Archive | October 11, 2017

‘Blueprint’ for Delivering a Digital Workplace

In the final blog post of this short series, we can reflect on the topics discussed to date; the rate of change in the market, the changing role of IT and the impact of the users on the creation of the Digital Workplace.

What we have done to date is to explore independent perspectives of the changes and challenges that a Digital Workplace presents, from a Business, IT and User perspective.  We all know, and often see, that the tensions we’ve discussed exist and cause challenges in the formation and execution of future business strategies.

A true Digital Workplace strategy emerges at the intersect of these perspectives.  Of course, each party will have individual challenges and requirements, but we need to find a point of consensus (a common strategy) and rally round this to ensure timely and effective execution.  In establishing this “joined up view”, we can reveal our full blueprint for the Digital Workplace.

Evergreen Overall Graphic

We know that we need to be more collaborative, more user centric, more agile, and more responsive to the business needs.  We have tried to identify some of the ways to achieve this, and reflect on the changes that are being made in each area.

However, a Digital Workplace requires joined up thinking.  Activities and processes need to be justifiable, understood and embraced across the business, and co-ordinated as a strategy so that the Digital Workplace does not become merely a series of siloed solutions and initiatives.

The opportunity exists to drive change, to disrupt rather than be disrupted.  To give yourselves the scope and capacity to proactively transform, rather than continually react to shocks and surprises within your business and market.

I’d like to offer a few examples of how we are doing that, with our developments and the solutions we are delivering today.

We are moving towards an Evergreen’ state.  Evergreen is a metaphor to describe the “as a Service” philosophy that now underpins much of the IT landscape today.  It presents challenges and some risks; change at a continual and rapid pace, the changes to our operational procedures (which have been honed and evolved over many years of learning), as well as the impact on the complex ecosystems that surround our modern platforms.  These are significant challenges, but evergreen also provides significant opportunities.

Evergreen can only be adopted successfully if allied by changes in IT, user behaviour, and operational processes.  We are exploiting analytics capabilities to improve and enhance user experience but also to allow us to operate at a faster pace.

The practical applications of this are in allowing us to continually monitor and optimise the user experience.  From anticipating issues before the user has need to raise an incident, the continual optimisation of core platforms to respond to demand profile, or the development of new capabilities to eliminate identified friction points impacting the user.  Analytics capabilities allow us to further industrialise to our service delivery, enabling us to know specifically what is happening in an environment at any time, informed by data.  This also allows us to focus more in the activities of our staff and users – such as in the testing, which becomes a new burden in a world of continuous change.  We can target the critical services we operate, whilst using technology to focus on those that pose less risk, thereby reducing the tension and demands on people to drive the pace of change required.

Being able to operate effectively in a digital environment requires not only new capabilities but   new behaviours.  Greater awareness of the market to understand and anticipate its developments, a culture that promotes innovation and embraces change, and a willingness to act on opportunities and drive change are key to maximising the potential that this window of opportunity affords us.

We are looking to help our customers lead and drive this change by reinventing the way that we engage with, and serve them with our capabilities and solutions.  One example of this is our Digithon.  We bring together users, IT and representatives from the business to identify the opportunities and build a partnership to drive change.  To make this transformation requires a form of understanding, a “charter” for how each will work with each other and on their own to help deliver these outcomes.  The old adage of “throwing things over the wall” cannot apply and will not deliver the benefits and outcomes that we are striving from Digitalisation and the Digital Workplace.

All parties need to come together, to flex and adapt in order to find ways to work in unison and orchestrate their activities effectively within the Digital Workplace – it can only be achieved by “joining the dots” and leading the change together.