What’s the Real Cost of Digital Adoption Software?

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Digital adoption software platforms, known as DAPs, exist to help users cope with changes and updates to software user experience (UX) workflows. In fact, they are also often used when brand new software is brought in by corporations and large companies.

Anyone who has ever worked in a corporate office knows how disruptive software updates and changes are, so having the workforce adapt to new required practices needs to be as seamless and cost effective as possible. 

A DAP is a teaching layer of software that runs alongside its primary platform. It uses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to learn the workflow style of every logged-on user individually. As a result, whenever an employee encounters a new screen or field that they are unsure of, the DAP’s AI knows the user’s pre-learned knowledge to offer help dependent on that individual person’s expertise level. 

What’s more, the DAP will stop helping the user once it ‘knows’ that the person has mastered a particular task, so the help given is always appropriate. There’s nothing more frustrating and irritating than a computer offering to show you how to do something when you already know how to do it. You might not want to turn the help facility off, but you certainly don’t want to be pestered with redundant, annoying tooltips.

The DAP therefore ‘learns’ each person’s competencies while they are using the primary software in question, and steps in only when a user starts to struggle or take inappropriate action on an unfamiliar screen or field. 

DAPs are certainly the way forward for employee engagement, but what of digital adoption pricing? A quick look on any software comparison site like Capterra will show that the typical cost of entry-level access to a DAP starts at about $200 per user per month, often after an initial free trial period. But what do you get for your money, and what is the true cost of a DAP if not having one is causing employees to make expensive mistakes? Let’s look at the main features and benefits to assess the best bang for your bucks. 

The employee’s view. 

Of course, a DAP doesn’t always have to be used in a work setting. People could choose to buy software to use with a digital assistant to help operate smart home systems allied with the IOT (internet of things) – but for the purposes of this article, let’s just examine commercial settings. 

A DAP should ensure that every employee can cope with any workflow problems they encounter as a result of any changes to software user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) events. In short, if something has changed that causes the employee to look at their screen and ask themselves ‘what on earth do I enter here?’ the DAP isn’t doing its job correctly if it hasn’t interceded after the employee has hesitated for more than a couple of seconds. The intervention should come in the form of tooltips or perhaps even speech synthesis via the device’s speakers. 

But aside from that obvious utility, what else can a good DAP provide for the employee to thrive? 

Workflow automation 

If a DAP can learn how to advise a human operator as to what to enter at a specific point in workflow, to speed things along, there’s no reason why it can’t pre-fill a field or text box with the appropriate contents, so that the operator just needs to read it and click ‘enter’ for ‘Yes’ or another key to remove the auto-fill contents. 

The same goes for input validation, if a user tries to input the figure 15,000 using a comma (as here) as a thousands separator, but should simply be using a space, it makes sense for the DAP to simply replace the comma in certain fields with a space; accompanied by a warning prompt. Soon enough the operator will learn to use the correct spacing without being prompted. This is also useful for a ‘teach me’ video, which should be able to run on request. For example, when an employee struggles with a particular workflow, an instructional video showing the steps for the remainder of the required operation should be available to be viewed as an in-screen pop up. 

Multi-lingual support 

English might not be the software user’s first language. As the output of a DAP should be completely personalisable, it should be possible for the user to elect to receive tooltips in their language of choice, which could significantly speed up workflow whilst avoiding mistakes from the content of tooltips lost in translation. 

From the management angle 

Aside from having employees operating overall more efficiently, the most valuable aspect of a DAP from the management’s side is the access to a reporting dashboard, showing the most common mistakes by the entire workforce, as well as efficiency levels on a per-user basis. This can allow two extremely utilitarian functions: 

Firstly, individual performance can be monitored to assess who needs training in what particular aspects of their work. Does Erica from accounts aways struggle with her data input before her first coffee at 11am? Is this down to an issue at home causing her to be exceptionally tired? If so, HR can step in to help. 

Or, if over 50% of employees all have that same issue, there must be something amiss with the workflow processes in those given screens. Or is a problem only occurring on certain devices, perhaps glitches only occur for people using their iPads from home? Such valuable business intelligence allows management to either change practices or feedback to software developers to change the way that a platform is presented to employees. 


Management can choose to segment certain tooltips and error messages into categories so that they only show up in given situations on a per-employee role-based scenario. For example, an auditor checking figures doesn’t need to be told how to input figures if only viewing them, just as an engineer performing a UX audit doesn’t need to see tooltips at all. 

Ask not what your employees can do for you… 

In summary, when assessing the cost of a DAP, managers would do well to look beyond the simple price of seats and licences, to the potential and real costs of employees sending out erroneous quotes and bills or messing up a customer’s account. 

What is the cost of a customer going to a competitor due to a company’s shabby admin on their account? You can bet it will be more than a couple of hundred bucks per month in the longer term. That’s where investment into digitized employee efficiency comes to the fore. There’s an old saying ‘not to spoil the ship for a half-penny’s worth of tar’ and it’s never been truer than when dealing with your employees’ welfare and efficiency. 

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