Given the cut-throat landscape of business today, it’s understandable why leaders now seek to leverage all the sources of advantage that they could find. Thanks to advancements in computing, many businesses look to integrate new technologies to their work as part of their digital adoption strategies (opens in new tab). IDG’s 2018 State of Digital Business Transformation report found that tools do bring many efficiencies to business processes could give enterprises as much as a 23 per cent boost in revenue after adopting these solutions.
However, choosing the right solutions has become a real challenge because of the overwhelming number of choices of applications and services available. Software and applications development has become quite a highly-saturated space. Just one look at the Google and Apple app stores will tell you that there are scores, sometimes even hundreds, of applications all serving same function.
This becomes even more of a concern for smaller organisations. Limited resources can put added pressure on small businesses to maximise the gains they could get from their investments. Most would want to get the decision right from the start. If you are one such organisation, fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help you choose the right solutions for your digital adoption efforts.
1 - Focus on valuable capabilities
You must consider what capabilities your company really needs. This way, you can narrow down your choices of solutions to the ones that can effectively deliver your much-needed capabilities.
For example, if you're in online retail intent on branching out to cross-border commerce, you could consider tapping digital payment services that provide the widest support for the currencies and payment methods preferred by your customers. You can also consider getting fulfilment and logistics services that allow you to ship quickly and provide you and your customers with timely and accurate tracking of packages through web and mobile apps.
2 - Prefer intuitive interfaces
User experience has become a highly critical factor in how well users will receive your chosen solution. No one wants to use clunky and complicated software and applications. Users have become more discerning of the interfaces they use. More than half of users surveyed in a Google study say that they are less likely to engage with companies that offer poor user experience, especially on mobile devices.
The tools you seek to use must provide experiences that users in your organisation would find easy to grasp. Have your staff try out demos and get their inputs on how well they think these tools could improve their performance. Applications that offer poor experience only become major roadblocks to successful digital adoption.
3 - Onboard your users
Even with intuitive interfaces, users must still be properly onboarded. Onboarding gives users the proper orientation on the key features and functionalities of the solutions. Most solutions are designed with specific workflows in mind so users can be oriented to the changes these tools could bring to their ways of working during the onboarding process.
Developers are also increasingly incorporating guided walkthroughs and detailed tooltips as part of their interfaces which helps in understanding and retention. However, it would still be beneficial for users to undergo structured and formal onboarding and training sessions so that the details of the applications' features can be discussed within your specific context. Most enterprise solutions vendors offer such training as part of their delivery and deployment.
4 - Consider timely support
It's inevitable to encounter issues and problems with any software or application. So, it's important to be able to get timely support from developers.
Unfortunately, many companies fail to provide quick support. The SuperOffice Customer Service Benchmark Report found that as many as 62 per cent of companies simply ignore support request emails. Pick partners that are committed to provide you with the help you may need. Know what support channels will be available to you and the expected turnaround for tickets and concerns.
Note details like the channels that can be used to reach them, their support availability, and even the time difference should they be located in another time zone. Have their commitments outlined explicitly in your contract with the vendor (opens in new tab). Some developers are now offering support packages that guarantee quicker turnarounds so you may want to consider investing for quicker support.
Don’t be afraid of automated solutions here – some options like chatbots based on AI actually provide quicker and more comprehensive service than their human equivalents. Be aware of the pros and cons of various customer support channels and options that you have.
5 - Demand active development
Given the changing nature of business and technology, developers should continuously improve and develop their products and services. You wouldn’t want to be left using stale and stagnant applications. Check how often developers release updates to their products and if these updates do deliver value. This serves as a gauge of how committed developers are to their users. Consider participating in their improvement programs. You could send them error and crash reports provided that their tracking mechanisms are compliant with data protection (opens in new tab) and privacy regulations. These kinds of data can help them in fixing issues and build new features.
Digital adoption is a must for any organisation today. Your choice of tools and solutions providers could very well determine on the success of your effort. Having a solid strategy in deciding which tools to adopt is vital. A digital adoption platform such as WalkMe can help organisations that are resistant to digital disruption by incorporating processes that adapt operations and employees according to the evolving nature of customer needs and expectations.
Once you’ve implemented the tool or solution of your choice, it is also important to follow through with your strategy. There may be cases where things may not work out with a given tool or provider even with ample planning and good decision-making. In such events, don't be afraid to pivot and switch directions and look for better solutions. Successful digital adoption relies on building a culture that embraces change and continuous improvement.
Dipti Parmar (opens in new tab), business and marketing consultant
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