Digital workplace

How IT professionals can maximize ROI on their software suite

Published Aug 5, 2021

If you’re a Chief Information Officer (CIO) today, odds are you have a large—and growing—set of software tools you’re managing for your organization’s employees. 

The average company now subscribes to 137 Software as a Service (SaaS) apps. When looking at the average enterprise-sized company, that number jumps to 288 apps. And with more tools comes a higher price tag. By 2020, companies were spending on average 50 percent more on SaaS apps than they did two years prior. Yet at the same time, too many teams are not extracting the full value from the tools they’re paying for.

More software, more problems

Such a wide array of software tools comes with a complex set of challenges for IT professionals—like a major uptick in support ticket requests from employees. It also creates competing priorities for limited company resources, including project dollars and shared-service teams. 

From your employees’ standpoint, the challenges are even more daunting, starting with knowing which tool to use for which purpose. The existence of duplicative apps— which serve the same purpose and provide equivalent functionality—adds to the confusion. The average company now has 3.6 duplicative apps in their suite, leading to all sorts of problems. 

In addition to the wasteful spending, the presence of these apps means extra support ticket requests that are a needless drain on your IT department’s time. Different teams may use different apps for similar purposes, preventing opportunities for meaningful cross-functional collaboration. And on top of all that, constant toggling among different apps can lead to increased employee anxiety and frustration, as well as decreased productivity. 

Many have noted these and other complex challenges that come with digital transformation. But what can your team actually do about it? 

The analytics-led recipe for success

The answer starts with the right digital adoption solution. In leveraging a product such as Pendo, companies can undertake a five-step process to maximize the return on investment in their IT portfolios: 

1. Identify the problem you want to fix. Start by thinking big: What is the business problem you’re trying to solve? Lagging productivity? A generally slow uptake on new and expensive features? A lack of collaboration among teams? Non-compliance in key areas? Whatever the challenge, it will manifest itself in specific ways, which is where step 2 comes in. 

2. Understand the current state of software usage. You may have a good sense of the business challenge you face, but the insights you gain from analytics will help you better understand the specific nature of the problem. By using a digital adoption solution such as Pendo for Employees, you can see how employees actually use your tools. That includes: the path users take to complete a given task or process within and across apps; analysis of how well employees are adopting a given feature; and which employees are super users and early adopters whom you want to create more of. With the insights provided by the right digital adoption solution, you’ll be able to understand how your company is leveraging your IT portfolio. 

3. Define the desired outcome. Once you’ve identified the problem on a macro level and leveraged analytics to better understand it, start thinking about what the resolution looks like on micro level. What are the specific preferred behaviors that will help boost productivity, drive adoption, foster collaboration, compliance, etc.? With a tool such as Pendo, you’ll be able to set and measure against usage or behavioral goals that align with your business objective. Whether it’s moving users from one tool to another, driving adoption of a specific feature, or better enforcing compliance within a given process or workflow, a great digital adoption solution will help you create your roadmap.

4. Guide your employees to the end goal. Now that you’ve set a clear objective, it’s time to put your employees in a position to meet it. To that end, a great digital adoption solution offers an entire ecosystem of tools to overlay onto your applications. Pendo offers in-app messaging to build awareness around and contextualize new features and other forms of change. It also provides in-app guides informed by existing behaviors to train users on new software or feature uses, compliance, improved workflows, or whatever the challenge may be. What’s more, by actively soliciting feedback from employees and keeping track of their behavioral changes through analytics, a digital adoption solution lets IT teams better gauge how well their approach is working so they can tailor it accordingly. 

5. Repeat! With your end goal now realized, it’s time for you to once again leverage your digital adoption solution and start the process all over again. In doing so, you’ll be continuing to streamline, scale, and achieve greater return on investment in your IT portfolio.