Digital workplace

3 pillars of successful digital transformation

Published Jul 1, 2021

If there’s one phrase that captures the essence of the digital transformation of the workplace today, it’s “more, more, more.” The average company now spends 50 percent more on software applications each year, and the average employee uses more of these applications now than ever before. And while all this new software promises greater growth and productivity, the result can be frustration as employees have to change their work habits to adapt. 

The unfortunate reality is that most digital transformation plans today fail, and they fail because they don’t factor in that different employees have different needs. In today’s dynamic workplace, a one-size-fits-all approach to onboarding and support will no longer suffice. Rather, successful digital transformation means being able to get the right information to the right person at the right time. As companies work toward this goal, they should ground their digital transformation strategy in three core ideas. 

1. From getting more software to getting the most out of it

The growth in software-as-a-service (SaaS) application use in the workplace is obvious. Still, if companies are increasingly investing in software apps, they’re not investing nearly enough in getting the maximum value out of them. One main reason for this is that too many teams continue to use outdated training methods that don’t account for how the human mind actually works. 

Studies have shown that 70 percent of training content is forgotten in the first 24 hours after a session. At a time in which employee use of apps is increasing and the customization of apps is growing, the traditional onboarding model no longer makes sense. Companies need to be able to get support to employees where and when they need it. That means leveraging a digital adoption solution that serves tailored guidance to employees within the apps they use, as they use them. 

In-app guidance not only gives team members crucial information on how, for example, to use new functionality or fill in a custom field relevant to their specific position. Such guidance can also provide much-needed context on why different modules and fields exist in the first place and what purpose they serve. By giving support to employees in real time, digital adoption solutions such as Pendo Adopt ensure that important guidance remains readily accessible and top of mind rather than lost in the haze of a training session long forgotten. 

2. Bring IT & HR closer together

In-app guidance is just one example of how companies are seizing on digital transformation to bring their people, systems, and processes together. In embracing this kind of cross-functionality, leadership needs to focus on breaking down barriers between departments that were previously siloed from one another. Nowhere is that more important than for IT and HR. These teams have to work hand in hand to plan and execute new initiatives, because in the digital workplace, people and technology need to be transformed together. It’s no surprise that the most successful HR leaders are becoming more tech-savvy, while the best IT leaders are becoming more people-savvy. When it comes to digital transformation, people and technology are two sides of the same coin.  

3. Make change a two-way process

Companies usually employ very smart and thoughtful people to create digital transformation strategies. But as the saying goes, culture eats strategy for breakfast. If change managers are not aware of the workflows, habits, and behaviors in which their teams are already engaged, their plans will almost certainly fail before they even get off the ground. By collecting feedback and providing robust analytics, solutions such as Pendo Adopt give change managers the organizational insight to see how employees are spending their time in software, and to better assess future disruption and whether plans fit with existing practices. 

The key to successful change management is not to impose a static plan from the top down, but to incorporate team knowledge from the bottom up. Employees immersed in a given workflow or set of tasks day to day often create better workflows than managers. The latter should treat employee knowledge not as a hurdle to be overcome, but as a precious asset, and the right digital adoption solution will incorporate said knowledge into training and guidance materials. 

The reality is that a company’s business processes are its “secret sauce,” its competitive advantage that, when optimized, allows it to thrive. By using a one-size-fits-all, templated digital adoption solution, a team risks losing what makes it unique. The most successful digital transformations create bespoke digital workplaces. The path to success looks different for each company, but done right, digital transformation lets them realize the same big-picture goals: adopt their software better, adopt best practices seamlessly, and adapt to the future, faster. 

To learn more about successful digital transformation, watch Tatyana’s full talk from Guide, Pendo’s digital adoption summit, below: