If the pandemic had occurred a decade earlier, making the shift to a fully remote workforce would have been much more challenging.
Fortunately, the world was well-equipped with a variety of technologies that make the transition not only possible — but successful. And because businesses were able to adapt rapidly with every twist and turn, it underscored why digital transformation is so important.
Most companies were already undergoing some form of digital transformation in the workplace, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought greater urgency to these efforts.
Here are five powerful examples showing why digital transformation is important that will set you on a path to finding, evaluating, and implementing new workplace technology.
After the pandemic hit, we wanted to learn more about how IT leaders are adjusting their digital transformation initiatives and investments. For answers, we surveyed nearly 300 IT leaders and other key decision-makers about their new priorities, challenges, and considerations for workplace technology.
You can read the full results in our State of Workplace Tech report, which also includes recommendations for evaluating investments, justifying the budget, and demonstrating ROI.
At a high level, companies are offering new solutions and shifting their business models to embrace digital marketing, improve operational efficiency, and streamline the supply chain.
These are some of the current challenges IT leaders are facing today:
In other words, there has never been a better time to evaluate — and accelerate — your digital transformation strategy.
IT leaders have long pushed for digital transformation initiatives, and now organizations are seeking out ways to modernize operations and experiences throughout all areas of the business.
Here are five examples of digital transformation that show why digital transformation is important at work.
As more people work remotely, they need on-demand access to documents from any location and on any device.
Cloud-based software is easy to access, manage, and maintain, which is why many enterprises have already adopted SaaS solutions. In the TechTarget survey, 41% of companies planned to increase their budgets for cloud software. Meanwhile, 29% expected to reduce funding for on-premises systems. The accelerated shift from legacy software towards cloud migration has simultaneously cut costs while increasing productivity.
While you’ve been well aware of the value of cloud-based software for years, the rest of your organization may still be catching up. You may have inherited expensive systems that are difficult to part with because they are so ingrained in your operations.
Moving to cloud-based software solutions virtually eliminates the need for maintenance and upgrades, reduces costs, and increases scalability. Public cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have a vast network of servers that make them extremely reliable. These providers have also invested millions into making their solutions secure.
However, you don’t have to move everything onto the public cloud at once.
If you’re encountering resistance, start by implementing cloud-based software for employee-facing applications — like room scheduling software and project management solutions — while keeping sensitive customer data in private data centers. Hybrid cloud solutions also offer the flexibility to create workloads that run between public and private clouds while keeping the data separate.
Your workforce has become increasingly distributed in the past year. Some employees have returned to the office, while others are continuing to work remotely. You may also have more independent contractors working alongside full-time employees.
Many employees no longer need an assigned seat each day, but they still need access to many of the same resources. Centralized resource scheduling has simplified work requests, scenario planning, room reservations, and desk booking.
Desk booking apps are a powerful example of digital transformation in resource scheduling. Unlike hot-desking, which allows people to claim an available workspace when they arrive, desk booking solutions give them the certainty of a reservation.
Desk and meeting room booking software is essential for managing a safe, productive return to work.
Employees can quickly see which desks are available and when they were last used, making it easy to ensure they’ve been sanitized. The most advanced room and desk booking systems integrate with occupancy sensors to display the most accurate, real-time data.
They also integrate with the solutions your organization already uses, like calendaring apps and communication platforms such as Slack. This allows you to improve functionality without adding complexity.
Another critical feature of these systems is the workplace data they capture.
They should give you greater transparency into how employees are using your conference rooms and workspaces, the average meeting length, and the average number of occupants.
Although virtual meetings have replaced many in-person interactions this past year, PwC’s Remote Work Survey found 50% of employees still want to engage with clients and colleagues face-to-face.
Knowing who is in your building at all times has always been a concern for security reasons, but the pandemic has brought additional challenges of limiting capacity and conducting health screenings.
A visitor management system makes it easy for you to keep a digital record of everyone (including employees) which can be used for contact tracing if necessary.
You can also easily manage wellness checks and quickly notify the host to streamline the check-in process.
Modern IT help desks represent the integration of human empathy, top-tier technology, and robust data management. They ensure efficient and transparent interactions between your employees, suppliers, partners, and customers.
Now that the modern workforce is everywhere, IT help desks have evolved to be mobile and cloud-based. If your organization isn’t large enough to need IT help desk software yet, you can still leverage the technology on a smaller scale. For example, you can allow employees to submit work orders using conference room scheduling panels or the Teem mobile app.
Remote work presents ongoing cybersecurity challenges.
The FBI’s Cyber Division is receiving up to 4,000 cybersecurity complaints each day, a nearly 400% increase since the pandemic began. User management tools act as a gatekeeper to your most sensitive data, making sure people with the right permission levels can access the information they need.
Customizable permissions protect both your organization and users by providing a balance between collaboration and control. Permission and user management software integrates with everything from content management systems to intranet portals. For example, a website might have different access levels for full-time staff, vendors, and customers.
Despite its name, digital transformation prioritizes people over technology. No matter how much time and money you invest in digital transformation, it will only be successful if your employees are willing to embrace it.
Here are five best practices for leading digital transformation initiatives.
Start by assessing your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. A SWOT analysis helps you evaluate your company from the perspectives of different stakeholders, including employees and customers.
The most successful digital transformation examples support business objectives. Before you implement any new technology, be sure you have established a clear purpose and goals. For instance, do you need a better way to capture space utilization data in your workplace? A more secure system to manage access control?
Work with your leadership team to identify these objectives and ensure any new solutions meet the criteria.
Your workforce already uses intuitive, user-friendly technology on a daily basis. They expect their workplace technology to be just as simple as smartphone apps and wearable devices. Look for solutions that require little to no training and integrate with the tools your workforce already uses, such as messaging and calendar apps.
Your workforce includes people who are at different ends of the technology adoption spectrum. Some are early adopters, while others are laggards and need more time to adjust. Introduce new solutions to early adopters first and let them be the ambassadors for the rest of your workforce.
A successful digital transformation strategy is always evolving. Don’t assume you have all the answers. Be responsive to concerns from employees and other stakeholders, and be willing to adjust accordingly.
If your workforce is reluctant to use new technology as it’s intended, ask why.
They may be used to relying on other applications, or they may not fully understand how it fits into your company’s larger objectives. Be patient while continuing to make adjustments that move your company forward.
The pace of change has never been faster than it is today, and in this environment, the survival of your organization depends on your ability to adapt.
IT leaders and other key decision-makers recognize the need to implement new technology to keep up with the evolution of work, but 42% of those we surveyed say their company's budget is standing in the way.
What can technology leaders overcome these barriers and build an airtight case for workplace technology investments?