Enterprise IT as the Torchbearer of Workplace Productivity

Posted by Kath McNiff on Dec 20, 2018 2:00:00 AM

 

We expect a lot from our digital workplaces - that's because as tech consumers and smartphone aficionados we know what's possible.

From paying bills, to booking appointments and bingeing on Netflix - we've grown accustomed to smooth interfaces and predictable digital experiences. Things just work - and if they don't, well... there's an app for that.

Enterprisee-IT

Chaos vs Control

Jumping between apps is fine for us as individuals, but spells chaos for the IT professionals in charge of modern digital workplaces.

At the office, collaboration is king and organizations need a cohesive way of getting things done. If some people are on WhatsApp and others are on Messenger - how can they share ideas and get work going?

This dichotomy leaves Enterprise IT caught between a rock and a hard place.

Employees want to use their flavor-of-the-month tools and, since the IT procurement team don't want to rain on anyone's parade or halt real productivity gains, they may turn a blind eye or add the tool to the already congested software register.

Thing is, this tool might be great for one department but a nightmare for another, and there's a good chance it'll be thrown to the curb when the next shiny thing comes along. 

Enterprise-IT-chaos

At the other extreme, Enterprise IT might put their foot down and get serious about which tools are allowed and which are not - because how do you manage security and maintain a level of assurance in an 'anything goes' software scenario?

To maintain control, the organization might have a well-defined process for selecting software solutions - and refuse to stray from the Preferred Vendor playlist. They may even stick with tired legacy infrastructure because it represents a significant financial investment and "is the way things are done around here".

In the first scenario, IT is left picking up the pieces of an impossibly fragmented workplace - while in the second they're being blamed for forcing everyone to use outdated and inflexible technology.

Is there a happy compromise?

The Middle Ground

Tim Flower, Director of Business Transformation at Nexthink, believes there is.

In a recent webinar via CMSWire he said the answer lies in taking a step back and spending time on research, reflection and strategic thinking.

The key to an exceptional digital workplace is not about the latest shiny app or complicated technology stack - it's about people and the tools they need to get work done.

Flower suggests that IT teams need to benchmark the current digital employee experience and look for evidence-based ways of improving it.

He says they need to spend less time responding to isolated issues and more time empathizing with users and understanding what a typical day is really like.

This involves taking a holistic view of the digital workplace backed up by quantitative and qualitative data - what are people doing and how do they feel about it?

Flower's company, Nexthink, makes a nifty device that gathers this intel as people go about their day-to-day work.

Oscar Berg - the webinar's co-presenter and author of  Digital Workplace Strategy and Design - shared this slide to emphasize the power of asking users to "tell me how you really feel":

Enterprise-IT-slide

No sugar coating that. Email overload hurts productivity but no one considers complaining to IT about it.

He goes on to explain that productivity takes a nose dive when workers are faced with "interruptions, inconsistently designed systems and bad performance".

As both experts rightly point out - once IT teams truly understand the barriers to productivity in their organization - they can make informed decisions about the best way forward.

They can take a proactive stance and look beyond the issues that cross the help desk: "I'm stressed out by the number of tools I have to use" said no support ticket ever.

5 barriers to productivity

Making Informed Choices

To calm the chaos of disparate communication tools, Enterprise IT might choose to deploy a digital workplace that has everything built in. One that gives users the social and collaborative features they crave without the distractions of platform-switching and multiple sign-ons. 

To free themselves from the tyranny of support tickets and reactive problem solving, IT may look to implement a digital workplace that's secure, cloud based and easy to maintain - and do away with the complexities of shared licenses and messy payment cycles. 

Focusing on the Big Picture

By implementing a digital workplace that's high on productivity but low on maintenance, IT professionals free themselves up to focus on what really matters - providing a digital employee experience that delivers true business value and measures up to the expectations of today's tech savvy workforce.

The correlation between effective collaboration and productivity is well documented - and Enterprise IT is uniquely positioned to ignite this flame.

Starting a fire instead of always putting one out!

To get a head start with improving productivity in your organization, download our free ebook: 5 Barriers to Productivity in the New World of Work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Collaboration, productivity, workplace

How to Leverage Your Intranet For Productivity Gains

Posted by Terri McKinnon on Nov 14, 2017 3:01:15 PM
banner-productivity-gains-article

One of the greatest challenges facing today’s workforce is the rapid rate of change in technologies. It is this rate of change which is expected to impact business productivity for those companies that do not adapt and embrace them. You might be thinking  ‘Wait, isn’t technology meant to make us more productive?

Well, yes. However, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Report, there is a gap in business potential as organizations try to keep up with the pace of change in technology.

Essentially, technology is changing faster than businesses and their people can adapt.

gap-in-business-chart

(Deloitte 2017)

The report also states that 88% of respondents view ‘developing their organization for the future’ as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to them.

While this graph may look like there is tough road ahead for businesses to catch up, there is the opportunity for business leaders to bridge this gap. Devising strategies to organize, manage, align and develop their people at work ensure that business remains agile in the process.

So, how do you do that with the limited resources you already have to work with?  By leveraging your intranet to achieve your business objectives, and create an agile environment for your organization to succeed in this time of fast-paced technological change. Aligning your business, technology and human capital strategies to the short and long-term objectives of your organization. Let’s see how…

The Intranet Today

Currently you may be using your company intranet in a basic fashion with an internal network for communications, social information and housing static forms for employees to access. You may find that engagement levels are not where you’d like them to be, but recognize that delivering the right content on your intranet is a great place to start seeing improvements in engagement.

There is a direct correlation between engagement and productivity equating to the profitability of an organization.

For an intranet to close the gap between productivity and technology there must be a process of agile change. This includes delivering a modern intranet that is organized for learning with access to training and knowledge experts. This empowers employees and teams to collaborate and communicate fostering innovation, and an online space your staff can go and access information to deliver better customer service.

Business Objectives

Your intranet should champion your business: Who you are, what you do, and why you do it. In the bigger scheme of things - the core values of your organization, your mission - should be directly aligned on your intranet. For all parts of your organization to be clear, they are working towards the same goals and values.

Your intranet should communicate these values and then deliver a place for your employees to do their job – connecting people to the tools they need.

Technology Objectives

When thinking of the intranet as a lever to use in achieving the goals of the business, it is important to work with all the critical business units to create alignment and look at the unique needs of each area.

You must understand how technology may or may not facilitate the strategic objectives of the business. From here it’s important to work with the resources you have (human and software) to build a roadmap which is adaptable to change and focused on the long and short term objectives. This will require working with IT on a regular basis to ensure that the technology strategy in your organization fits within both HR and business goals. It is also important to understand how your employees work on a day-to-day basis and how the intranet solution can be leveraged to support them.

A business has much to gain through an intranet leveraged to their objectives.  Facilitating the move from a transactional space to enabling transformation across the business.

The automation of HR and business processes is a good first step. Looking at the processes in the organization: What can be automated? If it can’t be fully automated, can it be improved, or removed entirely?

GreenOrbit's online forms functionality supports the automation of these tasks to make it easier for Operations and HR professionals to transition from the task of being administrators to becoming strategic partners in leading the transformation of their business.

Building the business case

If the information above has you thinking about how you can leverage your intranet to better align with your business goals, you may be wondering how to start making this change.

One of the best tools for doing this is by creating a business case. This is where you can describe the current state of play and the inefficiencies that you have identified these may be items such as: Time spent finding information, understanding the correct process, locating the right expertise people.

Once these have been identified you can address how the intranet is going to help you: Through centralizing information, automating process and the expected outcomes in a tangible and measurable way: Reducing admin time, increasing productivity, freeing up resources that can be reinvested elsewhere.

Fortunately, these days, with the access to information that we all have literally at our finger tips, creating the business case is as easier as it's ever been. 

With this business case and your business objectives in hand you’ll be on you way to start the journey to a more productive and agile intranet – delivering increased engagement and productivity.

For a deeper dive into leveraging your intranet to bridge the performance gap, check out our eBook:eBook: Steps to Building a Great Intranet

Steps to Building a Great Intranet

 

Topics: business case, intranet, INTRANET INSIGHT, technology, values, business objectives, goals, productivity, rate of change

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