How Digital Adoption Solutions Can Improve ROI From HR Technology


More organizations than ever are investing in HR technology, but there is increasing pressure to demonstrate how these investments provide ROI. Andrew Barlow, co-founder and VP advocacy & innovation at AppLearn , discusses how HR teams can ensure they get the most out of their HR technology.

The technology driven by the HR team touches more people in an organization than any other software or solution – there is no doubt about it.

It is an important part of any organization’s IT strategy, and an increasing number of businesses are investing in tools to streamline the way employees carry out day-to-day HR tasks.

Josh Bersin’s HR Technology Market 2019: Disruption AheadOpens a new window report found that 12 million employers in the U.S. invested $5 trillion in HR technology including payroll, benefits, and other employee programs.

Considering this significant annual investment, it is becoming more crucial for businesses to be able to demonstrate the effectiveness and ROI of HR solutions.

But success is not always as straightforward as deploying a solution and getting instant results – particularly if you have limited visibility over what is or is not working for your business.

The State of HR Technology Adoption

A survey conductedOpens a new window by AppLearn at the 2019 UNLEASH conference found that 92% of HR professionals say they have “some” or no visibility on the use and effectiveness of their HR applications. On top of this, only 6% believe they have all the data they need.

When asked about how they could demonstrate ROI, 73% of HR professionals stated that they find it difficult, with another 8% feeling it was impossible.

A lack of insight means that businesses will struggle not only to prove the value of their investments but also to know if their workforce is getting the most out of new platforms or technology.

This is not helped by a common misconception that adoption just happens, and technology is intuitive enough that users will just adopt it by osmosis.

But this is not the case – while software often becomes the centerpiece of any digital transformation, the reality of what is changing within the business is much broader. This includes a shift in culture and colleagues being open to adopting the associated change that comes with it.

There are six pillars of digital transformation. In many cases, a business has a broader strategy that new technology is designed to support. In HR tech, this tends to be referred to as a people strategy. While software can enable users to self-serve on certain tasks, without the right culture, businesses will often struggle to get their employees on board.

Other pillars include encouraging the right behaviors, upskilling colleagues about best practice process adoption, and skills management ensuring people have the right skills to adapt.

Without a focus on this and your users, you’re unlikely to hear about adoption issues until employees flag issues themselves, or are asked to give formal feedback a couple of months down the line. And if you get to this point, it can be difficult and costly to get back on track.

However, it is not all doom and gloom. Our survey did uncover that 67% of HR professionals are planning to implement a digital adoption solution, which can significantly increase the success of a digital adoption project.

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How Deploying Digital Adoption Solutions Can Improve ROI From HR Tech

On a very basic level, digital adoption solutions can interpret where users require help when interacting with technology. Other modules can then be used to enhance the user’s experience either by course-correcting in the flow of a process or by offering step-by-step assistance.

Providing support means that when users come to use the software regularly, they are more confident and are likely to have a better experience using it again in the future – ultimately leading to higher adoption rates.

Digital adoption platforms can also help to uncover valuable data for HR teams they may have missed, including data that highlights gaps in user adoption, productivity, and processes. This data can also be used to prove adoption improvement and business outcomes.

Businesses tend to overlook this when implementing HR technology, and it can hinder their ability to get the best out of their chosen platform. Without insight into how users interact with the software, digital transformation projects can often fail.

Learn More: New Mobile HR App for Health Care WorkersOpens a new window

True Digital Adoption Is About Ongoing Engagement for Improved ROI

True digital adoption is not about initial log-in figures. It is about ongoing engagement and identifying where adoption drops off and addressing issues quickly and efficiently to enable long-term change. Businesses should consider the change that happens after the tool is implemented, as this can often hinder value realization. Post-go-live change events that need to be taken into consideration include annual software upgrades that improve on the user interface (UI), business process changes, as well as natural employee turnover.

Change management matters at all stages – before, during, and after digital transformation, to ensure that the software or technology is serving your workforce and helping them do their jobs more effectively and efficiently. This can then translate to businesses and HR departments seeing a significant return on their investment.

Have you implemented digital adoption solutions to improve ROI from your HR technology investments? Let us know on TwitterOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window .