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Will Your Digital Workplace Actually Work?

Author: Mo Anwar | | August 8, 2018

Many organizations are making plans to implement a digital workplace. CIOs are evaluating technology and building roadmaps. The reality, however, is that it’s the people that will make the digital workplace work.

Change Management is a Key Component to a Digital Workplace

When you consider creating a digital workplace, besides the technology, planning how you will manage the change is critical. Your workforce is going to undergo a great deal of change in a relatively short time. The digital workplace will change how people do their jobs, and in some cases, it will change the jobs they’re doing.

Planning for the digital workplace is just as much about changing the culture as it is about the technology. Done well, a digital workplace will introduce new business processes and provide better support for existing processes. You’ll need to give employees the tools to let them move at the speed of change.

Management Needs Change Management Skills

The commitment to change needs to come from the top of the organization. Senior executives must model an acceptance of new technologies and the changes they will bring. One good way to demonstrate that is for senior management to use the digital workplace tools themselves. It will give them a better understanding of both the promise the technology offers and the challenges the workforce will face in making them work.

CIOs Need to Take a Broad Perspective

CIOs need to move from a focus on technology to a focus on supporting business outcomes. And, when new digital workplace technology is implemented, they need to plan for educating and training the workforce to take advantage of it.

CIOs will also have a lot of change to manage in their own departments. They need to keep technology running. At the same time, they need to focus on moving their analysts from completing transactional tasks to more mission-critical tasks such as pricing optimization and monitoring product performance.

You’ll Need to Improve the Employee Experience with System Designs

Often, internal systems don’t use the same design strategies as those systems that customers or partners use. The user interfaces aren’t as easy to learn, and no one thinks to ask the workforce what they need or involve them in the design.

In today’s business environment, part of attracting and retaining top talent includes providing technology that will be easy to use and understand. It’s an investment that will bring a variety of returns when employees become more engaged and productivity increases.

Give the Workforce Insights into Customers

In most organizations, the employees are kept apart from the customer. Even customer service representatives can have a difficult time giving customers what they need because they’re only talking to one customer at a time.

Giving employees access to analytics resulting from things such as social media listening, user research and customer journeys will give them a more in-depth view of what your customers want and expect. It will also help them to get more involved in their work, and understand how the digital workplace will enrich their jobs.

Establish a Goal and Don’t Let It Go

Implementing a digital workplace doesn’t happen in a straight line. Technology and business needs will change while you’re in the middle of implementation. The important thing is to establish a firm understanding of what is driving your organization and keep a firm eye on that goal to avoid being sidetracked or causing unnecessary confusion.

Final Thoughts

Planning and implementing digital workplace technology isn’t always easy. Your challenge could be establishing a vision of how that technology can benefit your organization, or building that roadmap to reach your goal.

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