Digital transformation is a key challenge and opportunity faced by organizations worldwide. However, as a business leader, you can create an agile workplace by investing in holistic solutions capable of driving the synergies between key workplace functions.

Digital Workplace Transformation Drivers in the Post-Covid World

Positive consumer journeys begin with a positive workforce, pushing organizations to develop a people-centric approach for addressing their internal needs to meet the external demands. At Zensar, we conducted a survey to map the most immediate needs of businesses in terms of remote working and business agility. In our survey, we asked 500+ business leaders how equipped they are in enabling ‘work from anywhere’ for their employees, drawing some powerful insights on the shifting workforce behavior in the post-COVID era.

Based on the responses, we found that:
55% of business leaders are ready to increase spend on work from anywhere capabilities by 10 to 15%.
85% of business leaders agree that by enabling workplace automation, they have reduced manual operations and reallocated the workforce to more strategic initiatives. In the current pandemic, it is a fact that many organizations have employees working both onsite and remotely. While this has helped in navigating the crisis to an extent, it has also led to a more complex, hybrid workforce that’s grappling with challenges like seamless collaboration to improve productivity in the current times.
Yet, 80% of business leaders plan to continue with remote working models in the future according to Gartner, calling for the integration of agile tools and technology that support an evolving workplace. To architect this change, it is, therefore, essential to identify the barriers to automation and digital transformation in your organization and also map the needs of the users that will be most impacted by these changes.
For example, uniform access to Information or organizational silos often pose an impediment to a digitally mature work environment. Traditionally set-up and fragmented business processes also bring down the user experience for your employees, who are used to accessing Information seamlessly on connected devices in their personal lives. Especially in today’s times, when the boundaries between home and workplace are dissolving, there’s an increasing demand for ubiquitous access to enterprise applications and data, consistent with the flexible and agile nature of your workforce.

The requirement for Digital Workplace Solutions

So, as a business leader, on the one hand, you must invest in technology solutions and strategies to keep up with evolving consumer demands. And, on the other hand, you need to equip your workforce with digital tools and applications to create a work environment that’s consistent with their personal lives. At the same time, the economy of investment comes into play, pushing you towards a holistic solution that meets the demands of the business, users, and IT function. This crucial requirement is also what has led to the advent of Digital Workplace Solutions (DWS), mandating a shift in terms of replacing the legacy top-down IT services (ITSM) model with a more user-centric one. From the user perspective, it calls for individual-level customization for a seamlessly driven digital work environment, which creates its mix of opportunities and hurdles that can only be overcome through increased focus on employee engagement and experience.

Organizational Challenges in Selecting a Digital Workplace
Solution

Today’s digital workplace is composed of an aggregation of applications, services, and devices along with an intelligence component of how enterprises can utilize and capitalize on the benefits of such an assembly to drive business results. The rise of a hybrid workforce further complicates the situation through security challenges and integration issues. It is also a fact that various enterprises were at different stages of digitization before the pandemic and most were forced into adopting new business models in the post-COVID world. As a result, many workplaces remain in a state of flux, which reduces productivity and even profitability in the long run.
In our experience, preparing for a digitally mature future by architecting a dynamic workplace is a feasible solution for overcoming the challenges of a hybrid and evolving workforce. However, putting it philosophically, change is never easy, and most enterprises on their way to digital maturity come across some common barriers that must be overcome for seamless digitization.

  1. Internal Resistance :Transitioning from a legacy IT environment to a digitally mature workplace requires your workforce to come out of its comfort zone to learn new technical components while handling their ongoing responsibilities. This may lead to some pushback, which, when added to the downtime in upgrading or replacing existing IT systems, can adversely impact your organization’s overall productivity.
  2. Data Security and Privacy : The advent of the digital workplace has led to the consumption of data and applications across multiple devices outside the enterprise premises, such as mobile phones and laptops. Such behavior raises security concerns like “Shadow IT,” wherein you have to be wary of unauthorized data access in your organization. Additionally, such risks are also user-related, representing a significant hurdle while adopting modern digital workplace solutions.
  3. Integration Issues : The integration of business processes is a significant leap for organizations that have been traditionally working with inter-departmental silos so that each department is only responsible for its function. Breaking this informational barrier is a critical challenge that requires you to look at both infrastructural and behavioral changes to ensure seamless communication and equal access to data
  4. The Cost of Modernization : Implementing DWS is a long-term investment that requires a dedicated chunk of your enterprise budget. However, shrinking IT budgets call for strategic planning, requiring you to critically analyze and identify the challenges faced by your workforce before investing in a digital solution to address them.

The SHARED Approach to Building a Digitally Mature
Workplace

The SHARED approach refers to a balanced approach for implementing a digital workplace solution by augmenting the existing systems without replacing everything that’s currently in use. SHARED focuses on the human element throughout the transition process by providing users with technology to improve their productivity. It also requires you to stress upon reskilling your workforce continually to help them leverage the newly introduced digital components to their full capacity without compromising on security.

Parting Thoughts

The emerging conditions in the post-COVID world have propelled enterprises on their digital transformation journey. However, the evolving conditions have also created new opportunities and challenges that must be identified before zeroing down on a digital workplace solution for your enterprise. In the next blog, we will discuss the emerging trends in the post-COVID world to help you analyze where you stand with respect to the changes in the ever-evolving business landscape.
Read blog 2 in this series to discover how artificial intelligence and analytics are shaping digital workplace in a post-covid world

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Satish Sinha

Posted by Satish Sinha

Satish is AVP and Global Head of Digital Workplace Services in Zensar. A multi-faceted and seasoned leader with 20 years of extensive IT experience in heading and supporting large and complex project deliveries, He is currently responsible for driving growth of digital workplace service globally.

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