly following a workflow should not be a one-off process. Digital adoption must be an ongoing strategic effort in order to continuously optimise the employee user experience and productivity. User interfaces and workflows change all the time and the right digital adoption technology can ensure changes will not disrupt the flow of work or negatively impact the digital employee experience.

Uncovering competitive advantage

Understanding and solving for why digital technologies are being partially used, misused, or even ignored is crucial to maximising ROI. As per Okta’s 2022 Business at Work report, the average large enterprise has 187 applications deployed. Cutting through the complexity stemming from the sheer number of applications being used, by reducing digital friction and empowering users to actually use these apps is the key to unlocking maximised ROI, higher productivity, and a better digital employee experience.

Enterprises have created the problem they need to solve for the most by investing in so many fabulous technologies. Before adding more tech into the already robust tech stacks at most enterprises, businesses should first assess the real value they are getting from their existing technologies. By truly understanding how their existing tech stacks are being used, enterprises can generate savings by eliminating redundant features and deploy digital adoption solutions to correct workflows and improve user experiences with the right technology.

Quality over quantity 

Underutilised digital solutions are liabilities to enterprises. They deliver only a fraction of the promised productivity or efficiency promised at the time of purchasing while costing the business a premium. Without fully understanding usage and the right digital adoption strategy, organisations can end up acquiring even more digital technologies and repeating the cycle.

With a strategy of continuous usage measurement and analysis, companies can identify the roadblocks to widespread digital adoption in their organisations and use the right DAP to solve them. Best-in-class DAPs can both constantly measure usage data and generate actionable insights on its own.

Without the right digital adoption strategy, enterprises are left in the dark, blind to how their employees are using their technology tools and consistently failing to realise the promised ROI of their software investments.