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How to Overcome the Top 5 Digital Adoption Challenges

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digital adoption challenges

As the scope and pace of digital adoption continues to evolve and expand, business stakeholders now see it as imperative to survival and growth. Although total cost of ownership (TCO), operating expenditure (OPEX), and capital expenditure (CAPEX) are clear issues influencing digital adoption, it is the people sitting at the center of processes and technology that are the nexus of change.

A recent PwC Digital IQ Report found that 82 percent of top-performing companies pay attention to the human experience surrounding digital tech. These companies face the same challenges enacting digital adoption as other companies. The lessons that can be learned from them are in how they recognized and dealt with these challenges.

The first step in overcoming a challenge is understanding its root cause. To that end, here is a brief look at how to overcome the top five digital adoption challenges.

1. Fear of Change

When it comes to digital adoption, most people and organizations are resistant to change that they develop workarounds with legacy technology that can no longer keep up with process needs. Stakeholders find it difficult to see the ROI of major investments because they don’t have the data to show the true TCO in terms of upkeep, management, and lost productivity.

IT leaders are in the unenviable position of making the case and showing the ROI of digital adoption in relatable terms. Because digital adoption is about transforming the way that people work, IT leaders must provide clear data that shows the costs and the short and long-term ROI of maintaining legacy systems versus digital adoption. Through help desk data and working in partnership with other departmental leaders, IT can uncover the metrics that illustrate downtime, workarounds, and lost business opportunities in ways that speak to stakeholders and the workforce.

2. Lack of an Actionable Adoption Plan

Companies that succeed in digital adoptions that deliver both short and long-term gains develop a clear vision of how the solutions will meet workforce and business needs. This is laid out in a plan that shows the process of execution and implementation over time and addresses concerns about costs, tangible ROI, training, minimizing business disruption, and improved opportunities. The goal is to show how digital adoption can be an incremental process that builds on successes and tangible returns so that the workforce sees process improvements, not just change.

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Because these processes should be driven from the bottom up as well as the top down, it’s imperative to make the workforce part of the process in terms of assessing the challenges they face and determining what they need. This enables the organization to paint a clear picture of goals, timetables, processes, and outcomes, and to replace fears of change with anticipation and support. This shift requires the following:

  • Assessment of current technology stacks and processes
  • Understanding of what competitors are doing in terms of digital adoption and its impact on their market position and operations
  • Staying current with tech changes and process trends to evolve in tandem with customer expectations and behavior
  • Creating a digital playbook for potential tech changes to implement after adoption

Successful digital adoption is about prioritizing your technology investments and initiatives, while understanding that it doesn’t require complete a overhaul. The idea is to bring in digital technology and remove outdated processes by determining what changes will have the potential greatest impact.

3. Inadequate Data Management and Analytics

The root of digital success is in effectively gathering, storing, and leveraging customer data. The challenge is that many organizations have system and data silos that lack integration and interoperability. Equally important is the inability to make that data actionable in ways that further operational and business goals.

The efficient fix requires a strong approach to business process management (BPM) that employs technology that supports analysis of real-time information, such as dashboards with predefined filters that prompt specific actions. Digital adoption via BPM can come in the following forms:

  • Process software tools that model and run technology applications that follow business rules
  • Business analytics software that enables managers to identify business issues, trends, and opportunities through smart reports
  • Cloud-based content management platforms that connect data stores and facilitate streamlined use
  • Unified communication and collaboration (UCC) tools that streamline work processes and innovation
  • Automation tools that eliminate repetitive manual tasks that cost time, money, and opportunities

As organizations adopt an internet of everything (IoE) approach to data, digital adoption will continue to demonstrate how businesses can win in terms of making data and analysis a business driver.

4. Using Outdated or Unadaptable Technology

Companies trying to build agile digital experiences on top of outdated technology stacks cannot be competitive. To realize specific business and operational goals, organizations must have a strong cloud strategy that reimagines the entire technology stack, from compute, storage, and applications to networking and cloud alignment. The goal is to develop an incremental plan that enables the business to adopt key technologies based on TCO, OPEX, and CAPEX, as well as immediate and long-term ROI, projected business growth, and new avenues of business that it can support.

5. Unwillingness to Evolve

Digital adoption should be built on the engine of change management that continually drives business model adaptation. Organizations often find it difficult to see the forest for the trees in terms of the ways in which digital adoption can accelerate business processes, customer growth and experience, and market sector expansion. By having a managed service partner that can provide consultation, advice, digital technology stack expertise, legacy IT system management, and strong vendor relationships, businesses can plot a course for digital adoption that delivers ongoing operational and business success.

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