Maximising IT Investments With True Digital Adoption

Sandie Overtveld

VP & GM, APAC, WalkMe

The global health crisis has organisations worldwide implementing digitalisation initiatives that ensure business continuity. A Statista report found that the global Information Communication and Technology (ICT) market spending forecast is expected to reach US$1.8 trillion this year. Within the Asia Pacific region, a survey conducted last year by CPA Australia among accounting and finance professionals found that Singapore takes the lead in IT investments. The poll revealed that companies in Singapore were more likely to adopt technologies and build a long-term technology strategy compared with other countries in the region, as 83% of respondents to the survey reported that the key driver for adopting technologies is improving operational efficiency.

Technology upheaval on employees

With the growing volume of IT investments, employees are facing a new challenge of keeping up with the increase in software, added onto their current technology stack. The technology upheaval could put employees at risk of technology overload and this can be detrimental to an organisation. According to The State of Burnout in Tech 2022 report by mental well-being platform Yerbo, 42% of IT workers are facing high levels of burnout and are considering quitting within six months whereas, 62% of IT professionals report being “physically and emotionally drained” in 2022.  Adding new software within an organisation would mean that existing employees feel the burden of coping with new systems leading to fatigue and burnouts.

On the other hand, new employees may not get sufficient guidance at the onboarding stage of new software and this is further challenged by people’s natural resistance to accept new methods. Leaders must address these concerns, especially as the Asia Pacific region continues to embrace new digital technologies to accelerate enterprise modernisation. But, how can they achieve this? As employees anticipate the surge in software, many leaders are looking internally at their organisations digital readiness.

An important criterion in measuring an organisation’s digital readiness is digital adoption, which is defined as a state in which employees have gained sufficient mastery of the digital tools provided to them. It is the process of supporting a brand-new user until they achieve a level of confidence and competence in software usage that translates to sustainable value for the organisation through enhanced operational efficiencies, greater collaboration, improved customer engagement, cost savings, and other metrics. Without achieving true digital adoption, it would be difficult to justify if IT investments has been maximised.

Overcoming technology upheaval among employees can be achieved via increased digital adoption, which is a function of three elements: a thorough and well-conceptualized training program, a detailed and comprehensive onboarding plan, as well as the right technology platform to provide real-time and accurate data for actionable insights. Digital adoption platforms (DAPs) function as a layer on top of existing software or applications, providing customised user guidance and anonymised data analytics for leadership to enable the swift resolution of issues, higher digital adoption, and more efficient product usage. These are critical components for leaders to understand employees and realise their full potential, which will maximise an organisation’s return on investment in technology.

The need for analytics

Analytics is a powerful tool for leaders considering how the extrapolation of insights could provide a competitive advantage, especially in terms of managing employees. As more Singapore companies adopt a hybrid working environment, this year will witness more organisations analysing and measuring investments they made into their technology stack. Analytics will be the pre-requisite for all technology investments as no one can justify spending millions without proving its worth through strong analysis.

However, even before committing to a substantial digital investment, many leaders struggle to understand the requirements for digitalisation initiatives. The most important note to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Therefore, before even implementing software, leaders must develop and agree on clear metrics to evaluate its success. Some of the burning questions that should be asked before each new digital investment are:

  • Does it achieve key business objectives?
  • How many employees use it?
  • What is their user experience?
  • Is it enhancing their productivity?
  • What is the impact of this software on their well-being?
  • Is the company investing in duplicate functionality?

Uplifting the end-user

The hybrid working environment of today demands that speed and connectivity be of the utmost importance. The rapid growth of an organisations technology stack is testament to this. As users increase, analytics and data will allow organisations to see how well employees are using their technology stacks, giving them visibility on areas where the uptake is smooth and productivity is enhanced, as well as the bumpy terrain where employees get stuck. These insights identify the areas which need to be addressed, much quicker than a focused group discussions will allow for.

After identifying these areas, the benefits  of “front office automation” becomes clear. Traditionally, organizations placed importance on “back-office automation,” which functions in the back-end connecting systems together to streamline processes. However, with the hybrid working environment of today,  organisations are will find it essential to bolster “front office automation,” that is focused on improving employees productivity and making their roles more efficient by solving key pain points and providing a better user experience.

The user experience will become paramount to achieving true digital adoption. Leaders must choose  the right technology that would be critical towards successful implementation within their respective organisations. Disregarding the human element within an organisation is a big risk and comes at great peril. Organisations that effectively bridge the gap between humans and technology are poised to achieve greater business outcomes.

About the Author

With over 25 years of international management experience in the technology sector, Sandie Overtveld is a proven leader with a track record of building high growth teams for sustainable success, especially in the Asia Pacific region. Based in Singapore since 2009, he is now responsible for the overall growth, customer engagement, and strategic brand direction for the Asia Pacific business at WalkMe, a leading provider of digital adoption platforms that enable organizations to measure, drive and act to accelerate digital transformation, and better realize the value of their software investments. Watch the WalkMe Challenge, to see WalkMe in action.