Tackling End-user Application Adoption

The term ‘user adoption’ is or should be a familiar one. In the software world it’s the art of getting application users and administrators to mentally embrace and accept a new way of doing things. But it can be a tricky thing to master.

There are two primary methods existing on how this new system is introduced to the end-users — fire hose approach and a phased rollout. Regardless of the method you choose, the adoption rates should be measured.

If you are not measuring user adoption then you cannot ever be sure your implementation was successful. Make sure that whatever system you are implementing meets a specific user requirement. The user should clearly see how this would make their lives better. A feedback system should be in place to monitor real world usage issues. If you build an engaging discussion community that users want to be a part of, the application(s) will be adopted.

New applications being developed should introduce elements of fun where possible, and it’s important to socialize the concepts at a very early stage. Considering having users participate in a competition to name the application. The application needs to have very clear executive support and messaging that show the value to the business, the value to the end-users. Consider a video message from the executive sponsor that highlights the vision for the application. Also, a reward system for early adopters or users who find and report bugs is a great way to gain user acceptance. And don’t forget to make single sign-on available for the application. Don’t let passwords be your first hurdle to adoption.

One other item to consider. Let’s say this “new application” is replacing a previous version. One thing you need to monitor is both unused applications and unused accounts. Centrify can help here also. Centrify has more than 30 out of the box reports to ensure that you are tracking all applications and users. I have highlighted just a few in the images below that our customers find extremely useful. Click on the image to view.

  1. The first is inactive users. Understanding when user identities have access to corporate data but that are not being used is critical in ensuring the security of your applications.
  2. The second report is understanding where your applications are being accessed from. The Logins by Country shows a graphical representation of who is accessing your corporate applications and from where. If you see anomalous activity from a country where you do not conduct business you can quickly utilize one of Centrify’s built in scripts to restrict access to app from certain applications.
  3. The third report is role changes, understanding any elevation in privileges on the app or new users being added. Only authorized users should have access to applications and corporate data.
  4. The final report is understanding which applications are not being used. These can be quite dangerous to leave unchecked. Imagine if one of these applications was connected to regulated data under SOX or HIPAA. This report is used to measure usage of applications and phase out data connected applications that are not in use any longer.

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Click on the image to view.

Reports