Over the past few years, the number of software services available to business owners has absolutely boomed.
What started as a solution to working-from-home environments has turned into a dynamic market with thousands of different platforms each promising to solve your unique pain points.
From CRM systems that automate customer response to accounting software that organises your books for you… it’s no wonder employees are getting a little overwhelmed.
Each day, it feels like there is something new to learn, and, unless your staff members can learn how to use each system effectively, you aren’t making the most of your investment.
Therefore, to become a competitive digital business, you need a software adoption strategy.
What is software adoption?
Software adoption is the process of moving between an old computerized system and a new one. It encompasses the steps you need to take for every user to feel comfortable and confident with the variety of features now available to them.
Why is software adoption important?
The face of our business landscapes is changing. Customers are expecting 24/7 support, competition is getting fiercer in a global market, and many employees are demanding the flexibility of working from home.
As a result, adopting new software has become a necessity for business survival. Without a willingness to embrace the ever-evolving Internet of Things, organizations risk falling behind on the demands of the market, harming their bottom line, and being unable to keep up with competitors.
By staying with older systems, they are actively harming their chance to grow.
What are the benefits of software adoption?
Successful software adoption has numerous benefits across the board of an organization. It can help businesses respond to crises faster, increase customer satisfaction, and even improve overall employee experiences.
1. Business agility
As previously touched upon in our blog, software adoption is a hurdle that needs to be overcome to undergo successful digital transformation.
Many of the benefits that come from making the most effective use of the most up-to-date technology all start with your ability to adopt the best products in the market. Once you’ve swapped to a different system, you can:
- reduce wastage
- grow employee productivity
- access a wider revenue stream
2. Higher customer satisfaction
When a software adoption strategy is taken into consideration and you constantly strive to improve, businesses usually expand their touchpoints with customers.
A new website would allow you to provide 24/7 support through chat boxes, and a CRM system could distribute emails to international employees around the world. From there, your team can continue to build quality customer relationships and enhance their satisfaction. This leads to:
- a positive brand reputation
- word of mouth marketing and referrals
- longer lifetime value of your customer
3. Improved employee experiences
Software adoption doesn’t just allow a business to be more agile and increase productivity. It actively improves employee experiences.
Today’s machine-learning capabilities allow AI to deduce which tasks staff members are struggling with and inform leadership. In response, workloads can be assigned according to what each employee is best at.
What are the main challenges of software adoption?
Despite the popularity of software services in 2022, not everyone is willing to continuously change the core functions of their business.
If done incorrectly, employees will experience ongoing disruption and may start to fight back against new software programs being implemented.
With software user adoption, there are no guarantees.
Buying new systems is easy enough. However, convincing others to use the platforms is a lot harder. Mankind is preconditioned to reject change – adding an element of risk to software adoption that many financial advisors may warn against.
No matter what, business processes are going to be disrupted when a software adoption strategy is underway, causing employee productivity to fall. Add this to the cost of training employees (where businesses spend £1,350 per year on each member of staff), and business owners become reluctant to continuously adopt the best software in the market.
Business development and continuous improvement, regardless of your intended outcome, are always going to take time. For software adoption, there is a sense of urgency that causes many executives to rush into action – which can cause harm to employees and customers.
What is the impact of retaining old systems?
However, in today’s digital landscapes, it seems business owners don’t have a choice.
If they retain their current system (whether technological or not), they are likely to miss out on gaining a key competitive advantage. Older software programs:
- Run slower.
- Crash in times of high activity.
- Are at risk of data leaks.
- Can’t scale as a company does.
As a result, by sticking with the system it knows and loves, a business holds itself back. Maintenance costs will start to grow, customer safety is threatened, and organizations expose themselves to non-compliance GDPR fines.
How to increase software adoption
To increase software adoption, multiple management principles have to be brought into play. You need to:
- Understand the concept of continuous improvement.
- Have a total corporate alignment for the goal of digital transformation.
- Manage software adoption with a theory called “change management.”
What is Change Management?
“Change management is the process where relevant business stakeholders (including employees and customers) are prepared for and supported through organizational change, whether that be the introduction of an unfamiliar system or a complete overhaul of how a business operates.” – Userlane’s Ultimate Guide to Change Management
When you put a change management plan in place, you start building strong communication channels between your employees and allow them to guide each other when issues arise.
Other software adoption best practices you should follow to increase software adoption are:
- Inform your team that you are preparing to implement a new piece of software.
- Educate employees about the benefits of the change they are about to undertake.
- Always set clear milestones to measure your progress.
- Give your employees time to adjust. Don’t see software adoption as an “instant solution”.
Case study of successful software adoption
One of the most obvious examples of software adoption is the process many businesses needed to go through to allow their employees to work from home during COVID-19.
The systems that many already had in place were impractical for remote working environments and required a complete overhaul.
Many had to purchase:
- Microsoft Teams to replace traditional email, allowing staff members to communicate with each other in real-time.
- Trello for remote project management. Rather than an in-built software platform accessible only via work computers, Trello kept everyone working towards the same goal.
- Cloud storage facilities for company-wide collaboration, where individuals could accurately cooperate on (and access) larger team projects.
Before the changes, employees were already feeling uncomfortable with their new working environments. Businesses across the world needed to facilitate this.
By being patient with staff members and giving them the chance to learn, they were able to adopt new software faster in order to survive.
What is software adoption? – FAQs
Like with any segment of digital transformation, successful software adoption is about providing your employees and customers with the resources they need to learn new systems.
Whether this is time, training, or tools, a software adoption strategy will help.
What is a software adoption strategy?
A software adoption strategy is the plan you create to help users embrace change and learn how to use replacement software at its maximum capacity.
How do you drive software adoption?
The best way to increase software adoption rates is to use a Digital Adoption Platform. These are a program designed to provide users with a step-by-step guide to the new software you are trying to introduce.
What are the best software adoption tools?
Userlane’s Digital Adoption Platform is a highly accredited software that helps users learn new software. It informs users, reduces the manual support required, and increases product adoption rates by 5x.
How do you calculate your software adoption rate?
To determine the success of your software adoption, regularly survey users to work out how comfortable they are on a platform on a scale of 1-5. You can then track how long it takes for people to hit the maximum (5), and how many people are behind on your milestones.
Software adoption through Userlane
Sometimes, adopting new software isn’t simply about being digitally proficient and comfortable with computers.
It can also be affected by an employee’s time and capacity to spend learning the new platforms you keep introducing, and their willingness to change.
Userlane’s Digital Adoption Platform was created to tackle these pain points and provide “in the moment” guidance to enhance business agility. By streamlining the software adoption process, you can continue to access the best services available in the market and drive your business growth on a day-to-day basis.
There’s no doubt that having a Digital Adoption Platform in place is a software adoption best practice, and is your most likely aid to overall success.