The human side of digital adoption

Blog article | By Anthony Wolny, March 22, 2019

The human side of digital adoption

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Did you understand that?

No, me neither, because we’re humans and not robots.

After all, we don’t think, function or process information the same way as machines.

While this seems simple to understand, most organizations are overlooking this key element when embarking on enterprise-wide change projects.

What am I even talking about?

I’m talking about the fundamentals of enabling change.

When a new SaaS solution is introduced into the workplace, the immediate focus is placed on training employees on the software.

It seems that the change enablement mentality that persists is once the users have been shown how to use the software the job is done.

This perception is resulting in billions of wasted investment.

Businesses spent $1.3 trillion on digital transformation in 2018 alone and out of that investment $900 billion was lost.

Why is this hindering digital transformation projects?

Once people have been shown how to use the software, they should just get it right?


“Technology is the easy part, it’s the people part that becomes challenging.”

Matt Burns, Global HR Executive and Founder of the Global HR Collective

Embarking on a digital transformation isn’t just implementing new software.

“When we say we are digitally transforming our business what we mean is we are arming our people with digital technologies that will enable them to reap the benefits from the investment.”

Andrew Barlow, Director of Product Strategy, AppLearn

What do we need to support to help our employees?

Your workforce doesn’t only need to use new software.

Employees need to learn new skills, complete tasks that were previously the responsibility of other departments, and in some cases completely change the way they handle processes.

In our years of experience, we found that the fundamental areas that you need to support to ensure a digital adoption fall into six pillars:

Strategy: Is your digital transformation a change in strategy for the organization and the employees?

Culture: Does your digital transformation create a change in culture and how things are done?

Behavior: Will the project require people to embrace new responsibility and accountability?

Process: Will the transformation change existing processes or introduce new processes?

Skills: Does the transformation require your users to learn new skills to execute tasks?

Software: Inevitably your employees will require training and support to utilize the technology.

How do we support these pillars?

The first step is analyzing these pillars, assessing how your organization will be affected, and building/altering your strategy accordingly.

“Digital transformation places responsibility on the organization as well as the vendor to ensure successful change.”

Matt Burns, Global HR Executive and Founder of the Global HR Collective

SaaS solution vendor will get your software to the place it needs to be, past that it’s your job to support and promote change internally.

You need to replace your outdated training and communication methods with a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP).

Traditional communication methods such as email tend to fall short as they often get lost in an inbox full to the brim with other “urgent” communications.

In terms of training, taking your workforce out of the office to run traditional classroom training will never achieve digital adoption.

In accordance with the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, 90% of training is forgotten after a month.

Because of this, you need to be continually providing employees with training and support.

A Digital Adoption Platform helps combat both these issues.

Enhance your communications with a DAP

A DAP provides both in-application and out-of-application communications.

By targeting your employees from multiple angles, you significantly increase the chance of your communications reaching everyone.

A Digital Adoption Platform also allows you to track your communications; using this information you can resend messages that have not been received.

By enhancing the effectiveness of your communications, you can ensure employees are aware of what is changing, why it is changing and how it will affect them.

Maximizing training effectiveness with a DAP

Now your employees have received your communications, they’re up to date on what’s happening, how do you ensure the right support is in place?

A Digital Adoption Platform supports employees with targeted training based on their role, language, and location directly within the application.

This means that your workforce never has to leave the software to find help.

Combining on-demand training that is tailored to the user ensures your workforce can upskill and continue to adapt to system changes.


In short, by taking a step back, thinking about your employees and humanizing the change process you can ensure successful digital adoption.

For further information on a Digital Adoption Platform, read our blog below.

Read our blog


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