Digital Adoption
May 7, 2024

"How-To" Guide for Driving Digital Transformation Through Employee Adoption

Digital adoption platforms boost ROI by enhancing tool usage with in-app guidance, automation, and analytics.

"How-To" Guide for Driving Digital Transformation Through Employee Adoption

Digital transformation is a top priority for businesses today, with 70% of organizations having initiatives underway. However, driving digital adoption of new technologies remains a major hurdle, with only 25% having achieved large-scale adoption so far. Many companies invest heavily in new systems and tools, only to see low utilization rates and wasted budgets. This "productivity gap" highlights the need for effective change management and training to drive digital adoption.

Digital adoption focuses on ensuring employees embrace new digital systems to maximize ROI. Rather than one-off training events, it takes a continuous, personalized approach to equipping employees with the mindsets, skills and behaviors needed for transformation success. Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) are purpose-built to provide this scalable, data-driven adoption solution.

What is Digital Adoption?

"Digital adoption is the act of incorporating new digital tools and systems to improve work processes and achieve objectives.” Digital adoption refers to the process of using digital tools and technology to improve employee workflows, operations, and objectives. It involves incorporating new software, systems, platforms and processes into an organization to drive better results.

At its core, digital adoption is about enabling employees to utilize technology to its fullest potential to increase productivity, efficiency, and innovation. Rather than just implementing a new tool, digital adoption focuses on driving widespread usage and adoption across the organization.

Digital adoption goes beyond traditional IT training. It emphasizes changing behaviors and mindsets through modern techniques like in-app guidance, microlearning, and gamification. The goal is to drive true transformation of business processes enabled by technology.

Importance of Digital Adoption

Digital adoption is critical for organizations to maximize the value of their technology investments and drive digital transformation. According to research, the average technology investment generates only around 30-40% adoption by employees in the first year (source). This means companies are leaving significant ROI on the table from their tech spending.

Without proper digital adoption, employees will use only a fraction of an application's features. They may resort to inefficient workarounds rather than embracing new digital processes. This results in lost productivity gains and inability to capitalize on the intended benefits. According to McKinsey, the cost of failed technology adoption is estimated at $900 billion in the US alone.

Effective digital adoption enables employees to fully leverage new tools, systems, and ways of working. This leads to greater utilization of features, increased productivity, and extracting the maximum value from technology investments. For digital transformation initiatives to succeed, organizations need to prioritize employee adoption and have a sound digital adoption strategy in place.

Digital Adoption vs. Training

Digital adoption takes a very different approach than traditional employee training methods. While training focuses on one-time instructional events to teach employees how to use new systems and processes, digital adoption is an ongoing process of guiding employees to fully utilize and adopt technology.

With training, the focus is on handing off information in a classroom or eLearning module. But this does not guarantee that employees will apply what they learned. There are many reasons users fail to adopt new tools after training, such as lack of reinforcement, forgetting what they learned, or struggling to adapt it within their actual workflows.

Digital adoption platforms provide continuous support beyond one-time training events. They deliver in-application guidance, nudges, and suggestions to employees exactly when they need help. This ongoing approach is far more effective at driving long-term adoption and changing behaviors.

As one expert explains, "The truth is training doesn't always equal adoption. In fact, software training alone is largely ineffective when it comes to improving proficiency" (Forbes).

Digital adoption focuses on enabling employees and incentivizing usage in real-world contexts. This hands-on reinforcement is key to getting employees to fully utilize new digital systems and transform workflows.

Digital Adoption Platforms

Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) are software solutions designed to drive adoption and utilization of new technologies within an organization. DAPs integrate directly with web and mobile applications to provide in-app guidance, walkthroughs, and training content.

Some key features and capabilities of digital adoption platforms include:

  • In-app guidance using interactive walkthroughs, tooltips, and notifications to teach employees new features.
  • Personalized recommendations based on user behavior data and AI to tailor training.
  • Workflow automation to provide the right information at the right time.
  • Adoption dashboards and analytics for tracking usage and engagement.
  • Surveys and feedback mechanisms to identify adoption barriers.
  • Integration with LMS platforms to align with broader learning initiatives.
  • No-code environment for easy content creation and modifications.

By providing embedded assistance within applications, DAPs enable organizations to drive technology adoption in a scalable way across the employee base.  

Key Benefits of Using a Digital Adoption Platform

Implementing a digital adoption platform can provide several key benefits for an organization looking to drive technology adoption:

Improved Employee Productivity

By providing personalized and ongoing guidance, DAPs enable employees to ramp up on new systems and processes much faster. This means they reach full productivity and proficiency quicker than with traditional sporadic training. According to Gravity Global, DAPs can improve employee productivity by over 35%.

Increased Technology Utilization

DAPs help employees take full advantage of all the features and capabilities of new technology investments. This increases feature adoption and engagement, ensuring organizations get the most ROI from their tech spend. Studies show technology utilization can improve by 25-40% with an effective DAP.

Enhanced User Experience

By providing in-app guidance, DAPs create smoother user experiences for employees. This improves satisfaction and engagement with new systems and processes. Organizations using DAPs report up to 30% higher user satisfaction scores.

By driving productivity, utilization and experience, DAPs deliver tremendous value and ROI for digital transformation initiatives.

Building a Successful Digital Adoption Strategy

Implementing a digital adoption platform requires careful planning and execution to drive maximum impact. Here are some best practices to consider when building out a digital adoption strategy:

  • Get leadership buy-in
  • Gaining support from executives and managers is crucial for ensuring digital adoption is prioritized across the organization.
  • Make the business case by connecting digital adoption to key metrics like productivity, efficiency and ROI (GRAVITY Benefits).

Conduct assessments - Do an audit of your existing digital tools and identify areas where adoption is lagging. Surveys and usage data can reveal adoption challenges. This allows you to target DAP efforts where they are needed most.

Develop training content - Well-designed training content is essential for driving adoption. Leverage your DAP platform to create interactive walkthroughs, in-app guidance, and microlearning modules tailored to your applications.

Define workflows - Mapping out end-to-end workflows ensures employees have the right guidance at the right time. DAPs allow you to embed adoption guidance directly into your digital tools.

Measure and optimize - Use DAP analytics to track adoption metrics over time. Continuous optimization based on usage data and feedback is key for improving outcomes.

Measuring Success

Measuring and tracking digital adoption is critical for optimizing your strategy and demonstrating ROI. Key metrics to monitor include:

  • User engagement - How frequently are employees interacting with technology? What features are they using?
  • Time to proficiency - How long does it take for users to become proficient with the new tools?
  • Usage data - Are more features and capabilities being adopted over time?
  • Help desk tickets - Is technology-related support volume decreasing as adoption increases?

Digital adoption platforms like GRAVITY provide robust analytics to measure adoption across your tech stack. You can track both the individual user and aggregate level to identify adoption gaps. Surveys, focus groups, and NPS can also provide qualitative data on user experiences.

Armed with adoption metrics, you can continuously optimize training content and workflows. Ensure users are guided through critical features and high-value tasks. Address usability pain points and knowledge gaps surfaced by the data. Adoption measurement completes the feedback loop for driving digital transformation success.

As stated by Gravity Global: "The ability to measure digital adoption provides transparency into employees’ use of technology. Having access to analytics empowers [companies] to make data-backed decisions to improve workflows and processes." (source Gravity Blog Telemetry)

Real-World Examples of GRAVITY Digital Adoption Platform Success

Many leading companies have implemented digital adoption platforms to drive employee usage of new technologies and systems. Here are some examples:

Zurich Insurance Switzerland

Zurich Insurance leveraged the GRAVITY Digital Adoption Platform to revolutionize their call center operations, overcoming the challenge of agents managing multiple brands with varying greetings. GRAVITY enabled instant and accurate caller recognition, empowering new agents to respond with the correct message from the outset. This advancement led to a more polished and quicker customer service experience, having a significant impact on both agent performance and customer satisfaction at Zurich Insurance. With GRAVITY, Zurich has set a new standard for call center efficiency and professional customer support.

Swiss private bank - CRM

A Swiss private bank implemented the GRAVITY Digital Adoption Platform across their new core customer relationship management (CRM) system, streamlining its adoption among 3,500 users across over 30 global locations. This strategic move eliminated the need for extensive travel for rollout training, proving that GRAVITY works seamlessly in a home office environment. The platform ensured that users kept pace effortlessly with the CRM's agile updates. The bank's return on investment was impressive, realizing five times the license cost in just the first year of implementation, marking a significant milestone in their digital transformation journey.

Generali - CRM Implementation

When Generali embarked on the implementation of Salesforce.com for their CRM system, the challenge was immense: over 500 employees needed to adopt the system across 54 agencies, with the added complexity of accommodating three different languages. Enter GRAVITY, the Digital Adoption Platform that transformed this formidable task into a success story. With GRAVITY, Generali employees found all the information they needed right at their fingertips, tailored training for specific processes, and contextual applications within the enterprise, facilitating an impressive 98% onboarding rate. This significant achievement underscores the power of GRAVITY in ensuring smooth digital transitions in complex, multi-layered organizations.

Key Takeaways

Digital adoption is critical for the success of any digital transformation initiative. Companies that implement new technologies without addressing adoption through initiatives like DAPs will fail to realize the full potential of their tech investments.

Following digital adoption best practices is key to driving maximum impact and ROI from DAPs. This includes getting executive buy-in, conducting assessments to identify needs, developing tailored training content and workflows, and continuously optimizing based on data insights.

By taking a strategic approach and leveraging the right digital adoption platform, organizations can transform the employee experience, accelerate technology utilization, and unlock productivity gains that truly move the needle for the business.

Christoph Müller

Christoph Müller

For years I used corporate Intranets in the workplace, experiencing firsthand that traditional learning formats for IT rollouts and employee onboarding do not work. I developed GRAVITY software to tackle this challenge. Employees are happier because learning is simple and effective; businesses are happier because their IT rollouts are successful and cost a lot less than before.