The global shift to remote work caused by COVID-19 underscored the value of digital workplaces when employees needed to be able to contribute seamlessly from home. What is a truly digital workplace? At CompuCom, we define it as the technology-enabled replacement of the traditional office that's achieved when users are enabled to work from anywhere, on any device, at any time in a secure user-centric manner.
While the overall employee experience encompasses far more than just an employees' technology touchpoints, it has become a cornerstone and key driver for accelerating the migration to a digital workplace.
The "consumerization of IT"—where employees bring the same expectations they have for personal devices to what they use for work—plays a significant role in defining "good" employee experiences. IT teams are continually pushing out better user-centric digital workplace innovations thanks to advancements in automation technology using new-generation AI capabilities to handle large amounts of data in the cloud.
As the IT industry evolves from a one size fits all black-box approach to the much more complex digital workplace, enterprises are challenged with how to best enable successful work on any device from any location—all while providing and guiding users with appropriate service options.
Regardless of where an organization is on its journey to an experience-focused digital workplace, consider the following as components necessary for success.
CompuCom defines a persona as a detailed definition of a group of end users who require a similar set of devices, applications, data access, and support. Personas provide a common understanding of end users and how to empower their success based on their unique needs. Managing users in the context of persona allows companies to simplify and provide a layer of customization on all facets of technology services. Ongoing persona management is vital for continued success to maintain the business and technology alignment as both user and business requirements change. When moving towards a persona-based approach to manage users and services, consider the following:
- Personas are based on people and their behaviors, more specifically, where and how they work and collaborate
- Each user exists within one persona
- Consider multiple layers of segmentation based on business needs, target experience, technology usage, and level of mobility
- All end-user services, technologies, and support models are aligned to a persona. Gone are the days where only executives receive white-glove treatment as companies focus on revenue-generating and customer-facing roles in the context of persona to determine requirements, and target experiences
- Take traditional metrics currently delivered holistically—or in the context of location or department—and look at them through a persona lens to identify actionable insights for a new approach to continual service improvement
- Personas should not be developed in the context of IT views on their organization only, but instead incorporate the voice of the customer
- All personas start with where a user completes their work and how mobile they are within their job/role. This location and mobility-based segmentation is key to defining personas to appropriate services
2) Unified Endpoints
Traditional endpoint management refers to the process an organization undergoes to detect, provision, deploy, update, and troubleshoot its endpoint devices. Unified endpoint management is the expansion and convergence of these processes across platforms, including more than the traditional desktop and laptop, but also supporting desktop virtualization and mobile devices and platforms. Having consistent processes across all types of devices creates a similar experience for users from any device and enables them to work at any location anytime/anywhere.
3) Multi Experience Engagement for Support
Technical support is vital to the digital workplace. It should be evolved to a user-centric multi-experience approach for users to engage how and when they choose. The traditional help desk phone calls have been replaced with concierge-like services using artificial intelligence (AI), virtual support agents, and automation to mitigate issues and impact while focusing on outcomes and experience. Modern support for the digital workplace should consider the following:
- While we have moved away from a one-size-fits-all for technology, employees should be able to get support for any issue on any device from the same source
- Provide the end user visibility and control with a dynamic, insightful experience. It enables self-sufficient users with the ability to escalate to other options without starting over
- Enable engagement options for users based on individual preference
- Use AI-powered virtual support agents with relevant knowledge content written to direct non-technical employees to the best resources. Leverage cognitive search using natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU), and machine learning (ML).
4) Cloud-Enabled Productivity and Collaboration
Users needing the ability to work anytime from anywhere means they also need to not only access their files but also be enabled with options to collaborate with colleagues and customers effectively. The proliferation of cloud-based productivity suites such as Microsoft Office 365 enables online collaboration and secure storage of data critical for access from the multiple devices used by today's workforce.
5) Experience Focused Actionable and Insightful Analytics
Analytics and metrics aren't anything new to IT services. However, they've evolved into aggregating structured and unstructured data. That transforms multiple sources into a simple single pane of glass view that considers the consumer (executives, analysts, services operations). Additionally, while metrics have traditionally focused on the success of a service or capability in the form of SLAs, they've expanded to focus on outcomes as an indication of user experience using real-time explorative interfaces. In a digitally-enabled workplace, to provide users with the ability to work from any device, anywhere at any time, we have to look at new data through the perspective of what is most impactful to the end user.
6) Endpoint Automation
Using an on-device agent to collect telemetry, event data, and deliver automations proactively resolves issues while providing meaningful and actionable insights into the overall client health and user experience. The automation agents regularly run important maintenance routines on company devices, so employees don't have to. They require no intervention and no technical knowledge to execute. There is tremendous value to be derived from collecting this data and could be used in the following ways:
- Identify and resolve issues proactively without user intervention automatically
- Engage support on behalf of the user for issues which cannot be resolved either automatically or with user intervention
- Detect and manage shifts in personas and aligned services and technology requirements
- Right-size environments by ensuring users have the right equipment and are not over or under-provisioned.
- Provide input into experience-based metrics (XLAs)
- Identify unreported issues
- Create insightful and dynamic experiences for all technology support touchpoints from self-service through agent conversations.
- Create persona-aligned application profiles to improve and streamline the onboarding and refresh experience
All of these items can be considered independently, but, when done as part of a single ecosystem will help create a digital workspace necessary to foster a positive and productive employee experience.