A Short Guide to Increasing Your Product Adoption with IT automation

March 4, 2021
Words by Katja Terglav

This post was originally published on the XLAB Steampunk blog.

Successful product adoption results in high user engagement and loyal brand advocates who love your product and use it regularly. It’s the culmination of customer satisfaction, and is a vital tenet that encourages others to purchase your products.

In this article, we’ll look at what product adoption is, how you can measure it, and why you should embrace IT automation and system integrations for improving your chances of long-term success.

 

So, what is product adoption and why is it important?

Product adoption refers to the process of users becoming aware of a product, realizing its value, and then beginning to use it. This process has four discrete stages: awareness, interest, evaluation, and conversion.

Ultimately, this process enables people to become long-term customers, and eventually, brand advocates. For many businesses, higher product adoption is essential for higher profits.

 

Three crucial product adoption metrics

The following are the three essential metrics that will help you to assess your product adoption journey:

1. Adoption Rate Within a Business

Adoption rate within a company is the percentage of new users (out of all users) that have used a product or a specific feature. The calculations for the adoption rate are as follows:

Adoption rate = the number of new users x 100 / number of total users

For instance, suppose you acquire 50 new users in a month, while the number of total eligible users is 100. Your adoption rate would be 50/100 x 100 = 50%.

You can calculate your adoption rate daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.

2. Time-to-First Key Action

The time-to-first key action metric refers to the average time that it takes a new customer to use a current feature, or an existing customer to use a new feature, for the first time.

3. Percentage of Customers Who Performed the Core Action for the First Time

This metric shows the percentage of users who have performed a core action for the first time within a defined period. This core action is something that makes a person decide to use a product.

 

Discover the current state of your product adoption

It’s important to regularly measure your product adoption rate to ensure that customers get value from your product as quickly as possible.

Are you currently struggling to attract more users? If you’re not measuring it, then it’s anyone’s guess.

Below are a few steps to get you started.

Step 1. Define your objectives

To determine whether your product is successful, you should first decide what you want to accomplish and how it assists your users. Additionally, you must understand how that outcome relates to your organization’s business goal.

For example, if you have a workplace collaboration platform, you could define product adoption as users uploading and downloading files. In doing so, the product helps customers to organize their projects and workflows. This also ties into your business goal of building a brand and product that supports the productivity of dev teams.

Step 2. Define dimensions

The next step involves assessing feature or product usage. At this stage, you must have a broader perspective and not just look at whether it’s being used or not. You should focus on two dimensions:

  • Time to adopt – Measure the time that it takes for users to start using a new feature.
  • Breadth of adoption – Evaluate the number of users in your customer base or segment that actively use the feature.

Following our earlier discussion on product adoption metrics, here are some common key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • Adoption rate – Percentage of new users of a feature.
  • First-time users – Percentage of users who performed an essential action for the first time.
  • Time-to-first key action – Amount of time that a new user needs to try a current feature, or the time that a current user needs to try a new feature.
  • Unique users – Number of unique users currently using your solution.
  • Total uses – Total number of times that people have used your solution.

You may track many more KPIs depending on your product’s primary purpose and the kind of user flow that you envision. Once you have this information, you’ll be able to determine the metrics that matter the most to your business.

Step 3. Assess data for patterns in user behavior

While going through your analytics data, you can discover patterns of the app or feature usage. These patterns offer insights into when your users interact with your product during the day and how frequently they are active.

 

How can IT automation impact your product adoption rate?

The IT industry has been dealing with increased complexity over the past few years, and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a reverse in the trend anytime soon (well, it wouldn’t make much sense if there was). Thus, adding new solutions to an already existing IT environment can be a bit of a headache.

There’s no surprise, then, that businesses are desperately trying to simplify the onboarding of new solutions with IT automation and configuration management tools.

1. Which IT automation tool should you use?

Start with your target users.

Before diving into creating integrations, research your target market. What is their current preferred method of IT automation? Which configuration management tools are they using?

Be sure to ask those questions when conducting user research. However, there is one pretty safe bet that you can make when thinking about the integration.

Right now, more than four million customer systems worldwide are automated by Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. So, there’s a good chance that your potential customers will want to use it with your product.

2. Go from manual and time-intensive to automated onboarding of users

One of the most important metrics is product adoption rate within the business. If you want to show the value of your solution by onboarding as many end users as possible within one company, you’ve got to simplify the process.

With automation, you can forget about one-on-one onboarding and leave it to playbooks.

This is exactly what Sensu did. They developed Ansible integration for their product with the goal of easier onboarding of new users.

In the words of their CEO, Caleb Hailey:

Once a new company starts using Sensu, we want as many people in the organization as possible to start using our product. If it’s a kind of company where they are fully bought into Ansible as their primary method of adopting new technology to help advance their business, offering a high quality Ansible Collection helps us get new customers AND helps their usage to expand over time. We’ve seen notable results along these lines in the first year of our engagement together.

3. Improve your solution engagement

Another important metric is engagement of your users. If your solution delivers value on a daily basis, it’s a sure sign that it’s been completely adopted and embraced throughout the company.

Let’s explain this with another example – Ansible integration for Atlassian Software Suite.

The most popular app from their Software Suite is Jira. It’s used to create tickets, track development workflow, plan sprints, and pretty much anything else that an agile team could need.

Now, managing the workflow, even with a tool like Jira, can be quite a hassle. Ansible integration simplifies the use of Jira by providing us with a set of built-in tasks that can be used to create and manipulate tickets.

As a result, this sets up Jira for customer satisfaction and internal success.

From updating the app to operating and maintaining it, everything’s taken care of by simple automation. Rather than wasting their valuable time and concentration on dealing with these simple tasks, users are fully supported and liberated.

 

Ready to improve your product adoption rates?

When you enhance product adoption, you’ll improve customer retention and reduce customer churn.

This process eventually translates to more consistent and predictable revenue, and can also help to uncover new opportunities when loyal customers spread your brand message to new prospects.

The key to improving product adoption is simplifying its deployment with IT automation. Would you like to further explore the benefits of automation with high-quality Ansible Contect Collections? Watch our free, on-demand webinar.



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