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Eliminating the App Learning Curve for Users Speeds Up Digital Transformation

Digital transformation changes how business processes are completed, with new apps and services being essential elements in the entire process. Understandably, the focus of many businesses has been on the design, creation, and deployment of these apps. But they are beginning to realize that they cannot afford to ignore perhaps the most important aspect of launching new software: user adoption. Put simply, if workers don’t use the new apps and digital services, nothing has transformed. Costly digital transformations can come to naught. This is not an edge case that most organizations don’t have to worry about. According to a McKinsey study, 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail, with much of the problem resulting from a lack of adoption.

Changing this dynamic is critical. During a digital transformation, new apps and services are delivered constantly. Left on their own, without guidance and support, employees will not keep up with them all. And, as more organizations merge or develop close operating relationships, even more new systems enter workers’ workflows. Employees become frustrated when they aren’t given sufficient time to learn new, large, monolithic applications, and management becomes frustrated when they see that their investments in new software aren’t meeting expectations.

But even if an organization invests heavily in training after rolling out new monolithic applications, there is still great potential for a lot of frustration. Workers who are required to spend hours in training are overwhelmed by all the features they’re expected to learn how to use, even though only a small fraction of those features are necessary for them to complete their tasks. Such training never seems to accommodate people who want to find out about specific things and skip the rest. If management opts to forgo the training, the workers are on their own, and each of them might spend hours just hunting down the features they need to get their work done. Just getting started on the real task becomes more time-consuming than completing it.

The impact on the business can be substantial. If new systems go unused or are used only in a limited fashion, the organization probably won’t meet the financial goals promised by the new system. If the systems are customer-facing, the customer service reps may be confused, offer vastly different service levels, or be unable to mitigate customer issues. Worst of all, when new apps build upon other new apps, the lack of adoption snowballs.

Solving the Adoption Problem with Microservices
The way to solve the application adoption problem is to change the nature of the app. The truth is, very few people need to use those large monolithic apps with a huge number of features. Most employees will be more productive using microapps with features limited to what an employee needs.

Rather than roll out an application with complexity that creates a huge barrier to adoption, organizations can provide microapps that deliver a “snackable” level of functionality that is simpler to learn. Recognizing this fact, Citrix has chosen to be a leader in the deployment of microapp technology in its digital workspace offerings.

Microapps provide just the functionality that the user or employee needs, without all the complexity of a monolithic application. The result is software that is far simpler to learn and use. More importantly, this simplicity allows the organization to release to the user population additional microapps as “added features” at a much faster pace than would be reasonable with monolithic applications.

In addition, when there is an M&A event, the business doesn’t have to teach thousands of new employees a new set of apps.  Microapps are easy to understand and get work done. Microapps are also a great way to modernize apps. IT can now modernize apps quickly, and deliver great experience and decouple the application modernization process.

This approach mitigates many of the back-end functions that can create complexity. Microapps are automatically integrated into the workflow using the mesh app and services architecture (MASA). Many “housekeeping” tasks are eliminated when a solution such as Citrix’s digital workspace is used to deliver microapps.

Solving the fundamental problem of software or app adoption requires a foundational change. Microapps delivered by a digital workspace provide that foundational change and reduce time to adoption. The digital workspace is well known for delivering better security, productivity, and an enhanced employee experience. Coupling those benefits with faster app adoption is a winning formula that every organization can benefit from.

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