Why a digital workplace is important for digital transformation

Chintan Jain

Illustration of digital workers

According to IDG, over 55 per cent of startups have already adopted digital transformation strategies while 89 per cent of enterprises either plan to adopt or have already started implementing digital transformation strategies for their business.

The biggest misconception about digital transformation is that just adopting the latest technological trends can help make a company’s business processes faster and more efficient. Instead, what happens is that organizations dump loads of tools onto employees without proper training, best practices, or efficient integration with existing tools.

Technology alone cannot help a company achieve digital transformation. It is what the company chooses to do with that technology that truly creates a digital transformation. And at the heart of employee involvement is their day-to-day experience of a digital workplace. People and their experience with technology must be the focus of any digital transformation if it is to be complete and comprehensive across the organization. 

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of using the latest digital technologies to create new or modify the existing business processes, work culture and customer experiences in an organization in order to meet the changing market and business needs. It is about transforming business processes, activities, competencies and models to fully leverage the power of digital technologies and make changes to an organization in a prioritized and strategic way. 

As organizations move from paper processes to smart applications for managing their business through digital transformation, they have the opportunity to reimagine how they do business and how to better engage with stakeholders.

Customer experience was one of the early drivers of digital transformation: how can we guarantee the most consistent and fluid experience for our customers? However, as advancements are made for customers, employees have begun to call out for equally fluid experiences. While a CRM might contain the system of record for sales and customers, where is the operational system of record? It has been scattered across many tools, including those which are either frighteningly old or not well integrated with other tools. 

What does a digital workplace look like?

A digital workplace is a virtual replacement of the physical office space. It is a rather broad term which can include any platform, software or device that the employees might need to successfully perform their everyday work responsibilities. 

The next step in digital transformation is to focus on the employee experience and provide employees with an intentional and crafted digital experience to allow them to accomplish their work. Organizations that want to implement a digital transformation strategy need to think deeply about aligning their business processes and employees with technology. These changes will result in increased productivity and efficiency, but will more importantly generate a single source of data and improve the employee experience. 

If your organization is still contemplating whether implementing a digital workplace is the right way to go, consider the following points raised by Deloitte:

  • Talent attraction: Over 64 per cent of employees would take a lower paying job with less benefits if they were allowed to work away from the office.  
  • Productivity: Companies with a strong online social network report seven per cent more productivity than ones without it.
  • Employee retention: Organizations with digital workplaces have reported an 87 per cent increase in employee retention.
  • Communication tools: Employees reportedly prefer newer communication tools like instant messaging over other traditional ones like email to better collaborate with each other.


A digital workplace is the first step towards digital transformation

The idea of digital transformation isn’t just about investing in digital technology. Organizations cannot expect changes to happen just because they are buying a new technology. Technology alone, without the support of an efficient and robust digital workplace to fully support it, will eventually fail to live up to its full potential. 

Organizations must focus on starting digital transformation from within. After all, it takes a complete organization-wide cultural shift for a company to be able to leverage the true power of technology. And without support from employees, a complete transformation is not possible. 

While the technologies can differ greatly, one element of digital transformation remains the same: someone needs to use it. Unless a digital workplace has been intentionally created with employees in mind, a digital transformation effort will feel like one more campaign forced on employees against their will. However, a smooth and efficient digital workplace can empower and excite employees to take responsibility for leading the charge to a digital future. 

The right digital workplace that helps employees save time and perform their work responsibilities easily can make all the difference to an organization, which makes it an essential first step towards your digital transformation strategy. 

Final words 

If your organization has digital transformation on its agenda, you must think beyond just customer experience. Bring your entire operations onto a common or linked platform so that data can be shared and processed easily. Whether processes, collaboration, projects, or databases, everything can be in an easy-to-manage platform to lead to a better digital future.