According to new research conducted by AppLearn, almost half (48%) of executives say they entirely agree that successful adoption of cloud-based technology is a priority, but despite this, 90% cannot easily measure against business outcomes.

The data comes from AppLearn’s Digital Adoption Pulse report which canvassed the views of 500 senior executives of large businesses across the UK and US to understand current trends, priorities and barriers to true digital adoption of enterprise software.

In the last year, 73% of businesses have rolled out new enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, and despite a challenging global economy, over half (53%) said their budget for software initiatives would increase in the next year, signalling an ongoing appetite for tech investment.

However, when it comes to showing a return on this significant investment, only 45% have digital KPIs in place for all applications – making measuring successes against business outcomes a common challenge.

The business outcomes driving this investment in the current climate are: IT support ticket reduction (33%), followed by cost savings (21%) and user satisfaction (20%). But showing the impact of the investment against these drivers is an ongoing struggle for executives, with 42% confirming that showing a reduction in IT support tickets was the most difficult factor to measure.

Organizations are also failing to measure the success of their software investments beyond the initial 12 months of implementation, with only 12% measuring success after one year, falling to 5% after three years. Long-term measurement is even lower in organizations from the US, with just 8% measuring between one and two years after implementation, compared to 15% in the UK.

The results of the research also indicate that many businesses are still struggling to engage their employees throughout the digital adoption process, with 38% of executives highlighting changing employee processes and habits as the biggest barrier to successfully implementing new cloud-based solutions.

Mark Barlow, CEO at AppLearn commented: “The conditions for successful digital adoption seem perfect when you look at board priorities, workforce engagement and increasing investment in technology. However, businesses are still wasting billions of dollars annually when they fail to deliver on expected outcomes, indicating a disconnect between intentions and meaningful execution.

“Simply delivering a software project on time and to budget, and then moving onto the next, is not a true measure of success. The findings of our research paint another picture in which only a minority of organizations are actually adoption-ready.

“Considering the amount of money that is invested globally into new tech solutions, more needs to be done to turn this minority of businesses into a majority. Some are hiring Adoption Managers and Heads of Software Adoption but the vast majority are not. When it comes to adoption, the litmus test for me is simple; do you have a budget for it, and do you have people who are accountable for it?”

The findings of the report were also recently discussed as part of a webinar with Tony Saldanha, a renowned digital transformation expert formerly of Procter & Gamble.

Saldanha observed: “The statistic that only 17% of businesses measure software beyond 12 months reinforces the fact that many view success in IT project management as the implementation of the project, not as dynamic change. However, 90% of what causes failure in digital transformation is outside the technology itself – user engagement, effective communication, and ongoing investment. This has to be a long-term effort.”



The stats are only half the story. Get the full picture. Get the Digital Adoption Pulse Report.

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Article by

Daniel Gripton

Article by

Daniel Gripton