For enterprise companies, the shift to digital business and work was already happening before the pandemic. For years, organizations had been shifting to cloud-based applications and taking steps to automate various processes and support mechanisms. As our guest speaker, Vasupradha Srinivasan (Senior Analyst, Forrester) explained in a recent Pendo webinar, what the pandemic did was to accelerate the growth of remote work and the digital infrastructure needed to enable it. “There is a larger, tech-enabled solution working in the background for making work anywhere happen,” she explained, and with this new reality comes new challenges.
What the shift to digital means for the enterprise
As part of their research, Forrester surveyed technology decision makers to better understand what the shift to digital meant for them. One key statistic they found was that 40% of an organization’s software spending in 2021 went to new software licenses and new custom software solutions. In other words, the app landscape in which enterprise employees work has not only gotten larger, but more complex and bespoke as well.
With a bigger and more complex app suite comes a greater risk of stress and burnout for employees. “Technology plays such an important role in what employee experience looks like today,” Srinivasan said. And what Forrester found was that bad tech experiences are contributing significantly to employee stress. Having to constantly deal with new software or changes to existing apps, finding apps not working as seamlessly as they were led to believe—has left employees with major headaches.
At the same time, Srinivasan explained, CIOs and CTOs are finding themselves with an increasingly complex set of expectations and responsibilities. From delineating ownership of strategy and various tech buying decisions, to managing the needs of a distributed workforce working in a dynamic application environment, to ensuring they stay aligned to greater enterprise goals such as cost management, business technology leaders today have their work cut out for them. It’s therefore no surprise that they’re prioritizing investments in technology that help employees do their jobs better, and focusing on improving their ability to manage new technologies.
Digital adoption platforms make everyone’s lives easier
“There’s no true way to drive adoption other than to simplify software or the enablement that you’re providing to a user,” Srinivasan made clear. That’s why digital adoption platforms (also known as digital adoption solutions) are more important than ever for helping enterprise organizations thrive. These platforms, which “leverage user and behavioral analytics and automation to deliver contextual nudges and personalized guidance” to employees, are important in three key ways:
First, they improve employee engagement and experiences with software. The right digital adoption platform provides contextual guidance within the app to employees, so they can get the help they need where and when they need it. This guidance can be tailored to the individual employee based on metadata and behavior. What’s more, the best digital adoption platforms provide support to employees across the entire enterprise app suite. “We’re not talking about providing support on one key application or solving for one particular user group or department,” Srinivasan clarified, but rather a holistic means of support for the entire employee journey.
Second, digital adoption platforms improve productivity and performance across the entire enterprise. “As an employee, I don’t want to be looking through nine different screens trying to figure out how to do something on a particular application,” Srinivasan said. Support delivered within the app itself via a digital adoption platform means that employees won’t have to, giving them more time to get back to what matters. What’s more, the rich analytics the best digital adoption platforms provide let teams understand the flow of work, across apps and across time. This gives them an unprecedented view into where employees may be getting stuck, how a workflow or process could be streamlined, and countless other areas in which there’s an opportunity to boost organizational efficiency.
Finally, digital adoption platforms not only provide rich insights, but actionable ones. “How do you do better with all the technology that you’re invested in today? What can you let go of? Where can you optimize?” Srinivasan cited these and other questions as examples of the ways in which the best digital adoption platforms can help IT and business technology teams get the most out of the software they need, and eliminate the software (and costs) they don’t.