Digital Workplace Platform
An effective digital workplace platform has many essential components. We have identified nine components that appear in multiple respected research firms and business white papers. The nine components of an effective digital platform are a clear vision and strategy, effective management, clear measurement, positive employee experiences and engagement, collaboration, productivity, security, mobility, and technology.
- 9 Components Of a Digital Work Platform
What makes an effective platform?
With 3.85 trillion dollars expected to be spent on IT this year by businesses, it makes sense to ask yourself if your workplace has an effective digital platform. Is your company ready to embrace the day and work to its highest potential? An effective platform is one that works for all involved, but what is the best way to accomplish that? The digital workplace affects every system and role within the workplace. Effective digital workplaces give employees the ability to work from any device, access the information they need in a timely manner, and make collaboration easier with quality conferencing and chat functions. The best digital workplaces set goals that increase the effectiveness of their employees. Their goals are a part of a wider business strategy that seeks to increase engagement and employee effectiveness. To do this, businesses must regularly take a look at how their employees work and make adjustments to processes that are outdated or simply aren't working. When businesses provide their employees with the right tools, over 63% of employees say it makes them feel more productive. We have taken a deep dive into nine components that are necessary for a successful digital platform.
Businesses often have a vision statement or a strategy that directs their business. When implementing digital workplace platforms, this becomes even more important. We have access to a technology solution for every problem, but it can backfire without a clear direction that matches the technology to the needs of the business, employees, and all stakeholders. A vision statement lets you describe technology your business needs and how it will benefit all involved. It is a strategy. How will you pull the technology together with your employees and business goals to make your business more productive? An effective strategy and clear vision can be a motivator for your workforce and empower them to be a part of the process. Your vision should be a clear road map that consists not only of technology but the best way to implement it along with measurable goals. Each part of your strategy should have a positive impact on at least one aspect of your business, or else it is not valuable to you or your employees. A good principle to guide your decisions is to identify the business goals you need to achieve and align your technology to meet these needs. A good technology workplace platform strategy will address technology as an optimal way to communicate, be productive, collaborate, conduct business, collect ideas, be connected, and be mobile when needed. Finally, don't forget to take risk, compliance, and legal into consideration.
Without effective management, any digital workplace platform will not see optimum success. In today's world, our digital workplace is the equivalent to our physical workspace and deserves thoughtful planning and a structured process for implementation. Key stakeholders should be identified and made a part of the process, so that everyone is not just doing what they feel like doing, instead of using technology to make your business better. The management of any digital workplace platform should have clear processes with regard to implementation. It should be clear to everyone involved what technology is being implemented, how it is being implemented, and how it will be measured. It should also ensure good user experiences, proper adoption policies, and adequate resources to run a business smoothly.
We could have an endless technology budget, but without some form of measurement, we can never know if it is truly working for our business. Regularly obtaining analytics and understanding what is going on with your workplace platform is essential. Automatically capturing employee input data, by using automated tracking tools, can greatly simplify this process. Any technology that is implemented should have a measurable outcome along with an oversight process. Will it make the workforce more effective, make employees more efficient, or help employee retention? If so, there should be a way to decide if it is successful or not. Technology goals and measurements should align with your overall business goals. By doing this, and obtaining relevant metrics, you can keep moving forward in a positive direction. As part of the oversight process, it is advisable to take inventory of your technology and remove any duplication or redundant technology.
#4- Employee Experiences
Employees are the backbone of your business. Understanding the digital workplace from an employee's perspective can reap great rewards. Is there something they must deal with on a daily basis that could be improved? Do they have the right tools to do their work? Are they provided with a supportive work environment that values collaboration and learning? Taking questions like these and digging deep for the answers can supply valuable information that can help guide strategies and goals. Best practices also indicate that providing your employees with the proper training and certifications, will allow them to use the digital workplace to their advantage, and ultimately yours. Creating a learning culture can have significant benefits for your business, with 54% of executives polled saying they saw "major improvements" in their business after they implemented such policies.
Creating an employee experience that is exceptional can be one of the most beneficial things a business can do in respects to technology. When a workforce is engaged, creative and motivated, they can outperform the competition by providing superior service and execution. An easy way to do this is to invite your employees to share ideas. What do they see as an important technology need? By talking to their employees, LivePerson was able to simplify their human resource department by designing a tool that handled calls and emails from workers concerning typical recurring HR questions. An easy way to do this is to regularly send out polls or surveys to your employees. Some businesses have an employee forum where they can share ideas.
#5- engagement & Collaboration
An engaged workforce is a more productive workforce. This should be a top-down approach. It should start with the corporation and be part of the culture. Employees should be aligned with the goals of the company and be aware of them. Regular communication is an excellent way to promote engagement. With communication, management can share technology goals, and employees can have input as well. Management should regularly take a look at employee engagement and make changes as necessary to encourage optimal engagement.
Collaboration is beneficial for all involved. In the modern business world, we are dealing with more information than we ever have before. Technology should help our employees to collaborate and share information effectively with the people they need to share with. Technology should empower the employee, not hinder them when it comes to collaboration.
For an organization to thrive, they must work well together. Increased productivity is a key factor. For productivity to be at its highest, the digital workplace must remove duplication, resolve errors quickly, and have a streamlined process. DHL is a good example. They have a real-time process that enables them to know exactly where a package is, the best way to route it in real time. This technology enables them to work effectively, thus increasing productivity. Again, technology can also be a hindrance to productivity if the technology is not matched to the needs of the employees and monitored regularly. Technology that simplifies tasks lets employees focus on bigger things and be more productive.
An effective digital workplace platform will free up an employee to work anywhere. Businesses should analyze what technology, devices, and skills are needed to maximize the positive impacts of working on a mobile platform. These tools should allow an employee to access the content and information they need wherever they might be. Mobility should also give employees the ability to share information across a platform for teams, colleagues, and partners by way of social channels. This instant communication is essential in today's modern business world.
Even though it is number 8 on the list, we should not forget security. With the increased implementation of technology, security is paramount. Increased network traffic and larger amounts of data bring on a need for strong security in the technology infrastructure. Multi-factor authentication, firewalls for on-premises and clouds, "distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation and end-to-end encryption should all be addressed.
We have purposely left technology for last considering it is such a vast topic. We also did this to illustrate that a digital workplace platform is not technology alone, but many components working together. Technology should be holistic. It benefits you to think of it as a whole, rather than just implementing various technologies. Technology should free your employees to do strategic, valuable work rather than repetitive tasks. Your technology platform should be adaptable and have the ability to integrate and grow with existing technology.
A single platform that meets every need of a business is unlikely to be found. When they are, they are sometimes cumbersome and hold the business hostage to one provider. With over 150,000 SaaS applications available, it might be beneficial to be selective and find exactly what technology serves your organization the best, even if it is multiple platforms. These software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) tend to be more flexible and scalable. They also offer visibility, better control, and improved analytics.
A good technology solution will be secure and facilitate compliance with "centralized data and application access", rather than locally stored files. The platform will also be agnostic, not from a single vendor, to avoid being locked in. In looking to the future, around half of executives and implementers of technology stated their intended plans for technology included, "artificial intelligence, machine learning Chatbots, virtual reality, augmented reality, and blockchain Internet of Things.