What Is a Digital Adoption Platform and Why Does It Matter to Corporate Technical Training?

Keeping employees trained in technology is a challenge. As if the constants of digital transformation aren’t enough, you have to deal with resistance to change which is a real thing. I mean there’s an entire career based on helping people through change and of course, change management is an integral part of training.

As companies strive to stay ahead of the curve, a new term has come about for all those applications that provide application overlays and more. App overlays is what I was calling it 10 years ago but now it has a real name and encompasses more than what I thought of.

Digital adoption platform (DAP) is what it’s called and it can do a lot of things including providing help for employees in the flow of work. But what exactly is a digital adoption platform, and why does it matter so much to corporate technical training?

Grab a warm beverage (yes winter is coming) and picture this: Your company has recently implemented a cutting-edge software solution that promises to revolutionize your workflow. However, despite its potential, your employees are struggling to navigate the new system efficiently.

A digital adoption platform is like an expert sitting on your employee’s shoulder.

You could have them sit through endless training sessions only to have them forget 95% of what they “learned” or you could give them endless paper or PDF job aids to have to hunt through.

There’s now a better way.

Digital adoption platform tools are specifically designed to bridge the gap between technology and employees. It can be used for a vast number of things but it’s particularly helpful for learning & development and corporate technical training specifically

At its core, a DAP is a Software as a Service (SaaS) typically that sits on top of your company’s software. It can be used to provide contextual help inside the application including interactive guidance, on-screen prompts, and even onboarding for new users.

It acts as a digital GPS, leading users through the complex maze of unfamiliar technology while ensuring they reach their destination with ease. It can help ease employees into new software while providing other help right in the app for more advanced users.

A DAP is a SaaS that is embedded in your business application.

But why should corporate technical training prioritize the integration of a digital adoption platform into their learning and development strategy?

The answer lies in the ability of a DAP to transform traditional training methods by embedding learning directly within the flow of work. That’s the holy grail of training!

Rather than relying solely on isolated training sessions or lengthy user guides (user guides are horrible for training), a digital adoption platform empowers employees to acquire new skills and knowledge in real-time, right when they need them most.

Of course, the DAP won’t eliminate the need entirely for custom eLearning or performance support but it can shoulder most of the training weight.

By seamlessly integrating training into the user experience, a DAP not only enhances productivity but also boosts user confidence, reduces support costs, and ultimately drives business success.

This post will help you understand more about how digital adoption platforms are something that learning & development should be working with for all corporate technical training.

We will examine how a DAP revolutionizes the learning experience, empowers employees to navigate digital tools effortlessly, and ultimately, helps businesses thrive in today’s fast-paced digital era.

It all starts with a bit more detail to help you understand what a digital adoption platform is.

What Is A DAP (Digital Adoption Platform)?

You already learned in a general sense what a DAP is but it’s nice to know a bit more and what it’s capable of.

In the simplest form, a DAP is integrated into your company’s software and allows people with relatively little programming skills to build interactive help right in the company application.

So, instead of employees clicking a link to an external knowledge base they can search for help right in the application and even get walkthroughs that show them where to go and what to do right in the application.

Examples of an interactive walkthrough in Pendo Digital Adoption Platform (DAP).
This is a Pendo walkthrough that has the user perform the action.

There are several different ways a DAP can provide information in the app. You’ll find several different examples of how a DAP can deliver contextual help to employees.

It’s a handy way to provide employees with more relevant training which is exactly what learning & development should be after.

Whether it’s learning how to create a report, understanding how to use advanced features, or how to properly create a new customer record in the CRM, a DAP ensures that employees have access to the information they need when they need it.

By offering contextual guidance within the user interface, a DAP will minimize the need for traditional training methods that are easy to forget when separated from the work. Instead, employees can learn on-the-go and acquire new skills directly within their workflow.

The Importance of Digital Adoption in Corporate Software

With nothing guaranteed in business except change, employees need to be able to adopt new software solutions quickly. But employees need to know how to use them and even more important, how to use them right.

Without proper adoption strategies in place, companies risk low user engagement, decreased productivity, incorrect usage, and wasted investments in technology. A DAP plays a vital role in ensuring successful adoption by providing employees with the necessary support and resources to navigate through complex software seamlessly.

By empowering employees to become proficient in using digital tools, organizations can unlock the full potential of their software investments. This leads to increased efficiency, improved collaboration, accuracy, and ultimately, better business outcomes.

Enhancing the Learning Experience With a DAP

Formal training is important and likely won’t be replaced by contextual help. But form training can be greatly reduced with a DAP.

Instead of trying to train on everything, format training can only cover the bare minimum that an employee needs to know to get started. More advanced knowledge can come from either future training or contextual help.

It will lead to a better learning experience all around. We’ve used the DAP in conjunction with formal training. Formal training is great for the basics in a safe learning environment and it can let employees know about the contextual help.

Learning is easier when it walks you through the process right in the application.

Formal training can be time-consuming if done poorly but also disconnected from the actual work environment.

This on-the-job learning approach allows employees to acquire new skills and knowledge precisely when they need them most.

By integrating training into the user experience, a DAP enhances the learning experience by making it more contextual and practical. Employees can immediately apply what they learn in real time, leading to faster skill acquisition and increased confidence in using digital tools.

Why DAPs Are Beneficial For Training

Once employees have the basics of how to use software for their job they can at least get started. But there’s so much more than that. Digital adoption platforms make it easy to scaffold learning so employees slowly become experts without even knowing it.

There are many other benefits of a DAP for training, though. So let’s take a deeper look at why you should be using a digital adoption platform for training employees. Every learning & development department should be doing it.

They Boost Employee’s Confidence

Wouldn’t you feel pretty confident if you had an expert sitting next to you whenever you had a question or needed a bit of assistance? That’s exactly what a DAP feels like for employees.

They’re a great way to empower employees to navigate digital tools. Walkthroughs can hold employee’s hands as they do the steps themselves and learn it in the process. They can also provide more context when necessary.

Learning new software or applications can be intimidating for employees, especially if they’re not tech-savvy.

Happy and confident employee means more productive, efficient, and creative.

A DAP provides interactive guidance and support that empowers employees to navigate digital tools with ease. Offering step-by-step instructions and on-screen prompts eliminates guesswork and reduces frustration.

With increased confidence in using digital tools, employees become more productive and efficient in their work. They are more likely to explore advanced features and functionalities, leading to better utilization of software investments.

Reducing Support Costs

Implementing new software often comes with a surge in support requests as employees struggle to adapt to the changes. This can result in increased support costs and a strain on IT resources.

A digital adoption platform helps reduce support costs (including reducing calls to the help desk) by providing employees with real-time guidance and support within the software itself. Instead of reaching out to the help desk for assistance, employees can find answers to their questions instantly.

You just have to get them in the habit of using the in-app help to help themselves.

By empowering employees to solve their problems, a DAP reduces the burden on IT support teams and allows them to focus on more critical tasks. It also reduces the need for lots of expensive courses to be built. Now one very streamlined course to build basic skills could be enough.

While it can be expensive to implement a DAP it will ultimately benefit the organization enough likely to justify the cost.

Driving Application Use & Success

If employees don’t know how to use an application then they’re likely going to avoid it or worse, use it incorrectly. People are great at finding ways to use things that suit them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always benefit the organization or could ruin data.

When employees use the software correctly and have the context to use it, it will drive business success.

Organizations can unlock their full potential by empowering employees with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate digital tools.

A DAP also enables organizations to stay agile in an ever-changing business landscape. As new technologies emerge, employees can quickly adapt and learn how to use them effectively with the help of a digital adoption platform.

Best Practices and Considerations When Implementing A DAP For Training

The successful implementation of a digital adoption platform requires careful planning and consideration. Many things need to be considered to ensure it’s implemented properly.

The most important question you should ask is “What’s the ultimate goal of the DAP?”

Are you trying to reduce help desk calls, reduce application inaccuracies, reduce formal training time, or something else entirely? If you don’t have a goal for implementation then it won’t be a success.

When implementing a DAP, ask lots of questions.

You’ll also want to know what the KPIs (key performance indicators) are so that you can reach them. What does a successful implementation of a DAP look like?

These are some important factors to understand before going too deep. With this information, you will have a better chance of success with a DAP.

  • Define clear training objectives and goals.
  • Will it integrate properly with your software?
  • Understand the current skill levels of employees.
  • Lay out the plan for what resources and help employees might need.

Every guide in your digital adoption platform should have a reason and a purpose. You won’t be able to plan for every need so another key tactic is to always be flexible. Needs may change so stay agile and make adjustments as needed.

Case Studies: Integration of DAPs in Corporate Technical Training

There are two big players in the digital adoption platform software arena, Pendo and WalkMe. there are hundreds of others but I’m going to provide you some case studies for how they’re used in training.

We work with DaVita on the Pendo platform to implement contextual help. It helps supplement formal training and provide contextual information right in their CWOW application. The DAP made it easy (too easy) for employees to get to chat support. With a bit of creativity common support questions were answered right in the application which reduced support requests to the service desk by 50%.

Case studies are always the absolutel best case scenario but they are still helpful.

You can see how Okta implemented Pendo to empower their users with self-directed learning options. The resource center is a great way for people to get help, search for resources, and for the company to provide information to users.

WalkMe is another popular DAP platform. Blackwood used Walkme to reduce time to proficiency and boost productivity among many other successes with the platform.

You can see more success stories and case studies for Pendo and WalkMe. Keep in mind they always show you the best of the best, though and there is no best digital adoption platform, just the right one for the right job. Not all implementations are successful and not all hit the mark. You need a good plan and working with an experienced instructional design consultant is the best way to do that.

Wrap Up

A digital adoption platform (DAP) is a game-changer for corporate technical training. By embedding learning directly within the flow of work, it can bear the weight of most training.

While it’s not necessarily a replacement for all formal training, it can replace a significant amount of it. Not only that but it empowers employees to navigate digital tools effortlessly with a handy little assistant right there by their side.

With its ability to boost user confidence, reduce support costs, and drive business success, a DAP is an invaluable tool for organizations looking to maximize the potential of their digital investments.

By embracing digital adoption platforms, businesses can stay ahead in today’s fast-paced digital era and thrive in an ever-evolving technological landscape. If you’re looking at the implementation of a DAP, schedule a free consultation with experts who have developed digital adoption solutions for these new tools with a proven process.

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