Productivity, collaboration, communication, and customer relationship management and support are the four pillars of an effective digital workplace model. Having them fully integrated, and being able to draw off and analyse data at any point, is the ultimate goal.
In considering whether to migrate all your business systems to the digital realm, in a cohesive way, it’s also important to look at what you will lose too. As this is not simply a way of “doing things the same” but via technology. As such, it is often about using technology in a more radical way to achieve – and exceed – business goals.
Technology bottle necks
Many would argue that technology is not always the hugely successful business tool that it promised to be. Not least as ill-planned and piecemeal systems can create technology bottlenecks that actually stifle productivity.
The perfect example is email. It’s an invention that transformed business communication in the 1980s and 90s. But little has changed with it since, apart from the fact it is prolific and can be viewed as a chore.
Introducing effective intranet software in a truly integrated digital workplace can cut through the “white noise” of emails and deliver messages to staff in a far more direct and intrinsic manner.
The true digital workplace will connect and align your people and business processes to create step-change in operational efficiency, breaking down any existing bottlenecks.
Another way many organisations have experienced misfires on technology investment is the creation of systems to gather and sort data that have little or no overall context.
Companies have created abilities to analyse data that don’t correlate with the functions and fields of other technology they already own. Or, they have data systems that personnel fail to fully engage with.
This is often what happens when companies become excited about such things as cloud computing, the Internet of Things and robotic process automation. It’s too easy to start investing and exploring, without creating clear strategies rooted in overall business processes or long-term aims.
Synergy and seamless communication
Another thing the digital workplace is not is simply a way of using technology to do the same tasks the company has always carried out.
A true digital workplace should actually smooth out the divisions between organisational departments, teams and business functions.
It should be a transformation that provides new levels of collaboration and communication, the ability to drill down on information far better, to carry out completely new tasks and enjoy the business benefits of improved visibility.
Not losing sight of the human factor
The efficiencies created by technological transformation (particularly automation) have fuelled the myth that business success now rests firmly on software and hardware.
However, what the true digital workplace takes into account is that the human factor is still the linchpin.
There is a knowledge-based global economy, firmly rooted in the skills and experiences of your staff team.
Technological support for collaboration, knowledge sharing and creativity will get the best from your people. It should also make training and education far easier to access and engage with, from any device and any location.
However, this should not be in blind disregard for the needs of the humans behind the machines.
A new global group has been created – called the Humanizing the Digital Workplace Consortium – “to identify solutions and offer guidance to organisations about creating people-centric approaches that improve worker productivity, creativity and wellbeing.”
This acknowledges that issues such as workplace stress, computer fatigue and the potential to become distracted.
It’s a clear indication that companies have a duty of care to staff, to design their digital workplace in a way that puts the needs of their people alongside the pursuit of greater efficiencies and increased profitability.
Changing project management and measurement
Another important business area that is being changed – as well as supported – by digital workplace models, is the field of project management.
Clearly, technology enables diverse personnel – located anywhere in the world – to collaborate and communicate in real time. Digital platforms enable them to share data, schedule, manage talent, resource projects and troubleshoot seamlessly.
The reduction in time delays between decision making and action is often significant. Securing involvement from a wider range of stakeholders, with access to a wealth of instant data, also means business decision making can be more confident and error-free.
Innovation as a separate process
As mentioned, the digital workplace has the ability to break down some of the metaphorical walls between departments and teams in the same organisation.
This includes lifting innovation into a common goal.
A company with greater visibility offers its staff more inspiration and incentive to think creatively. Staff also have more time to think of fresh ideas and look at things from new angles. There is greater cross-company buy-in and engagement, more collaboration and communication, all of which encourage innovative thinking.
This is another way in which the digital workplace is not simply “doing the same things, but on computers”. It’s the key to an agile, responsive and integrated organisation, ready for whatever the future brings.
To learn more about transforming your business, online and offline, contact Claromentis today.Contact us