It is common that for a digital transformation to take full effect in the workplace, it needs fully upgraded IT systems as well as a complete overhaul of all business process. In a highly digitized business environment, it is only through these changes that employees can indeed serve customers to the best of their abilities. Be it finance, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofits, or anything else in between, all sectors of the economy are heavily impacted.
Gartner indicates that by 2020, roughly a third of all businesses will draw their competitive advantage from their employees' knowledge, understanding, and efficient use of the digital technologies they employ. There are three main elements to consider when looking at the future of the digital workplace. These are the emerging technologies, the global marketplace, and workforce dynamics.
In what can only describe as a positive feedback cycle, these three factors will influence each other, completely changing the shape of the modern workplace. In turn, this will guide businesses on how to reshape job roles, processes, business models, and best practices. Artificial and human intelligence will complement each other like never before, solving many business problems and significantly increasing efficiency.
The whole point behind a digital workplace is simplicity and intuitiveness, resulting in greater agility and productivity. Below are some of the hallmarks that work to create this simplicity in the workplace.
Shadow IT stands for all information technology systems used within an organization without its explicit approval. Most employees will follow the path of least resistance when it comes to their work and this, of course, applies to the technology they use.
Traditionally, CIOs were utterly opposed to the use of shadow IT, and sometimes with good reason. Their security and integration concerns are entirely justified. Nevertheless, instead of standing against this technology, CIOs should embrace and exploit these technologies, and work to integrate them into their systems.
Change Management Leadership
Changing your workplace into a digital and more agile one will require a great deal of adjustment in terms of departmental structure, internal processes, skill sets, etc. Change management leaders will be needed for such a considerable undertaking so they can set guidelines, oversee the transition, as well as anticipate and mitigate any issues before they can turn into real trouble.
With a change, however, it's not uncommon for employees to experience increased stress levels. It usually stems from a fear of the unknown and a lack of comprehensive skill when operating the new technologies. To ease this transition, it's wise to train and reskill your employees continually. Hire a team of professionals, if need be.
Information & Technology
This transition ultimately boils down to the technology you will use. To that end, ensure easy file-sharing capabilities, mobile access, and real-time synchronization. Similarly, virtual assistants can be a great asset in helping with the transition period, offering employees decision support, contextualized content recommendations, and advice where needed.
Do, however, keep in mind that all of these systems need to have a cohesive architecture and not a haphazard patchwork of technologies that will only add to the complexity of day-to-day operations and processes. Lastly, you should encourage employees to bring their input here, rather than imposing new systems on them.