Digital adoption: Mistakes to avoid
14 June 2022
Inforlogic looks at the common mistakes made when going through the digital adoption process and how to avoid them.
In this brave new digital age, digital adoption is rapidly earning its place at the top of the priority list for businesses of all shapes and sizes. All too often, in a rush to digitise, many organisations can fall at the first hurdle, making common yet avoidable mistakes that can mean the difference between success and failure.
At a time when businesses are under more pressure than ever to make prudent financial choices, few firms can afford to make such mistakes. With this in mind, what are these common errors and how can they be avoided?
Never is the old adage of ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ more relevant than when it comes to digital adoption. It’s crucial to start planning early, carrying out in-depth research into the best solutions and systems for your business. Speak to your peers, learn from their mistakes. It also helps massively to work with the right partner, one with experience not only in technology but in your industry too, working alongside them to put together a detailed plan.
This plan shouldn’t end with implementation either, instead it should outline a long-term approach to digital adoption, detailing how the business can hope to nurture a culture of continuous improvement when it comes to digital investments.
Directly related to the first common mistake is the error of not having clear goals in place. It’s vital to define just exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve with digital adoption before embarking on any digital projects. Without this, what results is a rudder-less plan, all too often with businesses appearing to be investing in technology for technology’s sake. Any goals and KPIs you do set out in your plan must also be aligned to wider business goals.
The most successful digital adoptions secure buy-in from right across the business, able to demonstrate from the outset just how investments in digital technologies will impact the rest of the organisation.
As already discussed, plans and goals need to be defined from the outset of any digital adoption initiatives. Of equal importance is that these plans and goals are communicated to the rest of the business at every step of the way. All stakeholders need to know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and what impact their actions will have on the project and the wider business too.
Project leaders must take responsibility for ensuring clear and open communications channels from board level down, helping to secure business-wide buy-in for even the most ambitious of digital adoption strategies.
Another common mistake businesses make is to neglect training needs. Whilst a great many businesses are struggling with a lack of the skills required in our rapidly changing digital work environment, that doesn’t mean that digital adoption should be put on hold because of this. The most successful digital adoption initiatives have ongoing training arrangements built-in to every step of the plan. If you are to derive maximum value from their digital investments, then users need to be given the skills to be able to use the available digital tools to their full potential.
In this regard, contextual, personalised training is a must, and not just a one-off pre-implementation training session either, but an ongoing training programme that evolves in-line with changing employee skillsets and the changing demands of the business. Only then will your employees be able to keep pace with the rate of digital change, achieving the maximum return-on-investment from your digital technologies.
All too often, businesses regard digital adoption as a short-term project, a quick fix or a tick in the digitisation box. This is far from the case, with the most successful and effective digital adoption initiatives approached with sights firmly set on the long-term. Digital adoption is a continuous, ever-evolving process and should not be underpinned by short-term thinking. It’s this short-term thinking that can stifle the potential of digital investments, with businesses in too much of a rush to complete implementation and move on to the next initiative.
Take enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for example. The right ERP system has the ability to evolve in-line with changing business demands but only if it’s allowed to do so, with organisations constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable with their chosen solution. Thinking that digital adoption begins and ends with implementation is an extremely short-sighted outlook. Businesses who can see beyond today derive optimum value from their investments in the long-term, putting the right solutions in place now to support the business for the foreseeable future
When it comes to digital adoption, clear plans and goals are key, accompanied by effective communication and a comprehensive training programme. All of this must be underpinned by a long-term vision, one which chimes with the overall strategic direction and ambitions of the wider business.
This approach lays the foundations for successful digital adoption, standing the business in good stead to reap the maximum benefits from their digital investments.
For more information on how the Inforlogic support team can guide your business through the digital adoption process, get in touch or call the team on 01606 720499.