Why You Should Develop an Effective Enterprise Digital Strategy

author Carol Mentis, May 12, 2017

Digital Workplace Strategy | Claromentis

Imagine a world in which your office isn’t constrained by walls or even borders. Where both employees and customers can be linked at all times to your products, services, and their digital workplace, able to access files or information, or print documents automatically from wherever the nearest device might be, including those they hold in their hand. All effortlessly, without having to lift a finger, push a button or physically engage with technology at all. This would be a seamless world, where the movement between intranet and internet is invisible to the users but very secure and visible from behind the scenes.

The capability to do all this is already here, and this blend of digital and real world applications is something that any business will have to ensure they are equipped to meet. But how can an enterprise meet this new future fully prepared and ready to take it on? They can do it by keeping the following key points in mind when developing a strategy to integrate their digital workplace, intranet software, and extranet software.

Digital transformation

According to a 2016 survey, 50% of all SMEs in the UK have yet to set out their digital strategy. However, 75% of SMEs believe the digital workplace is necessary. The UK publication Computing conducted its own DevOps research into this area and found that 29% of small to medium firms feel they are now digital, while 60% were making the move from traditional to digital. However, only 20% were actually planning this digital transformation.

Of those who had put together a digital strategy, 30% had started the digital optimisation process by investing in suitable technology. These firms expected to find improved creativity amongst staff, with an increase in productivity, and this did indeed happen. But there were also much greater unexpected benefits, namely for the customers. An improved customer experience resulted in higher levels of satisfaction and increased revenues in each case. Digital transformations in organisations mainly improved the customer experience, with a high level of improvement in business efficiency. Interestingly, less than 10% of businesses surveyed felt the digital workplace achieved an improved employee experience.

Digital blueprint

The key to being prepared is to work out a roadmap that covers every part of a business. Set straightforward, transparent priorities. These will form the basis of a blueprint, showing a clear direction for every job role and department. Think about how you might want your business to look and operate.

For example, simplifying entry for visitors by allowing them to use their mobile phones to enter premises without having to go through a reception or security barrier, guiding the visitor to their destination and allowing access to lifts and rooms as needed. From the moment the visitor walked through the front door, they could be hooked into the building’s own intranet system, able to use any collaborative or business management platforms as required.

Some of this may feel beyond the reach of any except the largest corporations and multinationals, but this is the direction the workplace is heading, and this is the future that the savvy are preparing for now.

Digital strategy map

This digital strategy map can also show you how digital technologies can be used to help engage customers, and also ensure crucial buy-in from employees as the organisation transitions towards digitisation. HR will play a key role here. Particularly as, once a strategy is mapped out, it’s vital that the skills and capabilities of future hires match the new expectations. Also, the organisation’s leadership has to be on board, and fully participating in the new structure, as a constant model showcasing the new way of working.

With careful design, a business can successfully bring together the four pillars of digital workplace – social networking, mobile computing, cloud computing, and information management. The preferences of the users – employees and customers – will form the foundations of a digital transformation. Having a map will enable management leaders to work out the best ways to integrate new digital technologies as they arise.

One way is to set a specific goal, with best practice guidelines, for any project that is a part of the digital workplace. This naturally draws employees into digital resources such as corporate social networking on the intranet, using the enterprise’s task management and collaboration software, for example.

And what might be coming to offices in the near future? According to analyst firm Gartner, the hot digital trend for businesses starting in 2017 will be virtual and augmented reality. For example, the use of virtual reality (VR) for training, and to deliver assistance, or collaboration, remotely. Augmented Reality (AR) will be used to mix real world objects (such as models, or walls) with virtual projections and images through embedded technology.

The end result of this direction of travel will be an established, integrated digital workplace, intranet software supported, resulting in a more accountable and empowered corporate culture.


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