There is no question that digitalization and technology have completely changed nearly every aspect of businesses over the past century. Today, many companies are heavily focused on digital adoption and doing all they can to utilize new technology to improve their results. By definition, digital adoption means that the entire business has “achieved a state in which digital tools are being used as intended and to the fullest extent.”
For modern businesses, this means that AI and Big Data must be a key part of the digital transformation process. According to IGS’s report, 89% of companies have plans in place to lead them towards a digital-first strategy, with the majority of companies making AI, machine learning, and IoT their top priorities in the way of technology.
The only way that companies can make the most of emerging tech is by embracing digital transformation and taking calculated steps to ensure adoption happens within their organization.
However, this is often easier said than done. Many barriers stand in the way of digital adoption, especially when key components include new tech systems. However, these two entities go hand-in-hand. In order to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced digital world, AI integration needs to be a major part of digital adoption.
Here’s how to make it happen.
Make Sure it is Embraced by the Culture
One of the biggest hurdles that stands in the way of digital adoption is resistance from employees who do not want things to change. According to Dimension Data’s report, over 50% of businesses named this as a top barrier to implementing new technology. Unfortunately, AI scares many people, especially those who are not tech-savvy or are afraid that automation will take over their jobs.
In order to guarantee digital adoption occurs, every single employee needs to understand not only how to use technology properly, but also the reason behind it. It is up to business leaders to ensure that the culture is ready to embrace the changes. This involves explaining the process of how new tech will be integrated, the benefits it will provide, and the support that the workplace will receive to make it happen.
It is important to note that employees may not be convinced of the benefits of AI right away. For instance, when Global Consumer Brands first set up an AI-based marketing program, their leadership was met with great resistance from department leaders. They did not appreciate the fact that a computer program was deciding how to target their audiences.
However, after just a few short weeks, it was clear that this AI system was a total game changer. Not only did their ROI increase by 76%, the marketing department was also far more productive and able to spend their time focused on other projects.
It may take time to get your entire team on board, but ensuring that your culture not only accepts, but embraces digital transformation is a key component to successful adoption.
Another key reason why companies struggle with digital adoption is that they mistakenly believe that it needs to happen all at once.
It is best to identify the parts of your company that will benefit the most from immediate AI integration. Then, slowly introduce technology as needed. According to the previously mentioned study from Dimension Data, the areas that business leaders agreed could benefit the most from new technology are customer service, supply chain management, and marketing services.
It is best to use an analytical approach here to identify your business’s weak points.
- What departments have been struggling to meet expectations?
- Where is your company falling behind?
Look for opportunities where AI and modern technology can step in to make the greatest impact first.
Focus on the Training Process
Remember, digital adoption only occurs when an entire organization is using technology to its fullest extent and understands how it can be utilized best. Therefore, the training systems used must be on point.
The best approach here is to use contextual training in order to personalize the onboarding process and ensure a more effective learning process. Contextual training itself uses AI technology to customize online learning programs for each employee based on their current level of education and familiarity with technology. Additionally, it involves the level of training required for their role in the company. The goal is to eliminate the traditional one-size-fits-all classroom style approach for training – that may work well for some employees and be totally irrelevant and useless for others.
Slowly Transition to Daily Digital Use
The move to digital adoption and using AI does not need to be abrupt. Instead, as employees become more comfortable and skilled, start to look for everyday applications that can improve the workflow.
While you want to attack the weakest links with digital programs that will make the biggest improvements, you should look for places where AI tools can help with day-to-day tasks.
According to PwC’s report, business leaders expect to see the greatest impact from AI through tools that automate daily tasks through virtual assistants.
The purpose is to take over communication, scheduling, data analysis, and report creation. By making AI a part of the everyday routine and using it to automate mundane, time-consuming tasks, your entire organization can start to become more comfortable with AI technology and see the benefits right away.
If businesses fail to adopt digitalization into nearly every aspect of their company, they will quickly fall behind. Digital adoption is necessary in the modern world we live in, but it does not mean that it is easy. Thankfully, technology like AI can not only make this transition easier, but it can also play a major role in the transformation process.
A total re-haul of the organization and the daily structure is going to make digital adoption difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Instead, look for the departments and processes where digital integration will make the biggest difference and bring the greatest results.