What is Digital Adoption?

Digital adoption is the process of learning how to use new technology so you can take advantage of its full potential. In a business setting, this is when a company facilitates the widespread use of new technology by its employees or customers during an implementation phase.

Whatfix is a no-code digital adoption platform that empowers organizations to create in-app guidance and help content to drive application adoption for customers, employees, or any type of end-user.

Why Is Digital Adoption Important?

Today, a medium-sized business uses an average of 137 different SaaS applications, and enterprise organizations are expected to spend over $1.78 trillion on digital transformation projects in 2022. According to a Bain & Company study, only 8% of global companies ever achieve their targeted business outcomes from their digital technology investments.

A strong digital adoption strategy supports organizations’ digital transformation efforts, allowing them to achieve technology ROI and overall digital innovation.

Digital adoption ensures that you are getting the most out of your technology investments. If customers are using only part of your product, they are not seeing its full value. Similarly, if employees use only bits and pieces of the software you purchase, your company will not see the improvements you intended.

only 8%
of global companies achieve their targeted business outcomes from their digital transformation investment.

Benefits of Digital Adoption

The most significant benefit of driving digital adoption for your employees and customers is maximizing ROI for new technology. The specific advantages your company gains from the digital adoption process will depend on the technology you’re implementing.

For example, adopting automation technology will increase efficiency and free up employees for more important tasks.


Companies typically undergo digital adoption in order to increase efficiency, reduce costs, or solve other business problems. For example, a bank might implement automated form-generation software to save valuable time.

However, the software can only benefit the company if employees take full advantage of it. Digital adoption occurs when the company has fully embraced the new technology and can therefore reap all the benefits of implementing it.

Here are the most impactful benefits of digital adoption:

  • Decreasing time to value for new customers by helping them reach their “aha” moment faster
  • Increasing overall internal efficiency
  • Ensuring partner companies are familiar with the full benefits of implementing your product
  • Staying up to date within your industry
  • Decreasing technology-related frustration for employees or customers
  • Decreasing the need for internal technical support teams, reducing support tickets, and empowering your employees to be technology experts.

How to Drive Digital Adoption

You can increase digital adoption among your employees and customers by implementing a few key digital adoption strategies. It is particularly vital to have a strategy in place during any change implementation, customer onboarding, and the employee onboarding process.

This is when employees or customers will interact with the technology for the first time and form initial opinions about it. A positive and thorough user onboarding experience is essential to successful and widespread digital adoption.

Here are six ways to increase your organization’s digital adoption efforts:

  1. Clearly communicate the potential benefits of the new technology to users.
  2. Hire a digital adoption manager to oversee training and technology adoption 
  3. Implement a digital adoption platform to streamline onboarding and training
  4. Develop a knowledge base and a self-help menu so users can easily find answers to their questions.
  5. Monitor user behavior analytics to see where employees or customers are getting stuck.
  6. Collect feedback during and after onboarding to see how you can improve the process.

Examples of Digital Adoption

Digital adoption has far-reaching benefits that span multiple use cases for companies across industries. Below, we put together examples of successful digital adoption by top companies.

CompanyIndustryDigital Adoption Use CaseBrief Description
MarketBoomerSaaSCustomer OnboardingMarketBoomer transforms its outdated customer training and onboarding with a digital adoption platform, providing interactive guidance and on-demand support for its hospitality procurement software customers.
Vanquis BankFinanceCustomer communicationVanquis Bank adopted an automated system of calls and texts so they could remind customers of payments due. The bank’s digital adoption resulted in increased customer contact, with 60% less direct input from agents.
Dimensions UKNonprofit, HousingCross-team patient supportDimensions UK adopted a system called Iplanit so that patient preferences, needs, and medications could be documented in a central location easily accessible by all members of the patient’s care and support teams.
The Home DepotRetailEmployee trainingHome Depot’s training system was outdated, and it needed a way for employees to learn while on the sales floor. To solve this, the company worked with Udemy and adopted a knowledge application that enabled employees to train while working.
ExperianData and analyticsSalesExperian adopted Salesforce for its global sales team and heavily customized the app to suit Experian’s business needs. The customisation led to some adoption challenges, but Experian implemented Whatfix to drive digital adoption across sales teams.
Maxwell HealthHRProduct updates and documentationMaxwell Health adopted Whatfix to keep its product documentation continually up to date as new features were released, which reduced the administrative workload for employees.
Mayo ClinicHealth careData storage and analyticsMayo Clinic partnered with Google to host its data and analytics in the cloud. This has enabled Mayo Clinic to store, organise, and access patient data from a single secure location.
Partners HealthCareHealth carePatient pre-screeningPartners HealthCare created a chatbot to screen potential patients. The bot asks a series of questions and then recommends that a patient be tested for COVID-19 or suggests next steps they should take. The bot reduces the number of people waiting for COVID-19 screening and lowers the workload for hospital staff.

What Is a Digital Adoption Platform?

A digital adoption platform (DAP) is software designed to guide your employee or customer as they navigate through a new application, as well as provide on-demand support for continuous training.

A DAP walks the user step-by-step through different sections of the application. Leveraging a DAP helps ensure a smooth and complete training and support process.

In addition, digital adoption platforms have self-help features that allow users to find answers to their questions quickly, without having to call customer support. This saves time both for them and for your support team.

Common features of a digital adoption platform include:

  • Step-by-step guided walk-throughs
  • Training videos
  • Knowledge-base articles
  • Contextual self-help menu
  • New feature announcements and alerts for product update
  • Structured training in the form of microlearning plans
  • User analytics
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A digital adoption manager acts as a single source of truth for the company’s digital adoption strategy. They are committed to maximizing adoption and ensuring the implementation and adoption process goes as smoothly as possible.

A digital adoption manager is responsible for making sure people in the company are using new technology to its full potential. A core goal of digital adoption managers is to secure buy-in from employees by educating them about the potential benefits of the new software – helping to reduce resistance to change.

These managers also organize an employee learning and development strategy, both for new hires and existing employees. They monitor software usage analytics and watch for problems. When they see issues in the training process, they address them right away and help get employees back on track to become an expert technology user.

Digital transformation refers to how companies use and implement new digital technologies to improve their experiences, processes, and services. Examples include adopting new cloud software to replace legacy systems, launching new online self-service portals for customers, and anything that involves the implementation of new technology.

While new software and digital processes can dramatically improve and innovate a company’s product and/or service offerings, organizations must first create an implementation plan that empowers their employees, end-users, and customers with continuous training and on-demand support to use it correctly and effectively. That is where a digital adoption strategy comes into play.

Digital adoption drives organizational change by empowering individuals – both employees and customers – to become expert technology users and embrace new digital processes and tools. Digital adoption is the key to unlocking technology ROI from digital transformation.

There are many challenges working against organizations that drive down digital adoption rates. These include:

  • Overall noise for customers and employees, resulting in it being difficult to capture their attention
  • Lack of proper customer onboarding and education
  • Poor customer support
  • Complex software
  • Overuse of software
  • Lack of change management strategy for employees
  • Little emphasis on corporate learning and development strategy

Enterprise software and technology have a high cost. A low digital adoption rate cuts into the ROI of these technologies through:

  • Cost of re-training programs.
  • Lack of adoption or awareness of new product features or company services.
  • Loss of productivity due to searching for support information.
  • Procedural mistakes that result in a lack of compliance.

The best digital adoption platforms (DAPs) include:

  1. Whatfix
  2. Pendo
  3. Appcues
  4. Apty
  5. Walkme
  6. UserPilot


Digital adoption solutions (DAS), officially recognized as a new category of software in a 2019 Gartner report, is another term for digital adoption platforms (DAPs) and is a way to improve end-user adoption rates. DAS platforms work within enterprise applications to help train employees or customers – directly in the app. DAS can be used across multiple products to provide a consistent user experience, making it easier for your team to adjust to newly implemented technology.

One particularly useful feature of digital adoption solutions is they provide contextual support – depending on the type of user, as well as where the user is within the application. DAS platforms provide in-app contextual guidance such as 

A user’s guidance also differs depending on the user’s role, as well as their level of training and expertise.

Implement a DAS/DAP or other solution as soon as you acquire new technology. That way, your team can effectively and efficiently learn to use the new application right from the start.

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