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Harvard Business Review Report: Rapid Software Adoption Makes the Difference for Executives

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RALEIGH Pendo, a company that provides software that improves software, today released sponsored research conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services that finds that rapid software adoption is a priority and a competitive differentiator for the majority of executives. And yet companies struggle to drive adoption of employee-facing software — only 30% of leaders rate their organization as highly effective at ensuring their employees know how to use the software needed to do their job.

“Transformation is not just about adopting new technologies for the business. For the fastest and most significant impact, it takes people across the business to adopt as well,” said Alex Clemente, managing director of Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

The report, titled Drive digital adoption for competitive advantage, includes insights from 638 business leaders at companies ranging in size from 200 to tens of thousands of employees and spanning industries and global locations. The report comes as companies face the dual challenges of ensuring employee productivity as hybrid and remote working becomes the norm, and keeping employees happy and engaged in an increasingly dynamic job market. Organizations have also invested heavily in digital transformation and need to ensure employees embrace the software they have implemented.

“Today more than ever, companies rely on software to achieve key business results. Yet these results depend on how employees use the tools provided to them,” Tatyana Mamut, senior vice president of new products at Pendo, said in the report. “We hope this research will inspire companies to examine their organizational systems and structures to ensure they are ready for successful digital transformation.”

Below are four key insights from the report.

Digital adoption is a priority for the majority of executives. 89% of respondents say driving the adoption of employee-facing software is a moderate to high priority, and nearly 75% consider successful adoption to be a competitive differentiator for their business. Leaders also recognize the connection between happy employees and happy customers. A large majority – 86% – agree that it’s impossible to deliver a great customer experience without also delivering a great employee experience.

Employee experience suffers when software is difficult to use. Some of today’s most critical core systems are sources of frustration for employees, according to the report – 39% of respondents find ERP systems difficult to use, followed by HCM (29%) and CRM (25 %). Software training plays an important role in solving this problem. About half of respondents strongly agree that the employee experience suffers in the absence of effective software training, and 72% plan to increase investment in training over the next two years.

Employee feedback is essential to improving the employee experience, but hybrid working makes collecting feedback more difficult. 59% of leaders cite employee feedback as an indicator for measuring the impact of initiatives designed to drive the adoption of employee solutions. Yet nearly half of organizations rate their ability to gather employee feedback on how they use their software tools as weak. The report slams the rise of hybrid working as an obstacle to the already difficult task of collecting employee feedback.

IT is driving digital adoption…for now. Respondents overwhelmingly point to IT as the department responsible for digital adoption today, although leaders believe the responsibility should be shared. The report suggests an upcoming increase in job titles focused on digital adoption. These new positions will help orchestrate a cross-functional team responsible for driving software adoption in their respective departments and teams.

Learn more about the report on the Pendo blog, and download the full report here.