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5 Ways Businesses Can Jump-Start Their Digital Adoption

5 Ways Businesses Can Jump-Start Their Digital Adoption

Businesses can't escape the need to go digital in today's world. Customers are now looking for comforts that are only available through digital channels and tools. To cope with this demand, businesses must pursue digital adoption and leverage technology to their advantage. 
However, successful digital adoption continues to be elusive to those organizations that try.

According to McKinsey, technology adoption efforts have a fairly low success rate. Less than 30 percent of efforts do. This is why some organizations are still on the fence on going digital.
The most common stumbling blocks that trip most companies include failing to strategize before implementation, selecting solutions and providers poorly, and overlooking the involvement and training of implementers. Fortunately, there are means to overcome these challenges and enable companies to jumpstart their digital adoption journey. Here are five ways:

1 - Identify Pain Points

One of the common mistakes you could make when going digital is not knowing what specific problem or need area you want to address through technology. You should define what are these issues you want solved.

You could observe customers throughout their journey and look for the steps at which they get bogged down. Talk to staff, especially those involved in the front lines, about what parts of your processes they find tedious and could be improved upon. Try to get multiple perspectives as well so that you can reconcile the inputs from both customers and staff to see the gravity of a particular issue.

You can also review your financial statements to see troubling figures and patterns and look at the people and processes that can affect those numbers. For example, you're a B2B business and you've noticed that your collections are in a slump. You can check what actually happens through the invoicing and collection process.

2 - Focus on a Single Issue

You don't have to go wholesale in your digital adoption effort and try to solve all of your issues by digitizing everything. Sure you may consider acquiring expensive and comprehensive enterprise systems but, without a clear goal, it may just be a waste of time and effort. Ambitious and expensive don't always translate to success. History even has a long list of failed enterprise system rollouts that tried to do too much.

If you're a smaller venture looking into your first foray into digital adoption, you can always start out small. Pick out just one issue so that you can focus your energy and effort in solving it.

Going back to the previous example, being focused would allow you to explore why you are having problems getting paid. Perhaps it's because your invoices are also late or perhaps you don't support convenient payment methods.

3 - Choose Fitting Solutions

With a better understanding of the issue, you'd be able to find fitting solutions to your problem. If your invoices are delayed because you’re doing them manually, you can look into using accounting and bookkeeping applications that have automated invoicing as a feature. If payment methods are the cause, then look to adopt payment services that allow you to accept a variety of methods.

Fortunately, there’s an app for almost any conceivable business process these days. However, the sheer number of available tools can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, that means that a tool will be available to address your need. On the other, finding the best one for your context can be tricky.

Take the time to study what these apps offer including factors such as feature sets, reliability, available support, and price. Involve your staff members in the process. Contact providers for customized demos and walkthroughs and let your staff try these solutions out.

4 - Train and Onboard Users

Digital tools are only as effective as the users. Invest time and effort in making sure your staff are not only functional but competent in the use of your newly-adopted solution.

Most providers offer training and onboarding programs so take advantage of these services. Make sure that everyone who will be using the application gets enough time to navigate the application. Have your staff practice using real-world situations that they may encounter in their day-to-day work.

As an alternative to classroom or laboratory training, some providers are even using digital adoption platforms to enhance the onboarding experience. These platforms integrate to the applications’ user interface, providing users with walkthroughs that show how to use the applications step-by-step.

5 - Evaluate Your Progress

Digital adoption entails changes and changes are always tough to manage. For instance, it isn’t uncommon for some organizations to observe low usage rates of their newly-adopted solutions.

Staff members can be stricken by inertia and get stuck in the old ways of doing things. But by involving them early on in the process, your employees should already be invested enough to give these new tools a try.

This is why it's important to constantly monitor the uptake of digital tools. Establishing metrics would help you answer these questions. Always look back at the problem you’re trying to solve. Are you invoices being sent on time? Are your collections better?

Over time, you’d be able to determine if your efforts are making a positive impact towards solving the problem.

Build On Your First Win

The efficiencies brought about by digital tools can help adopters cope with the demands of a highly competitive business environment. Unfortunately, while going digital is now critical for a venture's success, there still remains a number of obstacles that need to be overcome. 
By being strategic and deliberate in your digital adoption, you'd be able to solve at least one key issue. This initial win should give you the experience and confidence to handle future efforts and expand the scope of your digital adoption to address other issues that your business may have.

Image sourced from Pixabay

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