/ Digital Workspaces Guide / Chapter 1: Workplaces

Digital workplace solutions

Digital transformation—the use of technology to replace non-digital processes and transform businesses—was well underway prior to the start of the 21st Century. However, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic helped to speed up the digital transformation of the business world as a whole.

In a recent McKinsey survey, executives noted that the digitization of internal operations as well as supply chain and customer interactions have advanced three to four years as a result of the pandemic.

Additionally, the number of digital products their companies use has advanced seven years ahead of previous predictions.

With regards to digital products, an especially notable transformation has been the rise of digital workplaces. As the workforce moved out of the physical office, access to an efficient digital workplace platform became essential.

What is a digital workplace?

People familiar with only brick and mortar office spaces might be confused by the term and wondering, “What is a digital workplace?”

To put it simply, a digital workplace is integrated technology that allows employees to access data and apps necessary to their work from any device at any location. The data is accessible whether it is held in cold storage or in the cloud.

Companies looking to make the transition to digital workplaces need to take the time to research their options and invest the necessary money to make a successful digital transformation.

What is a digital workplace solution?

Digital workspace solutions offer a secure and unified digital workplace for everyone involved in a company. With an estimated 65% of the world’s GDP expected to be digitized by 2022, businesses either need to adapt or be left behind.

Executives are beginning to see the importance of adopting a digital strategy as more than one-third of the executives questioned in a McKinsey survey acknowledged that they plan to invest more in technology to gain a competitive edge.

Additionally, 68% of executives expect interaction between humans and AI to be a key aspect of business in the near future. As digitalization continues, it becomes more important for digital workplaces to offer virtual desktops, singular sign-on (SSO), file sharing, and secure access to SaaS apps.

After working remotely for much of 2020, 54% of respondents to another McKinsey survey believe that the remote work changes implemented during the pandemic will remain. If so, it is the duty of digital workplaces to provide a single source of reliable information to integrate co-working teams.

Why adopt a digital workplace strategy?

There are a lot of adaptations for companies make in adopting a digital workplace, but it is well worth the effort. In addition to being able to keep up with the competition, digital workplaces offer digitalizing companies several benefits both internally and externally.

Benefits of a digital workplace

So, what are the benefits of a digital workplace? Companies that use a digital workplace platform see both internal and external advantages, from enhanced employee and customer experience to better security, increased flexibility, and more:

  • Internal communications and collaboration: internal messaging and shared files facilitate collaboration.
  • Improve operational efficiency: streamline processes and provide IT with an overview of traffic.
  • Enhance employee experience and engagement:
    • Increase productivity: a well-organized workspace guides work.
    • Attract younger workers while retaining experienced talent: using the latest tech attracts a new generation while streamlining work for experienced employees.
    • Enable the transfer of essential skills: meetings, webinars, online tutorials, and instant messaging facilitate training and acquiring new skills.
  • Knowledge sharing and accessibility to information: microapps make it easy to find and share files.
  • Enhance the customer experience: technology offers self-service tools and education to customers.

These are just a few examples of the benefits companies of all sizes can enjoy as a result of digital transformation.

Importance of modernizing your workplace

Digital workplace transformation services can help modernize your workplace, putting you one step ahead of the competition while also making your employees more efficient.

  • Automating processes increases operational efficiency and improves both customer and employee experience.
  • Automation saves money and human resources.
  • Automating as much as possible before handing work of to human employees makes their jobs easier and leads to a happier workplace.
  • Digitalization is scalable and can be applied across the company, facilitating and managing work for all teams.

Digital transformation involves processes, data, technology, and organizational change. A few examples of areas in the company that can benefit from digital workplaces include:

  • Customer service: chatbots and RPA implementation to automate processes.
  • Sales: choosing templates, personalizing, and distributing initial contact letters, price matching based on previous history.
  • Marketing: developing data-based targeted marketing campaigns

Types of digital enterprise solutions

Digital workplace transformation services help companies take advantage of the latest technology and move forward with digitalization. A few of the biggest digital enterprise solutions include:

  • Communication: Platforms allow instant messaging and communication among distributed teams as well as channel-based discussions ranging from work projects to “water cooler” chat.
  • Project management: Cloud-based platforms facilitate collaboration by tracking projects, assigning tasks, and sharing documents.
  • HR management: HR platforms can track time, store employee data, manage payroll and benefits, organize work schedules, and more.
  • Email marketing: Keep addresses, track performance, see which emails were opened, and anticipate who might respond to a follow-up with email platforms.
  • Procurement: Keep track of the goods and services that keep your business up and running. Manage recurring payments and anticipate refilling needs.

Digital workplace solutions give companies the opportunity to streamline processes in all departments, freeing up time for employees to focus on the most important tasks rather than being bogged down by tedious processes.

5 steps to implement a successful digital workplace

There are advantages to adopting digital workplaces, yet some businesses are slow to embrace digitalization. Typically, this is the result of organizations simply not knowing where to begin.

The following five steps will help set your company on the path to enjoying the benefits of digital workplaces:

  1. Develop a strategy and clear vision. Decide on specific objectives you want to accomplish and consider:
    1. How does digitalization align with wider company goals?
    2. How will the transformation benefit employees, stakeholders, and customers?
    3. Create a roadmap with achievable goals and revise as necessary.
  2. Get buy-in from stakeholders. Meet with department leaders to discuss how the new platform will look. Discuss roles and responsibilities, including governance of the platform, how existing technology will be integrated, and expected ROI.
  3. Create a framework for governance. An effective governance model establishes clarity around rules and the roles of contributors at all levels.

    The framework should include:
    1. Policy: “Dos and don’ts” and expected behavior of all employees once the digital workplace is implemented.
    2. Guidelines: Clearly dictate how to use the platform and what employees need to do as the transformation is completed.
    3. Standards: Establish practices for all employees in order to create consistency in everything from user experience to brand messaging.
  4. Prepare for implementation and measurement of success. Plan how services and applications will be rolled out for each department and the company-wide impact expected.

    Establish measurable goals to track success and provide actionable steps for improvement.
  5. Communicate your digital transformation. Explain the purpose of the transformation to employees and develop a training program. Use an anonymous survey to measure employee enthusiasm for and concern about the change.

    Build a successful launch by sending out reminders and teasers about the new platform. Cater to company culture to create anticipation for the roll-out. Consider creating a count-down to the big day.

Conclusion

The changing face of the modern workplace was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses were forced to adapt to remote work and a distributed workforce. In many ways, the digital transformation was already inevitable but became more widely adopted under work-from-home directives.

The digital transformation of the workplace looks to be in place to continue unabated. A recent survey found that 89% of enterprises are planning to adopt or have already adopted a digital business strategy.

Clearly, digital workplace solutions are a must for companies looking to remain relevant and not lose a step to their competition. The benefits of digital workplaces include greater efficiency, lower costs, and more available human resources to do the most essential tasks.

Customers, clients, and the company as a whole benefit from a properly implemented digital transformation. Better yet, it’s easy to accomplish by following a few simple guidelines and choosing the right technology as a partner.

FAQs

What is a digital workplace?

A digital workplace is technology that allows employees to work from connected devices—such as tablets, laptops, and some mobile phones—from any location. A company’s data can be securely accessed whether it is in the cloud or in cold storage.

What are the benefits of a digital workplace?

A digital workplace platform presents companies with both internal and external advantages. Such advantages include enhanced security, increased security, better user experience, and better customer service.