Business & Value

Digital workplace – an essential disruption

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in November 2013 ……

Why is the digital workplace an essential disruption for organizations? This is really two questions: Why disruptive? Why essential?

Empowerment, customer value, essential strategic asset

  • The DW empowers people, giving them greater control over how they work. This requires managers to overcome their discomfort and become true leaders.
  • The DW brings efficiency and value internally and externally. An internally connected workforce is more efficient and reactive to customers.
  • The DW is essential to doing business today. Therefore it must be managed as a strategic asset.

Leadership and cooperation at the top

  • The DW breaks silos. It forces organizations to think holistically. This requires leadership and cooperation at the highest levels in the organization

This presentation was given at KMWorld 2013, in Washington D.C. the first week of November. It kicked off the inaugural Digital Workplace track at KMWorld.

Here are the key observations. You’ll find charts and data inside the presentation.

The DW is still primarily focused on internal collaboration and not yet on how it can support business.

“People capabilities” are deployed in the DW in 50% or more organizations:

  • People can express their ideas and information openly and directly via the digital workplace.
  • However co-developing and crowdsourcing new ideas has plateaued at 30% (for the last 3 years).

We are far from a transformational tipping point when looking at the impact of social capabilities.

  • We are also far from a social way of working: social is not yet integrated into daily activities.

Mobile is moving ahead slowly.

  • The degree of interest and investment is approximately the same as one year ago.
  • Specific mobile use cases will be implemented in 20% of organizations by the end of 2013. Another 10 to 20% of organization are planning to do so by end 2014.
  • BYOD and BYOPC are officially or unofficially accepted in over 50% of organizations.

The DW “definitely” plays a role for the 20 to 30% of organizations that self-assess as being “very” or “relatively successful” in 4 specific organizational use cases:

  • Retaining knowledge, people development, business flexibility and customer-facing employee support.

The major challenges that are “manageable but require special effort” or “serious and hold us back” are people issues, not technology.

  • ROI requirements, focus on tools, hesitation to rethink how we work, power struggles at high levels, consensus-based decision-making.

The DW is not treated as a strategic asset, essential to doing business.

  • Reporting, measurement, processes, guidelines and policies are not integrated into the way of working.

Does your experience correspond to these observations? Share your thoughts here or by email.