SURVEY: Businesses are concerned about user adoption

Mark James, head of training, The CRM Team.

Mark James, head of training, The CRM Team.

A total of 209 valid responses were captured – 68% of respondents are at the executive or mid-management level, and 32% are at the IT staff or consultant level.

Mark James, Head of Training at The CRM Team says, “The fact that 209 people took the time to fill out the survey is a clear indication that people are concerned about user adoption and are aware that something needs to be done. I’m encouraged that 32% of the respondents are at an executive level – a demographic that would form the Stakeholder Coalition that spearheads our user adoption initiatives. Add to this the fact that a further 36% are from middle management – the key to unlocking user buy-in – and we seem to have a winning recipe.”

Half of the respondents (49%) said they’d had a digital adoption strategy for three or more years. Twenty percent said they’ve had a digital adoption strategy for one to three years. Thirteen percent said they have no plans currently to engage in a digital adoption strategy. Twelve percent said they were just about to launch a digital adoption strategy, while six percent said they’d had a digital adoption strategy for less than a year.

Asked to identify the biggest benefit of digital technology adoption, 41% cited improved customer experience, 17% said growth, 11% said employee empowerment, and 11% said lower operating costs.

The respondents were asked how familiar they were with the ADKAR model of change management and 57% said they didn’t know what it was. A quarter (25%) know about ADKAR but have never used it, and 12% have used ADKAR to manage change on various projects.

User adoption and change management are notoriously difficult to sell.

James clarifies, “The ADKAR Model is a trusted methodology for change management and driving user adoption.

For those who are not familiar with it, ADKAR is an acronym that guides the stages of the change management process – Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.” Asked to rank what had assisted with digital technology adoption at their organisation, online training came out tops (22%), followed by cross-functional collaboration (14%), integration with customer experience (14%), and change management practices (12%).

The main business issues that digital technology adoption will resolve were listed as increased agility (15%), making it easier to serve customers (14%), improve innovation (14%), improve collaboration across departments (12%), increased revenue (10%) and reduce non-value added work (10%).

The top three drivers for digital technology adoption are customer experience improvement (16%), innovation (13%), and process improvement (13%). The biggest barriers to the adoption of digital transformation are lack of budget (29%), lack of resources (21%), and lack of digital business skills (17%).

James says, “A lack of resources and lack of digital business skills offers us an opportunity to partner with our clients to provide and/or transfer the skills that they lack. The toughest decision for our clients then comes down to the principle of ‘opportunity cost’.” He defines this as the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. “In simple terms, what will the long-term cost be if you simply ignore the need for change management in a structured user adoption strategy?”

“User adoption and change management are notoriously difficult to sell. Most organisations are hesitant to spend money on intangible services or benefits that they know little to nothing about. These results tell me that more and more key individuals in organisations are informed, knowledgeable, and/or concerned and want more information, direction, and/or assistance,” he concludes.

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