Too many businesses are learning the hard way

Blog article | By Beth Cooper, October 18, 2016

Imagine a scenario. A business wishes its staff to build better relationships with its clients. To facilitate more face-to-face meetings, it invests in a fleet of company cars for the staff to use. Three weeks later, no visits have been made. When it investigates, the company’s management learns that none of the staff concerned have a driving licence.

Ridiculous? Probably. But this extreme example is no different to the madness that happens in 75% of business transformation projects that rely on cloud-based applications. The business buys software licences and expects they’ll get used. But their employees don’t understand the motivation behind the move. They can’t get to a training session that’s scheduled when they’re on annual leave. The support team have no more idea than they have themselves. The result – low rates of software adoption and stalled projects. The costs are frightening – $400 billion a year is wasted on failed digital projects. Did you get that number? May we ask if you’d want to throw away even a tiny fraction of that?

Let’s look closer at why this is happening:

  • 27% of organisations lacked the skills for successful software adoption and focused instead on implementation
  • 57% didn’t have the IT support team resources to cope.

The organisations that fail are the ones that focus on the delivery of a solution, not the adoption of the solution. They’ve taken receipt of our hypothetical fleet of cars and expected their employees to be safe and competent behind the wheel.  So, let’s give our novice motorists a bit of training. It all sounds good until you realise that 80% of failed projects relied on outdated methods of training and communication.

Wow! 80% of organisations implementing SaaS applications are simply ignoring the phenomenon of the modern learner. Their staff already know about remote working and are fully conversant with online learning. They are self-starters – 70% use search engines to solve problems, 80% of them learn collaboratively and an impressive 62% have already invested their own money in their own training. They’re keen to learn, but instead, they’re being given a printed manual and a one-day classroom session. Yawn!

We need to stop this waste.  All that’s needed is a step-by-step approach to user adoption involving vision, strategy, an understanding of user experience, measurement, analysis and action. We need to help our novice motorists learn to drive. Only then will they drive a business forward.

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