5 guiding principles for driving digital adoption

Published Jun 13, 2024
The most important thing to remember is you can’t do everything at once.

Successful digital adoption doesn’t happen overnight. And that’s okay. Any successful digital adoption strategy is one that’s cross-functional, multifaceted, and committed to improving user outcomes in the long term. 

“That’s all well and good,” you might be thinking, “but how do I even get started?” To help you better plan and begin executing your own efforts, let’s walk through five guiding principles for successful digital adoption.

1. Mindset is the first step.

A successful digital adoption strategy starts with the right mindset. While the initiative might feel overwhelming, remember that it’s in your power to ensure internal users are doing what you want them to do in software. And those users—and your business overall—will be better for it.

Putting employees at the center of your efforts will help ground decisions in what’s best for the people who use the software in your stack day in and day out. Above all, your focus should be optimizing how employees use digital tools so they can be more productive in their roles.

2. Be explicit about the “why” of your efforts.

Another important part of any digital adoption strategy is getting buy-in across the organization. You might have the best plan in place, but if people at your company are still thinking, “So what?” then you have a problem.

Make sure you’re clearly communicating the “why” behind any new process or guidance you roll out. Employees should know that the goal is always to help them do their jobs more effectively. Cultivating a cross-departmental “network of champions” can help drive change more effectively day-to-day in this regard. 

3. Understand the current state before taking action.

It might be tempting to jump in and try to fix pain points that you know exist within business processes. Instead, spend time with analytics data to truly understand the current state of your organization’s software usage. 

Which tools and features do employees use the most? Are there any systems they aren’t using as much as they should be? Where are internal users getting stuck in various workflows? How does usage compare to common topics of support tickets? Is there a process with lower-than-usual completion?

Using data to answer these types of questions will help you get a clear view into how work is getting done. Paired with qualitative employee feedback, you’ll be able to identify the most pressing problems and where to focus your strategy first.

4. Meet your internal users where they are.

The best way to change how employees use internal software is to meet them where they are with timely and relevant guidance. Bringing education and support within and across apps also allows you to personalize it to an employee’s unique use case—and leave employees who don’t need help alone.

Since business processes often span multiple tools, leveraging in-app guidance also means you can follow employees through these flows and provide key context at every step without requiring them to context-switch between the software and support resources.

5. Measure impact and adjust as you go.

Always remember to measure the impact of your digital adoption efforts. For example, after implementing an in-app walkthrough of a key process in your CRM tool, use analytics to track how the sales team’s behavior has changed.

Are fewer users getting stuck in the middle of the process? Are more team members completing the process more quickly? Leveraging data in this way helps organizations take an iterative approach to digital adoption and make changes to the strategy as necessary.

Don’t forget what you’re doing all of this for. Successful digital adoption doesn’t just help employees be more productive—it can make a measurable impact on your business, too. In today’s digital world, the companies that will succeed are those that can optimize their software spend, reduce costs, and boost efficiency and productivity.

Ready to learn more about the pillars of successful digital adoption? Take Pendo and Mind the Product’s free Digital Adoption Certification Course.