With the rise in challenges and software or SaaS that is growing like anything, digital transformation drives the need for a lot of change and challenges associated with the adoption. There are a lot of discussions about the technology landscape, what’s happening, why those changes are occurring, what that means for you, and change management. Is the digital transformation or change management path putting your organization in a hard spot?

Digital Transformation in Enterprises

If you look at digital transformation, and the reasons why enterprises engage in it, the primary objective is to grow revenue, reduce operational costs, or increase employee productivity. Those goals are novel, getting to them is hard and takes a lot of effort. Because, change is something that all of us as humans are resistant to, no matter how small or large they are, and we each have different sensitivities towards it. Secondly, everyone has to accept that change is mandatory, otherwise, we’ll be stuck. Instead of being on computers, we’ll still be stuck on paper and pen. The Change needs to continue in today’s disruptive environment where things are changing around us, and we need to adapt to it. Having said all of that, without the appropriate post-implementation change processes around adopting these new digital transformation initiatives, 70% of digital transformation projects fail. McKinsey Report states that the primary cause is employee resistance, which makes digital transformation fails. People’s biggest challenge is change fatigue, too much in a shorter time.

Increasing Software Landscape

Having said that, 70 per cent of digital transformation projects fail due to a lack of appropriate post-implementation change processes around implementing these new initiatives. And, McKinsey states, that the most crucial factor in their failure is employee opposition. It’s not unusual. So, now that we’ve identified how to engage and influence people so that they can embrace digital transformation, what do we do? People’s largest difficulty is change weariness, there’s too much to do in too little time.

Looking at the technology landscape, Software as a Service is being deployed meaningfully. Let’s take an example of 2000 employee company, on average has 288 software applications that are used internally, which spends about 4 million per year, and they increase that spending every two years by 50%. So really meaningful spending and growth are expected in deploying Software.  According to Gartner, on average, an individual employee in an enterprise has to learn and master 14 different technologies. So how do people deal with that? and how your employees can really empathise with employees, it’s a lot of change very quickly. 

Increased software consumption

Buyers are always looking for ways to streamline and be efficient, find a problem statement, buy software, and build software.

So, if an employee joins a company, he’ll need to master 14 skills in general. That’s a lot, especially when organizations are increasing by 50% of their tech stack by every two years. So how do people deal with that? And how organizations can really empathize with employees, it’s a lot of change very quickly.

Employee Experience and Digital Transformation

When you’re recruiting people you need an ATS (Applicant Tracking System). There are several technologies over there sometimes multiple are deployed in an enterprise. Well-known end-user computing software Microsoft, or Google, if you haven’t used one and you join a company that’s using the other it is a change issue. HCM applications in HR or (Human Capital Management). LMS (Learning Management System) is where your employees come in and they have to learn each module that is subject to their functional expertise or functional requirements. You have CRM for sellers, ERP for finance and you have Supply Chain Management Support Tools and collaboration tools which have just exploded in the last year. Now, this is just a small sample of what you can purchase, you can purchase many more categories. More importantly, you can internally build infinite software applications as well. There’s no stopping this. 

Let’s say a new salesperson joins a company and is active in processing and being productive. Think of all the things that a salesperson needs to do. The first thing is to create an opportunity that’s done in a CRM. Again, there are many of these. If you’ve not used one, there’s a change issue, then you’ve got to configure a price or a quote, for example, how do I price this product, with all those integrations with your CRM, there’s a plethora of software’s as well with different user interfaces, different ways to do things. Finally, when you’re successful, you will sign a contract, there are contract repositories and Contract Lifecycle Management solutions. You will store that contract somewhere in a repository as well, you will invoice the customer, and the seller is involved in all of this to some extent. Then most importantly, the seller will want to check their commission and finally get paid. This is a typical way that it’s done. Some enterprises might not have purchased all of this, if they haven’t, the rest of its being done on email or sheets, but many enterprises have purchased for this. So this is what a new salesperson has to go through in order to be productive in the job. And that’s a lot in your first 30 or 60 days.

Another example of just any new employee. You could argue that sales are very technology-centric, not the case, with any new employee, you’re being recruited, by that applicant tracking system that you’re engaging as a candidate, even before you’ve joined. Once you’ve joined, you have to be onboarded. All of these have different user interfaces, different applications, benefits, and most importantly, your healthcare, medical, and payroll specified specifically getting that tied in the first week of any new employee just goes in sort of navigating through all of this. When you’re starting to get productive in learning management systems, learn your functional requirements to get started and onboarding. Finally, after you’ve progressed, your performance needs to be reviewed by your manager, you need to get paid and your administration around that. Finally, when you leave the exit process, any employee has to go through enough. This is for every employee, whether it’s an office worker or a manufacturing worker everyone has more unique applications. We talked about individuals and then our inability to accept change effectively. There is cost-cutting, that’s important and it always bears the brunt of the alignment between IT and business.

Technology Adoption Challenges

If you take care of technology adoption, then a lot of these will go away. Let’s say the digital transformation has gone through and you have optimally done what is required to get maximum adoption. Once you do that, then cost-cutting goes away, because people aren’t interested in cost-cutting if the product is working well. The culture and behaviour in the training of individuals go away as well. When you have success, the lack of alignment between groups goes away as well. A successful adoption solves a lot and most importantly, it makes your digital transformation more successful.

Firstly, how do you train and empower employees with knowledge of what’s going on? Let’s say you either are changing technology or you’re purchasing a new one. The training is usually done in a webinar that’s recorded and then provided to people, there are slides, and content and all of it gets outdated. More importantly, all of it’s just too much to remember at one time, even before you have actually used the technology. That’s the biggest challenge. Empowering employees with knowledge is not something that is to be done once before you actually use the application, it should be done continuously. 

Digital Adoption Solutions for Technology Adoption

Your users are employees, partners, and customers and everyone is accessing some technology in the light blue. It could be a cloud browser-based application, mobile or a desktop like Microsoft Teams. It could be any application. So, a Digital Adoption solution is an underlying application, it could be customer-facing or employee-facing. So the middle layer (Digital Adoption Platform) is an overlay that sits on top of any software product and helps users navigate through it. Firstly, it helps the users with step-by-step guidance. For example, you’re in software and you want to know how to do something very simple like Configuring your profile, instead of reading 10 steps about it outside the software and remembering those 10 steps, copying it and trying to go through it. Digital Adoption Platform will guide you inside the software on how you change and configure your profile step by step. It’s very interactive, so once you have completed it, it will take you to the next step with guided tips guiding you throughout. It also involves automation, which means you can automate some tasks that are mundane, and doesn’t need to focus on, like navigating through pages. Something HR and CIOs really like is the ability to make announcements inside the application. DAP can be used to update the new processes, and compliance regulations and then constantly surveys and feedback as well. 

guided walkthroughs

The Digital Adoption Platform can make the guided tours completely transactional. It could be just a tour that takes you through the application with a very basic example of how we onboard a new user into the application, it can also be a more customizable tour in any application imagine asking them to add a new objective for your quarter. As soon as the end-user has an action and completes it, it goes to the next page within the page or to another application. Remember we can go from HR to Sales or to any application to complete the process. Now at the end of this what’s really awesome is a user has entered and completed their objective in the HR application without ever leaving the HR application.

The contextual nature of our user tips is really important. When we say contextual, what that means is, based on who you are and your role, this user could be an individual person, a manager, or a VP, and based on where you are in the application, DAP can recommend certain contextual ways. So for example, if it’s an individual person, and it’s the end of the quarter, and they need to enter their objectives when they’re when are in that timeframe and at that moment, we will recommend that they go through and enter their objectives here. More importantly, the DAP is aware of what has happened now and can automate this process, let’s say its eight steps. But five of those steps are purely navigating through and getting to a certain page, DAP can automate that and stop at only where an end user has a decision point, when they need to enter data or perform an action, etc. As soon as that end user is done with that, we’ll navigate through it and create a contract. So now we’re going one step further, not only are we preventing them from having to learn how to do this in another knowledge base, and then replicate it here, but we’re even doing it for them faster without error, that without error, and that data integrity is really important. 

contextual self help

Digital Transformation – A Necessary Adoption

When it comes to digital transformation and the reasons why companies do it, it’s all about increasing revenue, lowering operating expenses, or increasing staff productivity. Those objectives are innovative, and achieving them is difficult and time-consuming. So, any change, no matter how tiny or great, is something that all of us as humans are resistant to, and we all have various sensitivities to it. The second requirement is that everyone recognizes that change is required, else, we would remain stuck. We’ll still have to rely on paper and pen instead of computers. As a result, the transformation must continue. It must continue in today’s turbulent climate where everything is changing and we must adapt.

Scaling Digital Transformation with DAP

Digital Adoption Platform helps enterprises achieve digital transformation success by delivering more robust and intuitive software training to improve usage and adoption. It overlays an application to provide real-time contextual guidance. Fortune 500 companies are leveraging Whatfix to effectively onboard, train, and support users on the applications they are deploying to drive digital transformation success.

Digital Adoption platform can assist you in onboarding a new user to a software application, providing them with a step-by-step guide to achieve the required goal through walkthroughs, real-time personalized support with knowledge, and encouraging the adoption of new features for any new application. Furthermore, a digital adoption platform is an immersive layer that sits on top of any program and assists users in achieving technical dominance over it.

Let’s pretend the digital transformation is complete. You have done everything possible to ensure maximum acceptance. And once you achieve that, cost-cutting becomes obsolete, because people aren’t interested in cost-cutting if the product is performing well, and the culture and behaviour surrounding individual training become obsolete as well. When you achieve success, the lack of group cohesiveness also fades away. As a result, a successful adoption solves several problems. Most importantly, it improves the success of your digital transformation.


Vispi Daver serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Whatfix, where he previously served as Board Member. Vispi Daver serves as Venture Partner at GSF India. He served as a Board Member at Revionics and Browntape Technologies. Previously, he served as a Partner at Sierra Ventures. Vispi has a strong understanding of the software ecosystem and helps organizations solve their technology adoption problems.


What are the challenges faced by change leaders?

How to dealing with digital adoption challenges?