Digital workplace

Why every company is now a software company

Published May 12, 2022

People used to think of software companies as companies that made software. Think images of product teams hard at work building the next big app or digital platform. And that was true—as far as it went. But even before the pandemic pushed countless employees remote, the idea of what constitutes a software company was changing and broadening in unprecedented ways.

With the rise of the digital workplace, the days in which one can think of software companies as being synonymous with tech companies are over. No matter what industry a company is in, it relies on software to plan and deliver on key business objectives. It’s the means through which we communicate, collaborate, and execute. And it’s the factor that increasingly shapes both the employee and customer experience more than any other.

In short, every company is now a software company, whether they recognize it or not. This reality, the topic of a new ebook, is one that the most forward-thinking companies are embracing in three core ways.

1. Understanding work and how it happens

Until not long ago, many companies would design software implementations based on “gut feel” about how employees worked. That is, if people were “supposed” to be working in a given way, managers would assume they were doing so and plan around that assumption. Unfortunately, that almost guaranteed that their digital transformation effort would fail, because it wasn’t rooted in reality.

The most digital-forward companies, in contrast, understand how work actually happens. They leverage a digital adoption solution’s robust cross-app analytics to glean real insights about how employees are engaging with software—which apps matter most to them, how they execute workflows, where they may face challenges—and design a plan grounded in empathy. Data also helps companies validate the right projects and new software requests, configure new digital tools, and perform countless other tasks in a way that leads to better business results.

2. Harnessing organizational insights

Once they’ve arrived at real insights, digital-forward companies leverage them to inform their transformation roadmap. The right goals vary for every company based on what their priorities and concerns are: Which apps are employees working best with? Which are under- or over-delivering on value? Which processes or workflows should we focus on optimizing support for? Are there duplicative apps in the portfolio causing SaaS sprawl and wasteful spending?

With clear data to back them up, IT and business tech teams can get answers to these kinds of questions and execute the right strategy for their organization. In driving this kind of change, they’ll help employees thrive at work, keep tech budgets in check, fix what isn’t working, and make what is working even better than before.

3. Supporting employees in the ways that matter most

Whether it relates to onboarding, new processes, or security, companies usually provide their employees some form of support. What distinguishes digital-forward companies from everyone else, however, is that they understand that employees benefit most from support that is timely, contextual, and relevant. In other words, not every employee needs the same level or kind of support, and the best place to provide that support is within the app itself.

Organizations should be able to personalize support based on things like tenure, role, and other categories, so that help is going to the people who need it, and not creating a nuisance for those who don’t. They should also be able to view and harness employee feedback to improve that support based on what’s working and what’s not. The right digital adoption solution lets them do both.

Recognizing that your company—like all others—is now a software company is the first step towards transforming your workplace for the better. To learn more about how to thrive in today’s digital work world, read our new ebook here.