It’s 2021 and your company’s digital transformation is still only skin deep


The business environment is tougher than it has been for generations, with just 27% of CEOs saying they are confident they will see revenue growth in the next 12 months. Yet far too many of them are leading companies crippled by legacy systems – and I’m not just talking about their tech stacks.

It’s amazing how many companies are still going through the “digital transformation” movements.

Today’s customers, whether they buy T-shirts for themselves or turbines for factories, expect you to provide them with seamless, cross-channel, self-service and shopping experiences. on demand, supported by intelligent automation and human concierge assistance. If your team doesn’t live and breathe digital now, it may be too late.

Latecomers are understandable to some extent, as many new on-board cloud-based systems, with no strategic plans in place, just to support remote work, as they had to when offices closed due to the pandemic last spring. McKinsey estimates that COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation by about seven years.

But COVID-19 has underscored the importance of true digital adoption, where digital tools are used to their fullest extent, not just surface digital transformation. As we see creeping changes, with demands for Digital Adoption Solutions (DAS) increasing month-to-month, the pace is slow.

Gartner Improve employee utilization, engagement and productivity with digital adoption solutions The November report predicts that only 70% of businesses will use DAS to overcome poor app user experiences by 2025.

WalkMe data shows that CIOs place digital transformation efforts at the top of their priority lists. Indeed, 77% say it’s their number one concern, which puts them slightly ahead of cybersecurity. Other digital transformation issues like analytics and customer experience are also high on CIOs’ list. Two years ago, I would bet most IT managers barely had the customer experience on their radars.

While the large vaccine rollout promises to end the worst of the pandemic, the impact of social distancing on buyer demands will remain long term. Businesses will be forced to step up their digital adoption efforts if they expect to see growth this year.

Only digital adoption can meet customer demands

Consumers have undergone their own digital transformations.

The pandemic has forced online banking, shopping, payments and healthcare, and this movement is likely to be permanent. Some 78% of consumers now prefer to use online or mobile payments over in-person payments.

At the same time, many are struggling with new digital experiences. They are stressed and not very patient after a year of locks on and off, and they are not inclined to show loyalty to brands, which makes it difficult for them to interact.

Customer experience (CX) is the main driver of revenue today, with 84% of CEOs looking for digital initiatives to increase their profit margins. But even established customers will leave if your CX suffers. With customer retention plummeted by 82%, it’s clear the post-COVID consumer won’t stay if you don’t deliver.

Vendor-side teams that manage workflow processes in the cloud have the advantage here of helping consumers easily integrate into new digital interactions instead of increasing their frustration.

Digital investment is wasted without adoption

Since 2009, technology spending has steadily grown steadily, but 2021 could be the first year in a long time to decline.

According to the Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO 2020 survey, more than three-quarters of companies increased their technology budgets in 2020 to respond to the pandemic. In total, IT managers spent an additional $ 15 billion per week in the first three months of the crisis to address cybersecurity and remote work needs, as well as to meet new customer demands for interactions. digital.

After such an intense and unexpected period of extra spending, spending needs to be brought under control. CIOs need to prove the ROI of their previous madness and use digital tools and assets more effectively, but that will be difficult if employees haven’t been fully immersed. .

When your employees don’t know how to use your new tools, they’re more likely to bypass them in favor of familiar, but time-consuming, traditional methods that hurt your ROI. It’s a waste of both the money spent on new tools and the efficiency of the time they were supposed to provide.

When you successfully adopt digital, you can track usage, measure adoption, and prove the ROI of your spend.

True adoption can prevent employee burnout

Your team is probably already worried about their health and finances, so their emotional bandwidth is low. Overloading them with unfamiliar cloud tools to make remote working easier can be the last straw.

Often, employees must master complex tools that support complex functions such as accepting and processing sales while working alone from home, with little training and no IT support. Employees can end up feeling demotivated and disengaged.

At the same time, employee ignorance only increases the burden on IT support teams, which is the main challenge of the pandemic, according to CIOs interviewed by WalkMe. Nash / KPMG reports that 84% of tech leaders are concerned about the mental health of their IT teams.

Investing in full digital adoption early on can work around these issues to eliminate frustration, streamline work processes, and ease the burden on IT support.

Digital adoption is still mostly a lip service

Far too many businesses have embraced digital tools and platforms hastily and without thinking about how to make the most of the digital opportunity.

Company employees have received basic training in their use, and little or no effort has been invested in promoting a digital culture. There is a widespread failure to realize that digital transformation is not a ‘one and done’ affair, but rather the first step on the road to digital adoption.

Too many executives are distracted by new SaaS tools and exciting platforms that are little more than a virtual band-aid and forget the need to train employees in their use and shift to a digitally-driven mindset. .

Indeed, these executives work against their own stated goals. They want to create an aligned and innovative work environment that advances agility and resilience, but when they neglect digital adoption, they have left out the key ingredient.

Without the adoption of digital to improve skills and allow employees to understand their roles in new horizons, they have nothing but the shell of a digital company.

Without digital adoption, digital transformations will fade

The more time passes, the less easy it will be for business leaders to use COVID-19 as an excuse for incomplete transformation.

To avoid frustrating consumers and employees while wasting digital investments, take reshuffling your culture seriously.

Published March 22, 2021 – 10:32 UTC


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