The Stages of Digital Workplace Transformation

It has been some time since the last blog post, such is the frenetic pace of activity through early 2018 helping our customers with their workplace transformations.  This is a topic I’ve spoken of many times, often from a visionary or conceptual level, but I thought maybe now was the time to change the tone of the conversation to focus on HOW you embark on the Digital Workplace journey.

From my engagements with many of our customers throughout the UK and Europe, and recognising that a true Digital Workplace programme comprises a Portfolio of projects and initiatives, I’d summarise the process into the following key pillars

DWP_Programmes

Transform the Foundations

Whilst founded in aspiration towards a radically different state, most conversations related to Workplace Transformation invariably start with, or gravitate to, initiatives that I refer to as “Foundational”.  Whether these are remediation of current issues, or basic enablers for a future solution,  the key to building an effective Digital Workplace is in “getting the basics” right.  These activities often have disproportionate impact in that context, , as often these are the specific issues that are frustrating and inhibiting your users the most.

Key examples of projects at this level are:

  • Pervasive Campus WiFi
  • Core Platform Upgrades (e.g. SharePoint)
  • Facilities Enhancements/Rationalisations

Modernise the Workplace

A lot of the focus of Digital Workplace programmes exhibits itself here.  These may be the introduction of flagship programmes to deliver a dramatic change to the user and technology environment.  These key projects provide significant modernisation of technologies and a more integrated set of capabilities within a solution that propose to significantly simplify the user experience.  Often the initiatives have a significant drivat this stage are driven as much by compelling events as anything, which creates a significant drive to implement them quickly.  However it is important to recognise that this cannot be done in isolation, and must be accompanied by adjacent initiatives to secure their success.

Key examples of projects at this level are:

  • Cloud Productivity and Collaboration – e.g. Office 365 or G-Suite
  • Desktop Modernisation – e.g. Windows 10
  • Adoption of End User Cloud services – i.e. SaaS LoB Applications

Digitise the Experience

The final area of the transformation agenda is in initiatives that drive towards a digitalisation of engagement points and interfaces.  When we consider the examples of companies we would herald as “Digital Businesses” it is the elegance and simplicity of the points of engagement and interaction that we revere.

Within the context of Digital Workplace this is often the most difficult stage to achieve.  This is perhaps because it depends upon user behavioural and cultural change to ensure the uptake and effectiveness of what can be significantly challenging and complex initiatives.  However the promise these initiatives deliver, in terms of user experience benefit, reduction in time to serve through efficiency and automation are significant and they naturally form part of the portfolio.

Key examples of projects at this level are:

  • Digitising Service Desk Engagement via Multi Channel
  • Experience Analytics and Automation
  • Chatbots / Digital Concierge

 

A Digital Workplace vision and programme will naturally encompass a range of initiatives from each of the three categories, covering the technology layer.  It is key to understand the market hype vs maturity in order to evaluate and time your activities accordingly.

But to reiterate, a true programme will not just consider the technology, it will also be comprised of initiatives addressing culture and user behaviour, organisational and operating models and a range of other factors. To achieve success it’s imperative to consider the portfolio approach and understand how each specific activity relates to, is enabled by, or is dependent upon the others in order to ensure its effectiveness and success.

About Paul Bray

Paul is Computacenter’s Chief Technologist for End User Services and Digital Workplace @PSBray

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