Digital Adoption Pulse Report:

Message from the CEO

By Mark Barlow

I’m delighted to announce the release of our 2020 Digital Adoption Pulse Report. In it, we explore the results of asking over 500 C-level professionals about their readiness, challenges and priorities when it comes to the successful rollout and optimization of enterprise software. But before we get into the results, I wanted to take a moment to address the context that all businesses find ourselves in—both the familiar and unfamiliar.

By now, most of us are familiar with the McKinsey statistic that 70% of digital transformation projects fail to deliver the expected business outcomes. Yet, with worldwide IT spending at around $4tn and enterprise software being the fastest-growing area of tech investment, the wastage would be in the billions even if this failure rate was halved. This is mismanagement on a colossal scale.

Unfortunately, we also face a gigantic challenge not of our own making. As we all seek economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, digital transformation is perhaps the biggest accelerator at our disposal. However, with increased pressure on investments and their returns, we all need to work harder to make a success of our software—and to prove it with real metrics and outcomes.

This report aims to dig deeper into the beliefs of business leaders, identify why this percentage of failed projects remains so high, and recommend some decisive actions.

The results both reaffirm and surprise. For example, while true that the appetite for investment and engagement in technology appears to be in place, a widespread claim to understand what digital adoption means jars against what we’d define as an Adoption-Ready business. It also isn’t reflected in the penetration of the emerging Digital Adoption Solutions market, which Gartner places between just 1% and 5%.

Some organizations are beginning to hire Adoption Managers and Heads of Software Adoption but the vast majority are not. There will always be a chance that organizations will play lip service to adoption, but the litmus test for me is simple; do you have a budget for adoption, and do you have people who are accountable for it?

However, what is clear is we must do more. As we imagine the future of software adoption, our vision has to include ways to remove known barriers and reduce friction across all applications. We need to aim for long-term consistency rather than short-term boosts. We must intelligently automate the most tasking aspects of measurement. We must predict and proactively resolve user issues before they arise, by taking an intelligent approach to support in the flow of work.

Doesn’t that sound like a more successful way to manage software?

Get your copy of the Digital Adoption Pulse Report here to find out what 500+ business leaders told us about software and ways your business can get ahead.