The Digital Revolution is upon us, and to understand the impact, some experts are calling it the fourth industrial revolution. New technology is being introduced at an unprecedented rate, and jobs are changing in ways that require humans to integrate WITH technology to do their jobs. This new way of working can only be successful with people as the priority and at the center of work. One people-centered solution to help companies manage the challenges that come with this digital revolution is Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs). They help people work effectively with technology in the flow of work.
Not since the first industrial revolution has our job market experienced this much change and disruption. Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends research revealed that the majority of responding organizations expect to increase AI-based capabilities, cognitive technologies, and robotic process automation in the next three years.
How well organizations cope with and manage this change and the knowledge increase by supporting their employees can determine their long-term success or ultimate failure. If not managed effectively, the new digital workforce and workplace can actually have a negative impact on the bottom line.
As reported in Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review research evaluating digital transformation, 90 percent of survey respondents said that becoming digital is actually more destructive than constructive. Why? As organizations progress in their digital transformation, new processes are created and a vast amount of new knowledge and information is generated, but oftentimes not captured and not effectively delivered to employees. Projects are typically focused on the technical implementation and fail to recognize the importance of the human element in the overall project.
Compounding this problem is that the way innovative companies use technology and communicate has largely changed employee expectations. Many employees expect their access to technology and important information at work to be as easy and intuitive as it is in their personal lives when they research products, make a purchase, watch a movie, or download music.
This is where DAPs come in. Adoption of workplace technological changes and required upgrades is critical. If employees do not adopt and learn how to use the new technology within their roles, the invested time and money will likely not yield the expected returns and may even be compounded by lost productivity. DAPs help solve the technology adoption dilemma by providing information at the time of need in an easy-to-access format within the technology itself. DAPs are interfaces built to overlay the technology and are intuitively designed for user experience.
Just as navigation systems have changed the driving experience, DAPs change the employee experience and how employees interact with the digital workplace. Similar to how we use navigation systems for routine driving help, to avoid traffic jams, note frequent changes in road conditions, or understand which route is faster, companies can use DAPs to help employees in real-time understand how to get the information they need within their everyday work processes.
There are other potential benefits to using DAPs, too. First, DAPs help create an environment for organization-wide business process continuity and often reduce the need for training that takes people away from their work, contributing to the overall value realization of the technology investment. Second, by removing barriers to adoption and enabling more effective technology use, DAPs contribute to both employee job satisfaction and ROI realization. Finally, DAPs are scalable and can typically be rolled out across a global enterprise as easily as a regional or local implementation.
Ultimately, “Digital transformation that does not take into account the human factor might create a frustrated workforce and will not fulfill its full potential,” according to Ido Namir, Deloitte’s global knowledge management consulting leader. DAPs are critical to support organizations as they manage the technology inherent in the fourth industrial revolution. DAPs help improve the employee experience by making knowledge accessible in the flow of work and streamlining processes to support performance real-time, which ultimately improves bottom-line impact not only for the project but also for the business unit and overall organization.
Jennifer Cohorst is a learning strategist in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Karin Zonder is a knowledge management and digital adoption consultant in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Stav Agmon is a knowledge management consultant on the Deloitte Knowledge Management advisory team in the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP.