How to drive successful end-user adoption in the digital workplace

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Today’s digital workplace provides us with a consumer-like experience that promises better collaboration and increased personal productivity. Some of this comes from allowing personal choice in the devices and (in some cases) applications we use for work, but much of this is enabled by feature-rich product suites such as Office 365.

To realise the benefits in collaboration and productivity that are enabled by the digital workplace, organisations must successfully adopt and engage with the new services. The same need applies to financial benefits, as return on investment depends on:

  1. Moving all users to new services to enable the decommissioning of legacy services
  2. Changing the habits of users, such as encouraging Skype calls versus native mobile phone calls and holding remote meetings instead of travelling to a single location.

We can, of course, force adoption by removing access to old services or imposing travel bans, but ideally adoption is pulled by the users who have been engaged in the process and understand the benefits of using the new services, both to individuals and the organisation as a whole.

What does successful adoption look like?

Firstly, we need to define what successful adoption means for your organisation and consequently define the activities and behaviours we need to drive and measure. Examples of these are shown in the table below:


These activities and behaviours can all be linked to a specific benefit, whether direct or indirect. We should define these in terms that are familiar to the organisation and its business objectives. I’m not going to define these all here but here are a few examples:

features-and-functionsThese activities and behaviours can all be linked to a specific benefit, whether direct or indirect. We should define these in terms familiar to our organisation and its business objectives. Here are a few examples:

  • Profile completion helps employees get to know someone, even if they don’t work in the same office. Users can find people with particular skills or knowledge that could help solve a particular business problem. I once heard a story of a construction company building a new road that divided an equestrian property into two. The company needed to construct a bridge between the two halves for horses to move about the property, but no one on the project team had any equestrian knowledge. An employee in an HR role had talked about her love of horses in her profile, and she became an advisor to the project.
  • SharePoint – Typically many individuals contribute material when writing a proposal for a customer. In the past many copies of the same documents would be sent back and forth via email. Edits or feedback were often given against old versions of the document, or delays were incurred waiting for the current editor to release his version. SharePoint allows users to collaborate on a single document and share links not attachments, thus saving time and improving the quality of response documents.

When adoption is being measured, you can identify areas of good and bad practice and take steps to encourage and promote the good practice. In my next post, I will delve into the overall process of adoption.

Are you adopting new services in your organization, and have you defined what successful adoption means to you?

sally-headSally Weston is a Workplace Consultant within the DXC MyWorkStyle Offering group where she helps customers to identify and realise the benefits of workplace transformation. She has over 30 years of IT experience, 25 of which was spent working in public sector and financial services before moving to DXC five years ago. The last 20 years of her career has been focused on workplace technology and maximising the value from that. She enjoys bringing the end-user perspective to technology strategy.

Sally lives with her partner in the south east of England and likes to spend much of her spare time cycling in the surrounding hills as well as bigger hills and mountains further afield!


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  1. […] How to drive successful end-user adoption in the digital workplace […]


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