Why the best digital adoption strategy starts with data

Written by Nat Brown  | 



Productivity. It’s what every business is trying to boost, especially now. With a disappointing economic forecast, companies across industries are all trying to do more with less. With budgets frozen or getting cut, being more productive is no longer a luxury. 

That’s why it was shocking to see that earlier this year, after steady growth during the pandemic, productivity in the U.S. actually fell by the sharpest rate in 75 years. What explains this decline at a time when one would expect the trend to keep going in the right direction?

In a word, complexity. Unlike the physical (and therefore visible) nature of manufacturing work, knowledge work is harder to track and understand productivity gaps in because of the way it happens. “It’s spread across all these disparate applications where people are working every day,” Pendo CEO Todd Olson explained in a recent talk at PEX. Because of the lack of visibility, any issues that may be hindering productivity often aren’t readily apparent the way they are in manufacturing. But with a data-driven digital adoption strategy, that need not be the case.  

You’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more data

In today’s business world, work and collaboration don’t all happen in one central office. People are working in hybrid and remote settings with colleagues across multiple time zones and even countries. Just as important, they’re working across multiple apps—and the number of them is growing. “In 2022, the average company uses over 250 applications, a 22% increase from four years prior,” Olson noted. “You can imagine sitting in your living room, having issues with one of these 250 apps. What do you do? Are you basically blocked until someone in another country wakes up? That’s the challenge that we’re facing.”

Luckily, Olson said, there’s a way to gain that crucial visibility into how work happens and put your business back on the path to productivity. “I think there’s a world where we can be leveraging data to help create more productive employees,” he explained. That world starts with the right digital adoption solution. 

Focus on process, not people

Digital adoption solutions help to optimize business processes, which is the key to unlocking productivity. Businesses have traditionally thought about productivity in terms of individuals, but the most forward-thinking companies understand it’s more a question of optimizing the workflows employees engage in to set them up for success.  “To actually make people productive, you need to look at the underlying processes that they’re executing on a regular basis,” Olson explained. “And the reality is these processes don’t live in silos. They don’t live in a single application.”

With the cross-app analytics that a digital adoption solution like Pendo Adopt provides, business operations and transformation teams can get crucial insight into how work is happening and a baseline of process effectiveness. As Olson made clear, ops teams need a level of visibility that goes beyond just who is using which apps. “How are they using them in journeys? How are they using them across multiple platforms? How are they context switching? It’s that level of depth that lets you start identifying areas for process improvement to actually have an impact on your business.” 

Guide your business to success

Armed with those insights, ops teams can then design interventions to improve how work happens at the most relevant time and place: within and across the applications processes are built on, as employees are using them. “We have the ability to create in-product messaging to educate folks on how to improve their usage of this software stack and reinforce what areas are the most important,” Olson said. This support helps make processes more effective, efficient, and intuitive. And the result will be happier, more productive employees who feel empowered to do their best work. 

Interested in learning more about how Pendo Adopt can make your digital workplace more efficient and your employees more productive? Sign up for a custom demo today.