To remain competitive in today’s digital landscape, you need to leverage all the digital tools and assets at your disposal. There’s a good chance you’ve already spent the money on the newest software out there, so you might as well have a plan in place to help you get the most out of your resources.
With a digital adoption plan, employees and customers can get the most out of a company’s digital toolkit. It’s all about finding new ways to add value and drive business growth. So, let’s get into it!
What is digital adoption?
To put it simply, digital adoption refers to the process of users learning how to take advantage of newer technologies fully. Using websites, apps, software products, and different digital assets, employees and customers aim to get the most value possible when carrying out a solution or process.
For example, think about a social media team. There are plenty of integrated tools to help you monitor keywords, schedule posts, and set up various alerts. You want to ensure your team is fully educated on using each feature on all your social platforms.
From a customer’s point of view, the technology might be a restaurant app for ordering and making payments. The more customers are familiar with the app, the higher chance they’ll use it to order their food ahead of time. This makes it almost certain that a business will be able to serve more customers each day.
True digital adoption means your employees and/or customers can utilize the most advanced features of new technology. This allows users to optimize different digital adoption solution processes and make the most of their time.
Why you should care about digital adoption
Anyone interested in growing their company should care about digital adoption. It’s not just important for a business owner, but it means something to the employees and customers. When you make an investment in something, it’s all about the ROI. So, when it comes to your digital assets, you need to know how to use everything to get the best return.
You can’t just assume that people will figure out different software programs and digital platforms. You need to make sure employees understand how to use them to carry out successful business solutions. Similarly, you need to make sure customers know to use your digital tools so they can engage with your business and solve their problems.
If that isn’t enough, a recent BDC study shows that companies that were more willing to adapt to changing technologies saw higher business performance. Especially after the pandemic, it only makes sense to ensure your business is totally up-to-date, so you can be prepared for the unexpected and protect your assets as best as possible. In fact, Celerity reports that 63% of leaders claim the pandemic made them embrace digital transformation earlier than estimated.
Components of a digital adoption plan
The specifics of your digital adoption plan might depend on your industry, but there are several key components to keep in mind regardless of your niche.
- Evaluation of your current technological infrastructure as it relates to industry standards.
- Build a list of your company’s strategic needs.
- Determine the skills and abilities of each member of your team as they relate to technology.
- Evaluate your current IT support and determine if you have adequate support or need to expand.
- Think about where you might be able to secure executive sponsorship for future developments.
- Estimate the cost for each project and the duration of time allocated.
- Create a list of initiatives for different projects and determine if anything needs to be adjusted in order to meet business goals.
At the end of the day, you want something that leaders and IT professionals can understand and take with them to help plan out any changes to digital infrastructure. A great digital adoption plan makes it easier for managers to understand which projects are being worked on and what areas need improvement. Aside from making everyone’s jobs a little bit easier, digital adoption provides a host of benefits, both to employees and customers.
Benefits of a digital adoption strategy
When you take the time to develop a digital adoption plan for your organization, you’re also investing in the future of your company. Getting on top of your digital assets comes with a range of benefits, including:
- Technology can be evaluated for any bugs or other issues.
- Cut costs by getting rid of anything inefficient or unnecessary.
- Build a bridge between the technology infrastructure and your business goals.
- By discovering and implementing better business practices, you’ll increase your productivity.
- Prepare for setbacks and system failures when you’re aware of any weak links in your organization’s technology.
- Gain a better understanding of your business priorities as they relate to technology.
- Be better prepared for resolving technology conflicts.
Aside from the points above, when you create a digital adoption plan, you’re guiding your team better to carry out their purpose in the organization. Those in managerial positions will be better equipped to make crucial decisions, and everyone will be more prepared to go about different projects.
Challenges of digital adoption for customers
- Product awareness: you can’t expect customers to be able to utilize all the features of your digital products if you don’t raise awareness. When you’re preparing to roll out new apps, features, and other digital offerings, you need to get the word out to your audience. You can’t expect any progress towards digital adoption unless you’re making your product known.
- Education gaps or delays: if you want your customers to get the most value out of your products, you need to make sure you provide any relevant onboarding information as soon as it becomes available. It’s not uncommon, for example, for users to update their mobile devices without fully understanding what changes are being made. Sometimes people might just assume you’re fixing a bug or improving overall functionality. If you’re making actual changes to different features and tools, you need to make sure you’re educating your customers on how to use them most appropriately.
- Difficulties with customer support: Digital adoption is a step-by-step process, and new challenges come along with each phase. You might be ready for your audience to use your new product, but if you don’t have the support to back it up, you’re sure to run into significant problems down the line.
Challenges of digital adoption for employees
As with anything new, the digital adoption process comes with a learning curve. When you try to enforce digital adoption in your organization, you might run into some of the following challenges with your employees:
- Too many software applications to manage: You need to make sure you create a sense of balance in your workplace to avoid leading employees to burnout. Try to keep your expectations realistic when it comes to how many software applications your team should be using every day. Try not to go over five per employee if you can help it. There’s a difference between leveraging your digital assets and overloading your workforce. The whole point of digital adoption is to boost productivity in your organization, so you need to make sure you have a clear boundary that prevents your employees from becoming fatigued. Always be open to feedback so you can make sure you’re managing your digital solutions in the best possible ways.
- Intricate software can get complicated: When you’re on the business side of software, it often looks a lot more complicated than the user/customer side of it. Where a customer might see a fun, inviting menu of options, an employee might be bombarded with different analytical tools and features. Sometimes it can feel like you need to register for a degree just to learn how to use certain business software. When it comes to applications that require a little more getting used to, give your employees plenty of time to practice with the products. If there are onboarding resources available to your organization, make them available to everyone. This way, even if you’re busy, your team will be able to find the answers they need and won’t miss out on any productivity.
- Employees are reluctant to adapt: It’s one thing to teach new software to a new employee, but for those who have grown comfortable in their positions, it might prove to be a little more difficult. When the time comes for you to put employees through the digital adoption process, make sure you communicate how beneficial it will be for their own work. Remember, it’s all about adding value and driving business solutions. So if your employees understand that learning new technology means making their jobs easier and even more meaningful, you might find they warm up to the idea a little faster.
- Misleading or poor training: Depending on the size of your team and organization, you might not be able to oversee all the training associated with your digital adoption plan. If you have several managers assisting you with training employees, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page and abide by the same standards. All it takes is one person to disrupt an entire team’s workflow, and you want to keep your organization operating at optimal efficiency whenever possible. Make sure everyone uses the same reference material to learn about different functions or features of new technology and that any questions can be shared in a common forum. This way, you can at least know everyone is receiving the same information and given access to the same answers to common questions or problems.
The bottom line
The message is simple; if you want to keep up with the best of your industry peers, you need to adopt digital transformation in your organization. Not only will it lead your business to thrive, but it’ll make engaging with your company more enjoyable for employees and customers. The only thing you have left to determine is how to get the digital resources that would so greatly benefit your organization. Many business owners might be aware of their need to make some new investments in technology but just lack the funding to do so.
The Canada Digital Adoption Program
The way Canadians do business is evolving every day, and guaranteeing access to the latest technology is increasingly important for organizations across all sectors. Many companies are ready to take on a digital adoption plan but need a financial boost to acquire and implement the technology their organization lacks. Luckily, you don’t need to depend on other investors to help you reach your technological goals when there are helpful grants available specifically aimed at helping you build your business.
The Boost Your Business Technology grant is specifically designed for Canadian-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are hoping to adopt new digital technologies. Business owners that are eligible for the grant will get access to a whole marketplace of experts (like Marketing Guardians) ready to help develop a digital adoption plan tailored specifically to their needs. You can rest assured that you’re getting the financial backing you need, as well as the professional support to help you make the best decisions in implementing new software and other technologies.
You also might be eligible for a 0% interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada to help pay for any new technology that might become part of your digital adoption plan.
Ready To Start Your Digital Transformation?
Determine your eligibility for the Boost Your Business Technology grant:
- Application must be completed by the owner or director of the company.
- Must be a for-profit, privately owned business.
- Must have between 1-499 full-time employees.
- Must have at least $500,000 of annual revenue in at least one of the last three tax years.
If you’re the owner or director of your organization and you feel you meet the above requirements, don’t waste time lagging behind your competition. Begin the process of getting on the digital fast track and start your application today!
If you’re not quite ready to get started yet, or have more questions, you can: