In the ongoing evolution of digital technology in enterprises, we’ve uncovered many opinions and assumptions about the best way to deploy technology to deskless workers.
As it turns out, digital adoption – especially for frontline workers – is hard.
There is no silver bullet to achieving successful digital adoption for mobile workers – dozens of factors lead to success. But there are several misconceptions that stand in the way.
We’ve highlighted five of the most common myths about digital adoption and digital transformation and busted each one based on our decades of experience working with large, mobile workforces.
Myth #1: Digital Transformation is Only About Technology
Reality: People are the most critical “link in the chain.”
Yes, technology is a core part of any digital transformation. But it’s not the only part. Although emerging technologies will continue to change the way work gets done, there are still people – human beings – with jobs to do. More often than not, these people are a companies’ most critical employees – frontline workers who need to learn how to use the technology to make their work easier, more efficient and safer. New technologies also mean learning new business practices and workflows, such as making use of online collaboration. Many companies often overlook this human element of technology – and it’s often the one link in the chain that breaks. Failure to consider the human element when planning a digital deployment can doom an entire initiative.
Myth #2: Technology Will Automatically Make Employees More Productive
Reality: If not designed and deployed correctly, technology can actually get in the way of someone doing their job.
Technology can actually hinder, not help, someone from doing their job. Without proper training, workers can use as little as a quarter of the application’s features or ignore a crucial part of the workflow, which drives inefficiencies, errors and wasted resources. Or, they will find ways to work around it, which defeats the whole point – and ROI – of deploying the technology. Digital solutions need to be as user-friendly as possible and need to be supported with both upfront training and ongoing support so the app or device is used as intended and the technology doesn’t cause disruptions.
Myth #3: If Technology is Well Designed, Workers Will Figure It Out on Their Own
Reality: Digital adoption doesn’t “just happen.”
Mobile and web apps are more intuitively designed today and users are much more experienced with technology than, say, ten years ago, right? Maybe, if you’re talking about an ecommerce of social media app where users can figure things out over time. But enterprise mobile apps and devices are complex and part of a sophisticated business process, and companies send their employees into the field expecting them to be highly proficient on them on day one. Technology only works if the people it’s designed for can be trained to use it correctly.
Myth #4: Younger Workers “Get” Technology, Older Workers Don’t
Reality: It’s not about demographics, it’s about technographics.
Every employee has differing levels of experience with technology and each employee has their own preferred way of learning. Age is not the only issue, nor is someone from one generation always more tech savvy than another. Some millennials may be comfortable with technology in general but find their business applications overly complex and confusing. Conversely, workers who have been on the job for years might be excited about technology that solves some of the problems they’ve encountered.
Myth #5: Change Management is a One-time Event
Reality: Transformation is a continuous process.
A successful digital transformation involves more than just distributing apps and devices. How you manage the complexities of change management will determine worker buy-in and adoption, and ultimately ROI. But there is often little consideration given to training workers on their new apps besides one-and-done, instructor-led training. True digital transformation is a continual evolution and change management is a continuous process. Ongoing support for workers is important – if not more important – than the technical aspects of the digital solution, especially when working with mobile apps, where there will be many updates and new features added over time. Yes, upfront training leads to competency. But ongoing engagement, guidance and reinforcement lead to mastery.
When thinking about digital transformation, it’s critical to rethink how technology is deployed to frontline workers and recognize that change management and ongoing user support are as important – if not more important – than the technical aspects of the solution. The most meaningful technology deployments will treat technology as a means to an end goal of delivering business results through people.For more about the realities and challenges of empowering essential workers with technology, check out our podcast, Frontline Innovators, where we speak with experts who are leading the way and driving digital transformation to the frontlines.
Skyllful is a leading provider of a mobile digital adoption platform that helps companies with large, mobile workforces deploy mission-critical enterprise mobile applications smoothly and successfully. With deep expertise of mobile technology and best practice field deployments as well as a leadership team with decades of experience working with large enterprise mobile workforces and applications, Skyllful offers a platform for empowering field workers to use enterprise mobile apps more efficiently and effectively, maximizing the positive effect of mobile application deployments.
Skyllful’s approach to technology-driven training and engagement combines on-device, on-demand, contextual-based simulations, reinforcement activities, deep analytics and reporting on field readiness for an enterprise-wide view of mobile employees’ impact on the organization. Whether a company is deploying a new mission-critical workforce app or seeking to improve its workforce engagement with existing apps, the Skyllful platform is easy to use, intuitively designed and proven to increase productivity and deliver greater returns on investments in technology.