Increasingly, businesses are building digital workplaces with the goal of enabling a seamless and collaborative workplace that spans both virtual and physical realms. A truly digital workplace brings together applications, data, resulting information and collaboration tools that are tailored to an individual employee’s role, location and tasks. While a digital workplace makes employees more productive, it also makes organization more flexible, allowing them to choose the services and technology that best fit their needs.
To build a digital workplace, IT organizations must bring together people, processes and technology to deliver a consistent, secure, efficient and effective employee experience anywhere and anytime on any end-user device. This requires looking beyond traditional workplace environment models and thinking instead about how employees use digital technology to better serve customers and drive an improved overall experience for both customers and end users. A comprehensive digital workplace strategy enables an organization to drive higher revenues, attract and retain talent and outperform the competition in a hyper-connected world.
By implementing a digital workplace strategy, enterprises can achieve these top five goals:
- Increase flexibility and improve the employee experience. Millennials make up the largest block of the U.S. labor force. A digital workplace will help attract, retain, engage and motivate this generation. Mature digital workplace policies allow employees to choose their own devices and facilitate a variety of workstyles. With the use of persona-based models, instead of single services, end users receive a fit-for-purpose workplace bundle customized to their requirements. Employee content and data is securely embedded in collaboration tools, corporate drop boxes and cloud storage so employees can access data from any device, in any location and time as seamlessly whether they are a physical office or working remotely. Access to this data increases efficiency and drives increased productivity and organizational agility.
- Optimize costs. Building a digital workplace allows an organization to nurture collaboration while limiting costs. It bolsters productivity by implementing self-help and self-heal tools (such as password resets, connectivity problems or specific application issues) that empower users to resolve their own issues. And it eliminates the risk of over reliance on individual employees’ knowledge by implementing deskside support models with standardized processes and procedures. A digital workplace also can improve efficiency by ensuring business units align with each other and by removing barriers that prevent them from fully sharing resources. Because a digital workplace allows easier access to virtual meetings and removes the barriers of time, location, devices and network connections, it provides employees greater work-life balance while increasing productivity and agility for the organization.
- Improve services and processes. As more organizations pursue digital transformation, they seek service and process improvement, and automation will play an important role here. Some companies have opened “tech bars” on site or nearby that allow employees to walk up or schedule an appointment during business hours as opposed to calling a service desk. A digital workplace also can offer employees instant, 24/7 self-service provisioning of end-user devices through the use of vending machines and locker stations.
- Improve customer experience. Providing quality customer experience has traditionally been resource-intensive, but digital technologies can automate certain aspects of it, driving costs down and the quality of the service up. Organizations that are investing in digital workplace environments are making it possible for customers to move seamlessly between support channels of engagement (such as bots, chat or phone) while progressing along the customer journey. Chatbots dominate as a gateway experience to self-service tools and information portals, and virtual assistants are becoming “plug and play.” In many companies, human support is involved only if an automated resolution of a case or query is not possible. In some cases, organizations may choose to implement a rapid escalation path from automation to a physical person for the older generation or non-technology focused customers.
- Improve executive decision-making. One of the many reasons enterprises are increasingly data-driven and digitized is due to the granular insights data can offer. Organizations are using advanced technology, service desk data analytics engines, and performance analytics, dashboards and machine learning to analyze the data trail. A digital workplace generates more valuable insights and long-term strategic plans to improve real-time executive decision-making.
The digital workplace is transforming how employees collaborate, how enterprises support their customers, and ultimately how they do business. Achieving a workplace transformation is a strategic move for a company – not simply a drive (or money-saving initiative) to commoditize services and support. A company that can build a digital workplace will see valuable business outcomes with far-reaching impacts.
About the authors
Ms. McKeown offers ISG’s clients a comprehensive 20+ year background across multi-function IT Infrastructure and BPO clients. She advises clients on all aspects of sourcing and her global experience spans the United States, South America and Europe and has diverse multinational client relationships. She has a comprehensive background in business and management with a heavy emphasis on finance. Kerry has expertise in all financial components of contractual relationships for clients, including contract negotiations and risk management.
Roshan Ramachandran is a Consulting Manager with ISG supporting advisory services on engagements across the sourcing life cycle. Roshan provides clients with support on their engagements, specializing in the financial aspects of projects. Roshan’s experience in financial modeling, along with his analytical and problem solving skill set, provides value to ISG and its clients.