Top 5 Digital Workplace Challenges in 2019

Posted by Kath McNiff on Mar 1, 2019 1:00:00 PM

 

It's official. The conversation around Digital Workplace has gone mainstream.

No longer the secret realm of enterprise IT departments and power-house technology vendors - 'digital workplace' as a Utopian ideal and practical reality is resounding through the halls of government, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, education and healthcare.

  • In Singapore, the SkillsFuture program is training thousands of regular people to adapt to the changing digital workplace - introducing participants to the potential of technology.

  • The Estonian government has reinvented itself as a digital workplace platform - where 99% of the public services are available online 24/7 and where 30% of Estonians use i-Voting - saving 800 years of bureaucratic working time.

  • Hotels in the U.S. who are struggling to attract and retain their traditional teen workforce are pinning their hopes on interactive and engaging digital workplace tools. 

Digital transformation is not new - and organizations across all kinds of verticals have been struggling for a decade to get it right. What is new - is that 'every day people' have joined the conversation.

The general population is becoming increasingly tech-savvy and, quite frankly, the digital natives are getting restless.

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Companies know they need to adapt - and adapt quickly if they want to win the war on talent, reduce time to market, and innovate their way into a secure future.

So what's holding them back? Why does an effective and seamless digital workplace seem so slippery and elusive?

1. Dealing with Legacy Applications

The transition to a streamlined digital workplace is especially difficult for large enterprises invested in complex technology stacks and legacy applications.

Gartner predicts that from 2018 to 2020, organizations will have spent three times as much on modernizing their legacy applications as they have on digital transformation. Doesn't seem like money well spent.

Despite being out of step with their increasingly mobile and tech-literate workforce, many organizations continue to upgrade and renew antiquated platforms - pushing out key apps on desktop computers. 

Why? Because it's hard to connect siloed systems and untangle old technology - but it's even harder to change entrenched processes and stubborn mind-sets.

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Current debate suggests that CIOs can lead the charge by taking a broader view - focusing on the value IT can deliver to the business. Not as technology evangelists, but as champions of productivity, innovation and agile processes.

To do this, they need a clear data-driven picture of what's happening on the ground - what do employees expect and what tools do they need to get work done?

What about shadow IT - the apps that employees bring in through the back door to get work done?  It's up to organizations to figure out how to give users what they need in a more secure and compliant way.  

2. Moving to Cloud

The phenomenal rise of mobile is forcing many organizations to soften their anti-cloud stance. 

A Cloud Vision Survey, conducted by LogicMonitor, reports that 83% of enterprise workload will be on the cloud by 2020 - with 41% of the workload running on public cloud platforms.

Despite this trend, many organizations remain cloud-shy.

Reliability and data security are often cited as top concerns - and it's easy to understand why. Data breaches and cyber attacks feed the media machine and most CIOs want to avoid making those kinds of headlines.

The reality is that large-scale cloud providers like AWS can provide a more reliable and secure infrastructure than could ever be achieved in-house.

As far as cloud-based intranets are concerned - it's important that organizations understand the security measures that vendors have in place.

The questions to ask include:

  • Who is the cloud provider? Amazon (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google are the main players.

  • Can I unify authentication processes across business applications?

  • Can users have a single sign-on across devices via a recognized standard (like SAML or OAuth)?

  • Does the platform offer multi-tiered, permission-based security?

Here, Gavin Lewis, the Lead Cloud Architect at GreenOrbit talks about these security measures in more detail.

Moving to the cloud makes organizations more nimble because they can side-step the cost and time required to maintain complex systems. What's more, backups and viruses become someone else's problem.

If worries about data security are keeping you from realizing the potential of a cloud-based digital workplace - download this eBook for a deeper dive:

Security-Compliance Ebook

Senior Executive Buy-in

Workplace technology specialists can get all the elements right - finding out what users need, sourcing the best solutions, taking an agile approach - but if senior leaders can't see the value or are distracted by the cost, then the outlook for success is grim.

According to the 2018 Digital Transformation Index, 35% of companies see the CEO as their main obstacle to digital transformation.

This concept of senior executive buy-in was a common thread running through many of the presentations at the recent Digital Workplace Summit in Melbourne.

Speaking from hard-won experience, Jen Goeldner from Transurban explained the importance of "setting senior leader expectations" at the get go. Without management buy-in and support, the road to a successful digital workplace can be a bumpy one - it may even lead to a dead end.

In a similar vein, Rebecca Jackson from NextDC stressed the importance of getting stakeholders on board early in the process - and avoiding the 'big bang' approach. 

Bringing departmental silos together and communicating the value of a seamless digital workplace are keys to success - they can't be overlooked in the rush to implement the latest and greatest technology.

4. Driving Adoption

Closely aligned to challenge number 3, is the concept of digital workplace adoption. Because, let's face it - there's nothing worse than throwing a party where nobody comes.

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In an ideal world, your employees are chomping at the bit - waiting for the ultimate digital workplace to solve their productivity, collaboration and communication issues.

But the reality rarely measures up for a number of reasons: 

  • Resistance to change - if it's not clear how the new platform will make life easier or if the learning curve is too steep, employees will be reluctant joiners.

  • 'New Tool' fatigue - knowledge workers are in application and information overload. New solutions need to be easy-to-use and as frictionless as possible.

  • Poor communication - deployment of the new digital workplace must be underpinned by clear, engaging and consistent comms.

  • Lack of adoption strategy - planning cannot stop at roll-out. An adoption strategy, developed with input from stakeholders across the business, will keep everyone moving forward.

  • No clear business case - technologies fail to gain traction when users don't actually need them. Reduce the risk by taking a human-centered approach to digital workplace planning and design.

5. Measuring and adjusting

A digital workplace is not a set-and-forget proposition - it's a long-term commitment that needs to be monitored, measured and improved.

Metrics and key performance indicators should be part of the overall digital workplace strategy - ensuring that the business understands how users are responding; including which elements are working and which are not. Without this information, it's impossible to calculate or communicate digital workplace ROI.

Usage metrics are a good place to start. Monitoring page visits, devices used, average time spent, bounce rates and locations can give organizations a quantitative view of uptake. However, these measures don't tell the whole story.

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To track user satisfaction and get a feel for what people are thinking, organizations need to run regular surveys, conduct qualitative interviews or take an ethnographic approach by observing users as they work.

Gathering data is well and good but acting on it is the challenge. Whose job is it? How does it feed into the digital workplace roadmap? Taking an agile and iterative approach, with frequent stakeholder touchpoints, can help.

After all, the digital workplace is a journey, not a destination.  

Do any of these challenges resonate with you? We'd love to hear your digital workplace story in the comments below.

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Topics: digital workplace, digital transformation, company intranet

5 Processes to Automate Right Now

Posted by Annabelle Willis on Apr 19, 2018 1:28:49 PM

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Considering we conduct almost all of our personal transactions via digital devices, it seems peculiar to come to work and deal with so much paper. However, every day we meet with businesses that are facing this exact challenge. Not only are paper processes expensive for our patience, but for our pockets and productivity too.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that even these days, excessive paper consumption is an issue plaguing offices around the world:

  • 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day.

  • In the US, companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time.

  • More than 70% of today’s businesses would fail within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.

For the wellbeing of your business (and the environment), it’s time to say goodbye to paper.

Fortunately, your intranet could offer an effective alternative to paper-based forms and processes. A strong intranet solution should make it easy to set up forms and workflow in minutes without the help of IT staff.

Here are five processes you could shift online with GreenOrbit (formerly Intranet DASHBOARD) today:

Vacation Request/ Annual Leave

This is one of the easiest and fastest processes to digitize, and a great first step to digital transformation. Traditionally, this process would require printing, signing and sending paper for both the employee and employer. Using Online Forms, staff can swiftly submit leave requests in seconds. Set up the form to go to the relevant manager/s for approval and once accepted or declined, the submitter will be automatically notified.

Incident Report

As much as we try to avoid them, sometimes incidents happen. Things break, things go missing and unfortunately sometimes people get injured. By lodging an incident report with an Online Form via your company intranet, you can quickly capture important information and instantly push it to the relevant contacts. Not only will this ensure quick, accurate reports- you’ll always have a record of submissions to ensure compliance and peace of mind.

Onboarding

A strong onboarding process is key to engaging new employees from the get go. In fact, O.C. Tanner research shows that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with the company for at least 3 years after a great onboarding experience.

We worked with iconic retailer Lowes to digitally transform a plethora of business processes, including onboarding. Prior to GreenOrbit, new staff were supplied with a physical, overflowing folder of paper work that they had to read and learn. This made it difficult to track compliance and to identify employees’ comprehension and understanding.

Their new intranet has enabled a complete digitization of the onboarding process, replacing the bulky ‘onboarding folder’ with an online training module and questionnaire using Online Forms, Workflow and Notifications. Now, head office can track who has or hasn’t completed training, plus monitor staff understanding of the material. In the long run, this will empower new staff to provide a higher level of operational and customer service.

Staff Training

Meaningful education within an organization is key to engaging and empowering people to do their best work. While face-to-face learning will always have its place, it isn’t always easy (or affordable) to coordinate.  Online training offers a great alternative, allowing staff to complete training when and where it’s most convenient. 

Supply Orders

Whether you work in an office, a hospital or a factory- you need supplies to do your job. Create an online form to allow staff to request materials quickly, so they have more time for the stuff that matters. Set up a monthly reminder to departments to submit supply orders so they’re never caught out without the tools they need.

By moving these five processes online, you’ll be well on your way to reducing your paper consumption, gaining productivity and some serious intranet ROI.

Financial services organization Vic Super estimate they’ve cut paper use by 30% companywide and saved their HR team more than 10 hours a week- that’s 520 hours a year that can now be focused on more strategic objectives. 

Book a demo with one our intranet specialists today to see how you can automate processes and get your organization where it needs to go.

 

Topics: digital workplace, intranet, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, workflow, education, processes, challenges, digital transformation

Digital Transformation for Iconic Retailer: Lowes

Posted by Connie Pandos on Jun 14, 2017 3:03:30 PM

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I want to share with you a story of pure Digital Transformation. This retail business recently embarked upon digitizing their operations across the board. This is one of the most rewarding projects I have been privy to be involved with, a story of immense satisfaction for intranet lovers.

Lowes is an established, successful and iconic retail business.

Theirs is a story of pure and simple digital transformation.

Lowes acknowledged that the needs of staff and customers have changed – the world has become digital and it was time for this successful retailer to do the same as they approach their 120thbirthday.

Lowes boast a large and diverse retail workforce which ranges from seasonal casual teenage sales staff, to long serving directors, some having worked there for over 50 years!  Staff retention is not an issue – staff do not leave Lowes.

A complete digital transformation has been possible because they have given all their 2000 employees access to the intranet by accessing the intranet using iPads across their 200 stores.

Lowes has changed the way they do things including:

  • Real-time Communication

  • Automated HR Processes

  • Online Training

  • Intranet accessible to ALL staff via iPads

Would you like to learn more about Digital Transformation at Lowes?

Lowes Case Study

Lowes Case Study

 

Topics: clients, digital workplace, Future Intranet, intranet dashboard, mobile workforce, real time communication, Retail Intranet, Social Intranet, automated HR processes, CUSTOMERS, Online Training, Portal, digital transformation

Is Your Business In Digital Denial?

Posted by Connie Pandos on Oct 14, 2016 3:39:31 PM

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“65 percent of Australian business leaders say their organisation is in denial about the need to digitally transform processes or services, yet 90 percent see digital transformation as important or critical.”

“Digital transformation” is the whole scale change to how you conduct business, touching all facets of your organization– people, product and process. This covers things such as customer experience, production, supply chain, employee HR, process & administration, etc.

It’s not a simple concept.

It can be daunting.

However, it is one that you can no longer ignore.

The first step is to acknowledge that all facets of your operations could improve and capitalize on the opportunities new digital technologies have to offer. The next step is deciding where to begin.

And I don’t mean the simple obvious accessibility and competency stuff like – everyone having access to a computer, or giving all sales staff a laptop, or upgrading your staff to iPhone’s. I am assuming you have done that!

It’s time to bring your business into the digital age.

Every week I am privileged to learn about our client’s businesses. We have companies in all industries and regions that are benefiting from digital transformation – they are transforming at varying paces – some across many parts of their organizations concurrently, while others are still doing only the basics.

You may feel reassured to know that I regularly meet with companies who are still shuffling paper as part of administration and processes.

My friends in Human Resources provide a perfect place to start your digital transformation. By simply shifting transactional HR processes, induction, onboarding, and forms online, HR professionals can liberate their time and your time, and in doing so, deliver efficiencies and cost savings for the business.

While change is frightening for some, the benefits of digital transformation far outweigh any initial fears. Take Audi for example, the introduction of online forms through their intranet has streamlined and reduced the heavy administrative burden on HR, while introducing new efficiencies into their business:

“In terms of the intranet’s role within our company, it’s our HR tool first and
foremost. We have all HR forms, reporting and policies there. All staff know that’s where they need to go to complete HR processes and access key information.”

HR have the power to maintain your workplace, and to transform it!

Redefine the way you work in the new digital era.

It’s not too late.

It’s time to stop being in denial.

Want to know more about how your intranet can support digital transformation? Check out our eBook:

Steps to Building a Great Intranet

 

Topics: digital workplace, intranet dashboard, INTRANET INSIGHT, technology, workflow, digital age, digital denial, hr, jetstar, knowledge, management, processes, digital transformation

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