“The continuation of remote work and rapid acceleration of the tech-driven age will persist into 2021 and continue to drive rapid acceleration of digital adoption. Businesses will continue to see digital adoption as a critical component to their success,” says Khadim Bhatti, CEO, Whatfix, in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.
ETBureau: What were the factors that helped enterprises rapidly accelerate their digital transformation in 2020?
Khadim Bhatti: In 2020, enterprises across a wide range of industries faced unprecedented challenges in the face of a global pandemic. Many had to quickly adapt their business models while also managing a suddenly remote, distributed workforce. In this new normal, digital transformation was no longer a nice to have.
It became an imperative to survive and thrive. As part of digital transformation, business leaders needed to ensure successful digital adoption within their organizations so that employees are fully leveraging all the digital tools provided to help them do their jobs in a remote work environment.
There were four key factors that helped enterprises accelerate their digital adoption journey in 2020 – 1) engaging relevant stakeholders within their organizations, 2) dedicating key talent to drive digital adoption, 3) constantly tracking metrics to measure success and 4) establishing a center of excellence.
Firstly, successful digital adoption comes down to the people. Business leaders need to ensure that they are engaging the relevant stakeholders within their organizations from the very beginning. The stakeholders often come from various departments across an organization including HR, IT, product and strategy.
The most successful enterprises understand that digital adoption is a cross-functional and multifaceted journey that should involve people from across an organization. Secondly, it is critical to appoint talent to drive the digital adoption process forward. Some of these roles could be a DAP director or DAP manager.
The title is less important than simply understanding that having a clear leader will be key to driving operational and strategic initiatives to minimize confusion and increase accountability. Thirdly, organizations should identify key areas to track the success of digital adoption and ROI of their efforts.
Some areas to measure could be cost, adoption, satisfaction, and growth. Consistent measurement also enhances accountability and allows business leaders to continuously iterate and improve on their efforts. Finally, a DAP Center of Excellence (CoE) is typically established when the enterprise DAP initiatives are at scale. Organizations that established a CoE are enabled for better governance and collaboration among different business units and teams.
ETBureau: What trends do you foresee will help drive digital adoption in 2021?
Khadim Bhatti: The continuation of remote work and rapid acceleration of the tech-driven age will persist into 2021 and continue to drive rapid acceleration of digital adoption. Businesses will continue to see digital adoption as a critical component to their success.
The need for digital adoption in this new remote digital age has been demanded across industries including healthcare, insurance, human resources, education and more. Companies are not only more receptive to digital adoption, but see it as an efficient and cost effective way to propel the success of their industry forward in our “new normal.”
Another notable rising trend of digital transformation this year has been the role of artificial intelligence. Going into 2021, AI will continue to be an increasingly important part of an organization’s digital adoption journey. For example, making informed sales decisions is easier and faster with AI-powered assistants that manage, analyze, and recall data on demand.
Today more than ever, things like AI-powered assistants who are taking care of repetitive, data-driven work that would eat up time for a human employee. Using AI, the assistants are programmed to collect data, such as customer habits and sales numbers, and then recall that information instantly. Companies also use AI-powered assistants to gain detailed insights into sales trends and customer behavior, which, in turn, help them create better sales strategies.
ETBureau: How can enterprises ensure ROI on their tech stack while managing a remote and distributed workforce?
Khadim Bhatti: In addition to completely upending how organizations work, the pandemic has also caused immense economic burdens, which means they need to think carefully about their technology investments. They need to ensure their investments are being spent in the right places and need to find ways to optimize their technology investments. IT leaders, especially those managing extensive tech stacks, are being asked more than ever before to justify their spend over the short- and long-term.
To maximize ROI, IT leaders should focus on increasing adoption and efficiency of the tools and platforms they’ve committed to. Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs) provide key solutions by creating customized, real-time, in-app guides, and tutorials aimed at effectively onboarding and getting better results from complex offerings such as CRM systems.
Recently, Gartner recommended that application leaders “overlay digital adoption solutions across the organizational tech stack by focusing on key applications in a single functional domain to improve onboarding, decrease the time spent on performing tasks in multiple solutions and reduce money spent on additional training.”
Whatfix also conducted an Economic Impact Survey that shows on average, utilizing DAPs led to a 33%-50% reduction in time to launching new applications, $8.7 million in annual savings and up to 85% reduction in training content creation costs.
ETBureau: What will Digital Adoption look like in the emergence of a hybrid workforce?
Khadim Bhatti: All evidence points to the fact that remote work will stick around, at least partially, into 2021 creating a hybrid workforce. Digital Adoption will continue to be a top priority for business leaders as remote work has accelerated the need for digital transformation.
Businesses across multiple sectors are increasingly needing to rely on technology to onboard, train and maintain a global distributed workforce. In fact, IDC predicts that by 2024, “over 50% of all IT spending will be directly for digital transformation and innovation (up from 31% in 2018).”
Organizations of all sizes will continue to rely on digital adoption solutions to help them complete the transformation and ensure the optimal and efficient use of their technology investments.
Prior to starting Whatfix, Khadim spent more than 10 years at Huawei Technologies leading the Business Intelligence unit. In his role, Khadim was responsible for managing the Deep Packet Inspection and BI product portfolio for the Huawei Central Research Division.
Prior to Huawei, Khadim worked as the Program Manager for IBM Kenexa. Khadim holds a Master’s in Information Technology from IIIT Bangalore and Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from University of Mumbai.