Every business is transforming. There are three forces beyond anyone’s control that we need to understand and manage to build an effective digital workplace. Taking a proactive, rather than reactive, approach can help ensure that your business transformation works in achieving your organization’s specific business goals. In a new field guide for digital workplace heroes – which I co-authored with Christian Buckley, Microsoft MVP and CEO of CollabTalk – we explored these three forces.
1. Business processes are increasingly digital and mobile.
The consumerization of IT is forcing just about every business process (many of which have historically relied on paper) to be digitized and mobilized. Employees, as everyday technology consumers, are demanding it – or worse, taking matters into their own hands.
I’m a consumer. You’re a consumer. When is the last time you mailed someone a letter? Used paper to write a grocery list? Looked up something in the library? Or used film to take a picture? Today, all of us, as consumers, depend on technology. We are all addicted to our smart phones and tablets.
With the consumerization of IT, employees are using their personal email to take “homework” anywhere. This creates security concerns for today’s Digital Workplace Heroes. Work files are finding their way into personally owned consumer electronics. Corporate information is spreading to online services, including online data storage, Web-based email services, and social media and networking sites.
Christian warns, “Productivity solutions are everywhere, with end users able to easily purchase and leverage solutions outside of the purview of the IT team. With the growing number of collaboration and communication solutions available within your organization, information can become scattered across many systems – making it increasingly difficult to monitor and manage solutions and protect your data.”
2. There is a usability gap.
Controlling corporate information is critical with more data being digitized and mobilized. However, finding the right balance between information governance and worker productivity is both hard and critically important.
In the new guide, Christian explains that, “as enterprise control over the content becomes more complex, it becomes increasingly difficult for employees to communicate and collaborate, leading to inevitable trade-offs in usability. Many employees feel they have no other choice but to go around IT processes to get work done, creating rogue or “shadow IT” efforts as employees look to fill usability gaps on their own.”
3. Failure to understand the link between change management and user adoption.
Christian and I have seen this again and again … collaboration fails when planning does not begin and end with the end user experience. The vision of a collaborative digital workplace can be achieved by continually focusing on tracking and improving user adoption. Why?
- With a transparent operational model, users are better able to understand the tradeoffs or limitations of platforms.
- When people understand, they are more likely to work with IT and management to prioritize future solutions.
- When employees are recognized for identifying limitations or suggesting improvements, they are more likely to help.
- Successful change management includes visibility into the status and metrics of user inputs.
While finding the right technology fit for your organization’s culture is important … any tool or process can be configured or refined with the right change management process and a culture where employees feel empowered to speak up and share their opinions and experiences.
These 3 forces driving business transformation are powerful. It takes a Digital Workplace Hero to embrace these forces and to lead a successful business transformation. Someone who can step up, take charge, and drive the change. In our new guide, “SharePoint Transformed – A Game Plan for Digital Workplace Heroes,” Christian and I offer 3 steps to becoming a Digital Workplace Hero.
I invite you to download the new guide today.