The digital workplace is meant to be a virtual equivalent to the physical workplace, which requires strong planning and management due to its fundamental role in people’s productivity, engagement and working health.
The major roles for a Digital workplace include:
- Putting people first — the impact on employees is what makes the digital workplace important.
- A technology layer — advances in technology are driving changes in the digital workplace, and this is what makes it a current issue.
- Management and design – proactively developing a digital workplace means addressing it as a whole and coordinating between technology, process and people.
The digital workplace provides organizations five services or capabilities (the outer ring of the figure above):
- Communication and employee engagement
- Finding and sharing of information and knowledge
- Business applications (process specific tools and employee self-service)
- Agile working — the ability to be productive any time and place
To work well, these need t0 be supported by five management activities (the inner pie of the figure above):
- Strategic planning
- Governance and operational management
- Proactive support for adoption
- High quality user experience
- Robust, secure and flexible technology
Digital Workplace Technology
The visible parts of the digital workplace are technologies and ways of working that allow people to connect, collaborate, communicate and co-operate without necessarily being together face to face.
The digital workplace encompasses all the technologies people use to get work done in today’s workplace … It ranges from your HR applications and core business applications to e-mail, instant messaging and enterprise social media tools and virtual meeting tools.”
Email, intranets and web conferencing are typical components, but what makes the digital workplace more than a collective noun for these parts is the emphasis on thinking about how they come together from an employee’s point of view.
Some elements fit the broad definition above but tend not to be discussed in this context. For example, PCs and traditional business systems like SAP, PeopleSoft, databases and CRM are all part of the non-physical workplace. They perhaps get overlooked because they are an accepted part of the fabric of most businesses; however, they are part of what should be considered within a digital workplace strategy, at least from an alignment point of view.
Here are five outstanding benefits of digital workplace adoption:
- Revenue Growth
- Increased Interaction
- Increased Efficiency
- Enhanced Employee Engagement
- Better Service
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
There are three main reasons everyone—including IT, HR, LOB managers and C-suite executives—should care about how their company managespeople’s digital workspaces:
- A productive, engaged workforce.
When people have the resources they need, the business benefits. Workers are more productive and engaged. Customers get the service they demand. Supply-chain snafus get resolved quickly. No one keeps using last month’s pricing when they’re supposed to be using the pricing that was issued on Tuesday.
- Vastly improved security.
Your company may have state-of-the-art firewall and intrusion detection. But if you don’t immediately de-activate the workspace of the person you just fired, you have a serious vulnerability. You may also be out of compliance if you don’t remove specific resources from workers’ digital workspaces the moment they change jobs or departments.
- Churn and consumerization.
In the past, your IT department delivered a small number of digital resources to a stable worker population. Now, your business depends on a rapidly changing cast of characters whose digital needs change by the hour—and who, thanks to consumerization, can get what they want directly from the cloud if you fail to give it to them when they need it.