A simple guide to Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP)

Adoption of digital technology is now a priority at almost all organizations. With more staff working remotely than ever before, it is essential that they know how to use corporate IT and are confident adapting to changes.

It would be impractical to provide round the clock training for every single end user, so many organizations are turning to digital adoption platforms. As the name suggests, DAPs help your staff to adopt digital systems. They extend and complement traditional employee training, offer interactive learning in the flow of work and are helpful for user on-boarding.

If you are not yet using a DAP, this guide will help you understand what they are and how they can help you.

An extra ‘layer’ of learning

A DAP is a powerful way of enhancing (or even replacing) traditional in-person user adoption training. It provides a layer of learning and information for users on top of systems like Office 365 or Salesforce. ‘Help’ information and guides are available at the touch of a button, and they are always relevant to the page a user is looking at.

Let's think of an analogy with cooking. The traditional approach to IT training is like telling someone a recipe and asking them to memorize it so they can make the same meal in a week’s time. Unsurprisingly, many people would forget that recipe, or struggle to do it correctly, even if they took notes by hand.

On the other hand, a DAP is like having a recipe book which always opens at the right page when you need to make a specific dish. You can always quickly reference it throughout the cooking process. Eventually, you will do it so many times that you no longer need the recipe at all – but can always come back to it if you are ever unsure.

Is a DAP the same as an LMS?

Many organizations use Learning Management Systems to store all the training material they provide users. So, isn’t this basically the same as a DAP? Not exactly.

The problem with an LMS is that information is stored away from where users are working. No matter how much good information is provided to employees, it puts the responsibility on the user to go and actively seek that information out.

To use our cooking analogy, a DAP is like having a cookbook open at the right page right by your stove top. On the other hand, an LMS is like having that cookbook stored in the basement down two flights of stairs!

This is the main difference between a DAP and LMS. With the DAP, you get learning and support information directly on top of where you are working as a user in any enterprise IT system.

Benefits of a DAP

Here are some of the key benefits of using a digital adoption platform:

  • Less is more: You do not need to provide a complete encyclopedia of information that the user must search through. Instead, you only provide them what they need at the moment they need it.
  • Learn in the flow of work: The user learns while doing. They do not have to navigate away from the page they are on or pause the process they’re completing.
  • Improved knowledge retention: Users learn by doing, which means that processes quickly enter their ‘muscle memory’ – so they do not even have to think about the task in future.

Example of a DAP in action

To illustrate the benefits of a DAP, let’s look at an example of enterprise software where users sometimes need help: Microsoft OneDrive.

When using OneDrive, most users will at some point want to sync documents that they see in OneDrive onto their laptop. When a user is thinking "How do I sync my documents?", they should not have to stop their work and search this information in an enterprise LMS or in their notes from a training session. Instead, the information should be available at their fingertips right inside OneDrive.

The image below shows how an inline help icon placed right by the Sync button helps this user understand how they can sync files with the OneDrive Files on Demand feature.

Without a DAP, the user would simply never know that this feature existed, and therefore never experience the benefits. Even if they had been told about it in training a few weeks ago, most would simply have forgotten.

And this is why Digital Adoption Platforms are so beneficial. They enhance and extend traditional training, and mean it becomes more concrete for your users. And that, in turn, means the chances of digital adoption of technology are much higher.

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