Human civilization has always leaned on technologies for its evolution.
Much like mechanized textiles, steam engine-based locomotives, and other technologies that revolutionized the workplace in the 1850s, today’s AI-ML, blockchain, distributed cloud, and metaverse have the potential to disrupt how work gets done and drive exponential growth.
Collaboration is widely acknowledged as a way to gain a competitive edge, and the most powerful type of collaboration brings together all types of users, including employees, customers, vendors, and partners. To allow this type of collaboration, your organization needs an effective digital workplace, which will allow users across the ecosystem to share information, make better decisions, and ultimately help your business transform.
To engage users and improve productivity, a digital workplace must provide a strong experience.
Technology is a great enabler of innovation, productivity, and change, but a bad digital experience can adversely impact users’ ability to work and collaborate. Consider this:
52% of workers have become “dissatisfied at work due to missing or mismatched software.”
32% of workers (nearly a third) have said goodbye to an employer whose tech was a barrier to their ability to do good work. This attrition rate is up from 22% pre-COVID.
62% of employees have felt like they “were not reaching their professional potential” because of the software they used at work.
To create frictionless user experiences that lead to an exceptional experience and therefore an effective digital workplace, organizations need a formal process to assess user satisfaction with the tools they use. This evaluation process should consider user priorities and needs, as well as help identify root causes of frustrations. These insights can then be used to identify actionable tasks, which can help organizations improve the digital experience.
Instead of solely reporting on work output or a traditional service-level agreement, you can consider implementing an experience-level agreement. This type of agreement is more user-focused, and it measures not only whether something is delivered, but also how much a person feels at home within their digital workplace.
You will want to benchmark your digital experience strategy to see if users can access and share data seamlessly without worrying about security breaches, and to assess whether they can communicate and collaborate easily with other colleagues and the larger ecosystem.
You may have to streamline and automate business processes, improve transparency in internal company workflows, and focus on digital reskilling of your workforce and other stakeholders. A perpetual transformation roadmap can help you achieve these goals.
A three-wave, perpetual transformation approach can help balance change adoption and speed to value of the digital workplace.
Wave 1: Move to a digital core
A digital core is an integrated, collaborative workspace enabled by multi-cloud for stakeholders across the ecosystem.
In this step, the aim is to drive seamless collaboration for better stakeholder experience and engagement. Look for ways to break the status quo, address the current pain points in processes, and provide collaborative tools to facilitate hybrid work and improve productivity.
Wave 2: Move to modern workplace
A modern workplace uses technology to improve efficiency through intelligent automation.
In this step, the aim is to enhance other processes. You will want to lean on technologies such as cloud, AI-ML, RPA, chatbots, and other self-help tools. This can reduce user stress and promote engagement.
For example, you can use chatbots to make intelligent recommendations and informed decisions during a meeting, or you can make training more engaging through gamified, interactive user interfaces.
Wave 3: Transform the business
Finally, you can begin to use technology to gain a competitive edge. Begin with future-back thinking, where you focus on the outcome you want to achieve within a set time period, and then do backward-planning to identify milestones toward your goal. This planning might encompass technologies such as the metaverse, IoT devices, and drones—any of which could transform the way users engage with each other across the ecosystem.
This step helps to transform the stakeholder experience, which, in turn, can drive growth and revenue. For example, a retail organization selling products through simulation could create a whole new experience for their customers.
Create digital workplaces
Underlying the three waves stated above is the premise of delivering a great user experience backed by people, process, and technology transformation.
It’s important to remember that experience is directly associated with engagement. Digital workplaces that provide a positive user experience improve overall user engagement. A hybrid work culture, with a focus on transparent communication along with intelligent and automated platforms, tends to promote better user experience.
Foundational elements may include adopting cloud-native technologies, revisiting the business and technology architecture, and reskilling people.
Users interact with various internal and external applications to manage and organize their work and activities. In fact, on average, organizations with 1,000 or more employees now use 110 SaaS applications—up from 16 applications in 2017.
Too many applications can end up confusing employees and wasting their time since they may have to toggle between multiple applications to accomplish one task. Digital workplaces offer a central platform to access all the applications across the ecosystem.
Moreover, a digital workplace platform creates a transparent working environment where all team members can track the status of any given project or task directly, which leads to fewer e-mails. When the entire team is on the same page, everyone can focus more on the shared project goals and accomplish their tasks in an agile and efficient manner.