It is difficult to imagine digital transformation without state-of-the-art workplaces and remote working concepts. We show you how to place the digital workplace at the heart of your digital strategy and how to use it to increase efficiency.
Cloud computing, the expansion of fiber broadband, mobile phone coverage – Belgium is still lagging behind when it comes to the areas that are vital to the digital revolution. Unfortunately, this also applies to organizing work and equipping workplaces. While flexible working hours, state-of-the-art digital workplaces, and mobile working are the norm in other European countries like Norway and Sweden, mobile working is still in its infancy in Belgium. The result is that employees’ wishes for greater flexibility are not matched by reality.
Even policymakers, for whom the internet is still new territory, have recognized the problem, with some calling for a ‘right to mobile working’. But there is really no need to package this as a demand made of business. After all, cutting-edge digital workplaces have many advantages for companies themselves. For example, they increase the attractiveness as an employer, especially for young professionals who have grown up using a smartphone and a laptop – a considerable competitive edge when there is an increasing lack of skilled workers. The ability to work wherever it makes the most sense and is the most effective for the company can also increase the efficiency of employees – provided they have access to the right equipment.
Such a paradigm shift from conventional IT procurement and usage to the digital workplace cannot be achieved overnight, especially in larger companies. That is why you should proceed strategically:
Before deciding on a digital workplace concept, it is essential to have a clear picture of what your IT should look like in three years. What equipment is required? What is a reasonable period of use for the device? Who should be allowed to order which devices and when? How broad should the selection be? These and similar aspects should be strategically planned and defined in advance.
It can be challenging to merge the ideas and expectations of the CIO and CFO. Young, energetic IT managers are particularly keen on rapid cultural change and will want to review every process. They are also likely to be planning considerable capital expenditure so that IT equipment can be replaced as quickly as possible. Finance managers will first and foremost look at the cost. They are likely to refuse to agree to such projects or will at least try to slow them down. A sustainable digital workplace strategy will only work if the decision-makers in IT and finance work hand in hand.
Not every employee has the same hardware and software requirements. Staff in the field, for example in sales or maintenance, need lightweight and robust notebooks. For designers, developers, and graphic artists, performance is more critical.
Instead of spending weeks devising plans to replace all PCs in one massive rollout, you should upgrade workplaces in stages according to the requirements. Workplace concepts with flexible, shorter terms will facilitate this strategy.
No matter how excited you are about new IT trends, you have to bear in mind the reality of everyday work for your employees. Avoid planning the digital workplace for an imaginary scenario – talk to the people who will be affected.
E-commerce portals such as Amazon have revolutionised the shopping experience. Employees expect a similar level of convenience from their IT department, but the reality is often very different.
Innovative procurement solutions that rely on self-service portals create a shopping experience that can match employees’ expectations. Here, they can choose the devices most suited to their role from a selection pre-defined by you as the IT decision-maker. As with online shopping, delivery is usually made within a few days, while software can often be made available immediately. Self-service portals have many other advantages, including providing detailed data about who ordered which hardware and when, and also how they used it. By analysing this data, it is possible to predict future need and continually optimise the procurement process. A usage analysis also provides complete transparency about the costs of specific workplaces.
Enabling employees to equip their workplace via a self-service portal increases not only satisfaction among the workforce but also productivity and performance.
A solid strategy is key to the successful implementation of new workplace and mobile working concepts. However, the digital workplace cannot be delivered using inflexible procurement models with fixed depreciation periods. Not to mention the considerable up-front investment that a complete, ad hoc overhaul of the IT landscape would require.
That is why we recommend opting for a flexible, customized business concept that provides needs-based procurement and spreads the costs over the entire lifetime. Enabling employees to equip their workplace via a self-service portal increases not only satisfaction among the workforce but also efficiency and performance. The digital workplace can turbocharge your digital strategy.