Hiring in the digital adoption arms race? Here are three key areas to cover in your job spec
By Vivek Behl, Digital Transformation Officer, WalkMe
With investment in enterprise IT forecasted to reach $4.5 trillion this year, the stakes of its success are higher than ever before. If the time and money businesses are investing doesn’t bring the expected returns, their performance will take a hit.
While headlines often focus on the promise of digital transformation, the risk of failing to deliver the expected achievements from these projects is tremendous. Our Research shows that large enterprises are wasting on average $100 million a year on technology that they’re not fully using or unlocking value from. In turn, this situation has ushered digital adoption – the focus on the uptake of new or underutilised software and applications to ensure they improve work processes and achieve business objectives – into the mainstream.
The arms race is heating up
It’s not just top analyst firms like Gartner who have highlighted the growing importance of digital adoption – business’ current hiring trends indicate it is time to sit up, take notice, and consider what efforts are being made at one’s own organisation. While some organisations drive digital adoption using teams of existing employees, others are making external hires and handing responsibility to one internal leader. The salaries being offered from businesses to these digital adoption specialists really show how important digital adoption strategy and success has become to businesses across industries.
In turn, ‘Digital Adoption (DAP) Professional’ is becoming an increasingly lucrative career path, with our global research revealing businesses are offering on average a six-figure salary in a bid to attract the right talent. Among those leading the charge in the UK, mentioning ‘digital adoption’ in job adverts posted on LinkedIn, were established names in IT, such as Infosys and Iron Mountain, as well as financial services leaders like HSBC and Santander. Globally, we found a huge spread of industries looking for digital adoption skills, from machinery manufacturing (John Deere) to fashion (Louis Vuitton).
This should sound the alarm for those who are not prioritising digital adoption. But those who are late to the party may not know where to begin with digital adoption, posing a risk they could fail to make the desired impact, or worse, keep it on the back burner. They need to address this urgently – or they will fall even further behind. Especially as emerging technologies like generative AI are increasingly proving themselves both incredibly useful for productivity gains and risky for sensitive data leaks, the right digital adoption platform (DAP) and professionals can make or break an organisation’s utilisation of these technologies. DAPs sit on top of an organisation’s tech stack to provide on screen guidance and automation to employees across applications and workflows while delivering unprecedented data analytics to continuously improve the user experience and business outcomes. These platforms have come to be the secret weapon of top DAP Professionals.
How do you drive digital adoption?
When businesses focus on digital adoption for the first time, they won’t have an existing job spec or list of responsibilities to use as a guide. Whether responsibility for digital adoption will be shared by a team of existing employees or a new hire, it will be difficult to measure success or put a structure around the task at hand.
Businesses need to address this up top, outlining core aims and strategy for driving digital adoption. Here are three key tasks they need to focus on:
- Getting visibility over the tech stack – At the highest level, it’s crucial to build a picture of all the different apps being used internally, and what tasks or functions employees are using them for. Lack of oversight is a surprisingly common blind spot, and it urgently needs addressing. Since the rise of SaaS seemingly anyone with a credit card can purchase software, let alone use free online software. If you don’t know the current state of play, how can you measure or improve things? This is not a one-off task, businesses need to have this visibility on an ongoing basis, as additional layers are frequently added to tech stacks, while existing applications can also introduce or withdraw functionality. There can be a surprising amount of duplicate functionality or plain old redundancy, not to mention underuse of software.
- Spotting the patterns – Next, businesses need to analyse the information to look for common pain points and problems employees are experiencing. The right DAP should present an analytics dashboard to make these patterns obvious. For instance, they might show that multiple employees are having difficulty completing a certain task on a specific app – such as trying, and failing, to log a request for annual leave on a HR platform. Perhaps these employees are just circumventing the system by talking directly to their managers and unknowingly taking leave without official record. Or perhaps many employees are failing to take advantage of functionality that apps can provide – such as manually typing customer information into a CRM which could automatically populate the data from elsewhere, limiting the risk of typos and bad data permeating into other apps and records.
- Finding resolutions – Then it’s time to address the issues. Some of these problems can be addressed at an organisation-wide level, for example making all employees aware of functionality of apps that is commonly overlooked or automating workflows to simplify common tasks. But time has taught us that employees don’t retain all of the information from a communication or even holding a training session since the information might only become relevant to them months later. This is why solutions must be on-screen and in the right context to really move the needle on user behaviour – and employees will appreciate the guidance only when and where they need it. Every employee is an individual with different needs. Some will need personalised assistance – such as narrowing down onboarding and training on new apps to only cover functionalities that will directly help them to excel in their current job role. Others might want to skip right through the guidance and reach out for help only when they need it.
Heeding the wake-up call
Businesses should take the increase in high level roles for DAP Professionals as a wake-up call. We’re at the start of a digital adoption arms race.
A chasm could open between businesses who are making the most of their digital technologies, and those who are not – and no one wants to be caught on the wrong side of it.
Whether businesses decide to hand responsibility to existing employees or make an external hire, businesses need a clear picture of core tasks and responsibilities that need to be covered in the realm of digital adoption. By covering the three core areas set out above – visibility, identifying problems, and providing solutions – businesses can be confident they’re taking the right approach to maximising their technology and will be on course to unlock the full potential of their digital investments.