Companies like Facebook, Netflix, and Google leverage big data every day to make strategic business decisions and create the best customer experiences. Now, as companies pursuing digital transformation focus on creating digital workplaces, they're employing internal data to find the best solutions to drive flexibility, collaboration, efficiency, productivity, better business outcomes, and satisfying end user experiences. Data will impact business operations as profoundly as the internet did.
Why the emphasis on creating digital workplaces?
Leaders on the digital transformation journey know that it's as much about the culture within the organization as it is getting off legacy systems and adopting new digital technology. It takes entirely new ways of thinking and acting to achieve the nimbleness needed to drive innovation and new revenue streams. A truly digital workplace is the first step towards that culture change. More than just adopting a new collaboration platform or messaging app, Gartner defines a digital workplace as "an ongoing, deliberate approach to delivering a more consumer-like computing environment that is better able to facilitate innovative and flexible working practice." Or, the digital dexterity needed to drive technology, engagement, and agility.
How can data facilitate a digital workplace?
Data can help in a digital workplace in a myriad of ways from fueling productivity, content management, identifying goals, better personalization, to better support.
1) Workplace analytics
As the digital workplace steadily becomes more mobile and populated with remote workers, workplace analytics give you a line of sight into what all your teams are doing and how productive they are. Interestingly, the data comes without the human bias that can creep into personnel assessments in a traditional workplace environment. Conversely, the data on how end users are feeling is much stronger than what comes from previous measurement attempts like annual employee surveys which 1) are rarely answered honestly because of fears anything negative will be tracked back to the author, and 2) are one-time snapshots instead of ongoing actionable analytics.
2) Better end user experiences and personalization
A common way to fail on the road to a digital workplace is attempting to roll out new technology without a full understanding of the effect on the day-to-day end user experience. It can lead to poor adoption rates and frustration instead of the intended benefit. Workplace analytics can give you the data you need around employee channel preferences and productivity habits to make better strategic choices.
Studying productivity patterns makes hitting new tool adoption targets more likely along with the related positive employee experience and engagement rates. You can also analyze productivity gaps and evaluate whether plugging those holes with next-generation technology like AI-powered personal assistants makes strategic sense.
Today's workers demand the same level of technology they get in their private lives as consumers, and data can help you craft the personalization they want. For example, data-driven insights might point to where mobility and local-based services are needed.
3) Identify goals
Just as data can give you insight into what tools end users need, it's a powerful way to identify goals for the team or teams. A complete understanding of current workflows allows you to project how to improve them. With the right data set, you can improve the end user experience, improve productivity, remove pain points, and reduce costs.
4) Better IT support
Data analysis can also dramatically speed up IT support for end users. For example, CompuCom's Self Healing Technology uses artificial intelligence and automation to parse data gathered from Service Desk calls to continuously learn and come up with automated solutions. It then automatically detects and fixes technology issues without interrupting the end user. In some cases, it happens in the background before they're even aware of the problem - like a printer being offline or a network going offline.
As digital transformation success is intimately tied to user experience, top level IT support that delivers higher uptime and less user disruption improves productivity and end user satisfaction.
Where to start
When looking to employ data to transform the digital workplace, it's best to start small and scale up. You can use small test groups, study the results and get feedback. It's easier to get buy in from other leaders and end users across the board when you can show real proven benefits.