When an enterprise digital platform causes problems, it can be far more trouble than it’s worth.

Unmotivated, unproductive, frustrated employees; system updates, changes, and navigational problems; high employee turnover, customer churn, and poor ROI are some of the severe consequences of a “bad” digital platform.

But rarely is it the technology’s fault. And it’s not necessarily an indication that the users are no good. They just need some help.

It’s an adoption issue. The technology is there, but users aren’t able to get the most out of it. They aren’t aware of all the benefits and features, or can’t use them well enough.

In instances such as this, the enterprise should consider implementing a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), to ease, accelerate, and improve the adoption process.

Companies that don’t, risk spending a bundle of money on a new digital platform only to find out it has failed.

A grand failure with digital platform technology

According to Michael Gale’s research (in collaboration with Forbes), 84% of companies are failing to implement a tech-driven approach.

84% — that’s a huge number of businesses. Even companies you think would have got it together have experiences spectacular failure experimenting with digital platforms.

Like GE, for example. The 100+ year old enterprise created a division responsible for GE’s digital transformation in 2015 — so-called GE Digital.  

History of GE Digital

The journey begins in 2013 when GE planned on launching Predix, its own digital platform for the industrial internet.

In 2014, GE claimed to generate $1 billion in revenues from productivity solutions such as Predix. In 2015, GE Digital was formed and reported to have 1500 employees. Publicly, GE’s digital platform implementation seemed to be going swimmingly.

However, the reality was far from that.

Essentially, GE Digital began as GE Software, which was an internal business unit billing other business units for fulfilling their IT needs.

“The innovation that was invested in was technology and IT for each business unit, as primarily determined by the CEO and executives of those units. It was less about digital transformation and more like digital enablement.”

Alex Moazed, writing in Inc. 

GE Digital was created in an effort to focus more on the development and sale of GE digital IP like Predix.

GE talked about making Predix a true digital platform for third-party developers. But in reality, all the software built around Predix was from GE’s paid partners or internal business units.

Why GE Digital failed

GE failed at true digital transformation. And Predix failed to become the go-to digital platform for the industrial internet.

GE Digital was unsuccessful largely because an innovative approach to its business model was not taken. GE saw GE Digital as just another business unit and so it operated like one.

The same traditional, digital-laggard approach was taken to the development and sale of Predix. If GE Digital had been able to operate as an independent digital platform provider, it could have focused on improving the UX and adoption of Predix.

GE talked about building the Predix software around third party clients. But they failed to follow through, turning inward instead to their own business units. This is fine but it did not generate real revenue for the company.

Ultimately, GE Digital did not translate their technology processes into cutting-edge innovations capable of transforming their business and the industry. This is a classic example of a multinational corporation failing to fulfill the huge potential of a powerful digital platform.

What could have happened

GE Digital failed to bring about true digital transformation at GE. In fact, 84% of companies are failing to execute a digitally-forward approach. Yet, there is one simple tool, the DAP, that will never fail to ease technology implementation within an enterprise.

The DAP will become the essential component of technology implementation for companies in the future.

Experts are in agreement that it’s an effective way to incorporate technology into the company culture. When a company is spending hundreds of thousands, even millions, on a glitzy digital platform, there must also be investment in its adoption.

The DAP is easily implemented into the company infrastructure because the technology can keep up with the constant change that occurs in the digital field. It can be used by the employees while they work and the technology is easy to use. It can be tailored made to the company’s particular application.

Concluding thoughts

It’s not a question of if an enterprise should prioritize digital transformation, it’s a matter of when.

Similarly, it’s not a question of if it should implement a Digital Adoption Platform; the DAP is business-critical for companies that want to survive and thrive today and in the years to come.

The DAP is a digital platform that is easy to implement and promises transformational benefits. It’s a cost-effective technology that companies can no longer afford to ignore.

To stay competitive in a highly competitive digital age, companies must prioritize digital adoption and use the DAP. Companies can learn valuable lessons from the unsuccessful digital transformation attempt made by GE Digital.

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This article was written by: Digital Adoption Team