User adoption of technology services is challenging. With cloud services, this is becoming a critical success factor for all in the industry. Let's face it, a half-implemented solution does not bring the expected value to the customer and, due to low swapping costs, it is an instant risk for the technology provider. Together with ever-shrinking profits of the implementation projects, deployment partners must find new ways to earn.
The adoption challenge is not only felt among technology vendors and implementation partners. It is crucial to achieving return on investment for the customer too. Therefore, user adoption should also be on the agenda of company executives.
User adoption has a direct impact on a company's growth and profitability. These two key performance indicators are definitely something that key executives are measured against. Borrowing from the LEAN movement, minimising waste is critical, regardless of the industry. The most competitive organisations are not doing great because they do more, but because they create less waste. One of the biggest wastes of a modern organisation is time spent in searching and waiting for information one needs to get the job done.
Is the recently acquired productivity tool eliminating the waste in your organisation, or increasing it? This boils down to user adoption.
Trends like cloudification, increasing mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) have blessed the users with a plethora of productivity apps, services and tools one can use to conduct the business agenda regardless of time, place and device.
However, productivity is not increasing at the same pace as the number of new tools. Based on recent studies, implementing new tools can actually slow things down. We forget to train and engage users in a new way of working. We forget change management. And that is a costly mistake for the whole value chain.
Based on a study of IT service requests by Happy Signals, frustrated users report four times longer worktime losses when facing an IT challenge, resulting in a yearly waste of two million euros in a company of 1000 employees. In terms of productivity, research from HBR shows that engaged employees are 22% more productive.
Cloud technology has made it easy for service providers to cost-effectively acquire new customers in high volumes due to fast service provisioning. Non-existing barriers to entering the cloud business have mushroomed the number of similar services, making it easy for the end-user to switch the service if the expected business benefits are not met. User adoption has a direct impact on customer churn.
According to Microsoft, 75% of customer relationship management project failures are caused due to sub-par user adoption. The cost of delay and interrupts in the business are usually good reasons for the customer to swap. Success in user adoption is a make or break case for a deployment partner.
Today's software-as-a-service and pay-as-you-go business models set new requirements also for technology vendors like Microsoft. Revenue streams are in change. The software is not anymore acquired but rather leased and businesses act more like consumers. If they don't get value for the money, they'll change service without hesitation.
Yet, the biggest price is paid by the end user company. In modern work, the adoption of technology services correlates with employee experience that is directly related to customer experience. In fact, according to MIT's research report 'Building Business Value with Employee Experience', companies with good employee experience rank much higher in critical success factors, such as innovation, customer satisfaction as well as profitability.
In the end, user adoption is about taking good care of your customers.
JP Wirta is head of business development and partnerships at Happit.