Experts predict that a lack of digital business knowledge will lead to 25% of companies losing their competitive ranking by 2023. It’s also predicted that by 2022, existing businesses will have to introduce a digital workplace to keep up with the trends especially with the move to remote working, while all new companies will install digital concepts from the start.
The growth of the digital tools is changing the way businesses think about technology. In order to keep ahead in a competitive market, it’s vital for organisations to recognise that technology is no longer a supporting role, but rather a leading player, in the future of work.
Ensure everyone understands the concept of a digital workplace
A successful digital workplace shouldn’t be considered merely an IT concern. Instead, it must become the mindset of the whole organisation, with all employees feeling involved and enjoying digital expertise. Many consider the digital workplace the future of work.
Indeed, anyone who hears the words “digital business” and immediately thinks “IT” needs to change their perception and realise that today, it’s all about revenue, customers, and markets.
Technology expands a company’s capabilities, which isn’t a new idea. Every technological advancement, from the telephone to fax machines and email, enhances a company’s ability to carry out its day-to-day tasks.
However, for the first time, with a truly digital workplace platform, the technology is outward-focused. It encompasses everyone from the front office and management to the backroom staff, rather than just the IT department and a few people behind the scenes.
With a digital business, technology becomes the heart of how the company operates and generates revenue, enabling a competitive advantage. The recent advances in digital technology for businesses have been something of a revolution, having happened more quickly and having farther-reaching effects than earlier technology-driven changes.
Digital business leaders need to change their view of technology
Chief executives and managers need an insight into digital technology, because they’re in a position to promote and develop the business. Leaders need to be at the forefront of building the successful digital organisation in order to change the game. They need to think about technology in a totally different way from how it was viewed in the past.
The digital workplace today is a source of opportunity and innovation. It’s a more proactive model, which focuses on creative opportunities to gain a competitive advantage.
As managers’ understanding of the digital workplace improves, they will be empowered to design new business practices that integrate employees. They will be able to utilise systems to perform tasks that weren’t possible even as recently as five years ago.
Make sure the right leaders are in place
The fast-paced world of the digital workplace can expose gaps in leadership. In order to fully benefit from the new technology, leaders need to fully understand the concept, both in terms of “front office” disciplines (such as customer services) and head office disciplines (such as business strategy).
Innovation in the way companies are managed over the next two decades is expected to see the leadership role evolving so that it encompasses all disciplines.
Business leaders will require the knowledge to access all available digital technology; determine the company’s strengths and weaknesses; identify potential opportunities and subsequently work out a strategy based on how the new technologies can enhance the organisation.
Develop digital business skills
A successful digital workplace strategy requires all managers and employees to have skills and expertise in this field, rather than just relying on the IT department. While digital businesses have their roots in new technology, ultimately their success is based on business strategies, such as decision-making and keeping ahead of the competition.
The aim is that all of the workforce must pull together, embrace the growing digital workplace trends, and use it to achieve a common goal of making the business a success. Half the battle is making sure all the staff are properly trained in understanding and using the new technology, so that they can do their job to the best of their ability.
A survey of 2,339 chief information officers from 77 countries, in 2014, revealed that 42% of them feared their organisation didn’t have the necessary skills in place to meet future digital business challenges.
It’s apparent that as the digital workplace gathers momentum, chief information officers, human resources executives, and other leaders must employ new approaches to ensure the workforce is equipped with the correct skills to evolve at the same pace as the technology.
Acknowledging that the workforce is not prepared for the changes is the first step in solving the problem. Some organisations are even looking at the possibility of launching digital “boot camps”, or other learning programmes, to train employees about digital business practices across all areas of the organisation.
With the substantial and rapid changes gathering pace in the workplace, business leaders have the opportunity to create an improved working environment, where increased employee experience goes hand-in-hand with better performance and ultimately improved profits for the company.