Research Hub > Overcoming Application Overload — Part 1
3 min

Overcoming Application Overload — Part 1

Realizing the full potential of business applications requires smart planning for adoption.


It seems like new applications pop up every five minutes, and while some companies have a monopoly on a new type of application, it doesn’t take long before a contender comes along and puts their own spin on the concept. When the new application hits the market, there is always hype around its great features and how it beats the competition. Some of this is deserved; a lot of it is just marketing.

Either way, what you end up with is end users and project teams trying out new stuff fairly regularly in their never-ending quest for the perfect tool for their specific needs. Alternately, they don’t try anything at all. The first situation leads to (potentially wasted) time spent on research and testing, shadow IT support and compliance issues, not to mention the cost of licensing multiple applications. With the latter situation, your teams and users may have become complacent or jaded because they feel the IT team won’t give them what they need, so they just make do; either way, productivity is stifled.

Reaching Full Business Potential

Have you ever heard one of your end users say, “I didn’t know it could do that!” when you were showing them a feature on a sanctioned IT application? Have you ever said (or thought), “I didn’t know you were using it in that way!” when reviewing an issue for one of your end users? In today’s agile world, new features come out all the time, and while this is great from a capabilities standpoint, the realization is that the potential business impact of an application is rarely reached.

Users have access to a ton of options when it comes to applications, some business sanctioned and some not. As described above, the problem is not with the amount of options open to them but with their ability to leverage the options that the business invested in before deciding whether additional options or alternatives need to be considered.

Here at CDW, we have tackled this problem that our customers are facing by building out our adoption practice.

CDW’s Take on Adoption

There are many different spins on adoption by many different companies and while I don’t think they are all wrong, they may not be comprehensive. What we have learned through our experience is that adoption isn’t just about end-user training, and it also isn’t just about getting more of your users on an application more frequently. These are two aspects of adoption, but CDW’s understanding of the true message behind the concept is getting the biggest business impact from the applications that you have invested in.

CDW has created a secret sauce using a recipe that I’d like to share with you today. It’s about being involved with our customers through a lifecycle process that begins with envisioning the end goal. We do this by working with your end users and lines of business to find out what their business challenges are. We also assess their work processes tied to the application. We continue with success planning, where we map out exactly how that application should be deployed to meet the needs that were uncovered in envisioning.

Next, we move to success orchestration, where we act on the plans that were set forth in the previous phase, enabling your end users and lines of business as we envisioned. To wrap things up with this iteration of the cycle, we move to manage and measure. During this last phase, we use reporting tools to find out how things are going, ensuring that we achieve the goals we set for the program.

In my next post, I will explain the management strategies we use to ensure that your organization’s new application takes root and thrives within your organization and its users.

Learn more about CDW’s broad portfolio of app services.