This article was originally published in the Autumn 2018 issue of The Record.
What is a modern digital workplace? According to Tom Schrauwen, one of DXC Technology’s leaders in Digital Solutioning, it’s a question that all enterprises must soon find an answer to if they want to retain existing talent and attract new employees.
“Digital technologies have revolutionised our personal lives – people can use mobile or online apps to shop, check their bank account, pay utility bills, strike up instant video calls with friends, and much more,” says Schrauwen. “Now that it’s quick and easy for people to complete tasks in their daily lives, they’re fed up of using complicated and archaic processes and systems at work, so they’re demanding access to new tools.”
The good news, says Schrauwen, is that most companies already have many of the devices, business applications and IT service support solutions they need to create a modern digital workplace.
“Many enterprises just need to combine all their existing tools and processes together – and perhaps augment them with new innovations like automation and artificial intelligence – to create a cohesive digital workplace solution that offers a consumer-like experience to employees,” says Schrauwen. “However, this can be difficult because there are hundreds of productivity-boosting technologies out there, but companies don’t always know which ones are best suited to their organisation.”
The secret to success is to put people, rather than technology, at the heart of any digital workplace transformation strategy.
“Every piece of technology in a digital workplace should play a role in empowering employees to carry out their daily tasks more quickly, efficiently and productively – if it doesn’t, then it’s a wasted investment,” says Schrauwen. “Rather than simply deploying the latest technologies just because everyone else is, companies should identify which tasks their employees are finding difficult and why, then they should explore how new technologies could be applied to alleviate these issues. For example, a chatbot or self-service portal could enable people to instantly resolve IT issues so they don’t have to wait for human support.”
DXC has taken a people-first approach to help a large company improve the employee experience, while reducing the high costs of IT service delivery. Although the client initially outlined a traditional IT services agreement, the companies have since established an experience-orientated agreement where the ultimate goal is to achieve end user satisfaction.
“The organisation already had the components of a modern digital workplace, but they weren’t connected because they’d all been developed in separate silos,” says Schrauwen. “After collaborating with the client to outline its key aims, we designed an end-to-end digital workplace solution that comprises the best technologies and software from our partners. We created a roadmap to ensure that everything we do aligns with our client’s vision for boosting employee productivity and cutting costs.”
Once the digital workplace is fully rolled out, the client will be responsible for convincing employees to change their long-held habits and willingly adopt these new technologies. This is crucial says Schrauwen, noting that most people are likely to resist change and ask: “why should I use this new technology and how will it benefit me?”
“Employees don’t care about high-level benefits of new technologies like cutting operational costs; they want to know exactly how it will empower them to complete their specific tasks faster and more efficiently,” he explains. “If they can’t see how it will improve their work life, they won’t use it. For example, few employees would switch from their trusted desktop phone to Microsoft Skype for Business if they were told it would cut costs. However, most would happily adopt it if they were told they’d be able to make instant voice and video calls, host online meetings and share documents. Interactive training sessions, illustrations and short videos can be effective ways of demonstrating how new technologies will transform the way employees work.”
Moving to a modern digital workplace is fast becoming critical for companies that want to remain competitive, says Schrauwen.
“Once companies have implemented an end-to-end digital workplace solution, they’ll be able to easily make small iterations as new and better technologies become available,” he explains. “By working with a partner like DXC, companies can easily take solutions and devices from providers like Microsoft and weave them into a unified, easy-to-use solution that addresses their specific business challenges.”
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