How do we know when it is time for change? More importantly, how and when do we know we are ready for that change?
Frustration with the current state of affairs is often what causes us to look for ways to improve our lives. The same logic applies to enterprise software and digital workplace projects. A business faces some difficulty, and realises that the only way to overcome it is to build on what is already in place, or replace it. However, every business is unique, and there are multiple possible indications that it may be time for a change. If you are asking yourself the two questions above, read on to discover the signs that your business is ready to become a digital workplace.
You have lots of apps for different processes and teams
There is nothing wrong with using a variety of apps to get things done in the workplace. Teams have different needs, and of course they will have to use their unique tools. However, the more you minimise the number of tools, the more you ensure easy, straightforward, and secure communication and collaboration.
In the office of today, teams may stay in touch in sorts of ways: e-mails, chat applications, and even social media platforms. According to a RingCentral report, e-mail is still among the most-used apps in the workplace (74% of all respondents used it), followed by office programmes (56%) and file sharing (33%). The report also found that 69% of employees toggle between apps up to 10 times an hour[ji1] , which translates to over a month a year. This constant switching can harm productivity and performance, with 31% of employees stating they had lost concentration and their train of thought while doing so. Furthermore, despite the growing number of apps used daily, 28% of employee time is spent outside productive apps, according to a Pegasystems study of five million hours of desktop activity. The study examined the various activities conducted by employees, such as scrolling, copying and pasting, etc. It found that being overwhelmed with apps can lead to more errors being made, unnecessary work being done, and inefficient processes.
You are about to expand your business
When you look at software packages, you often find plans targeting businesses of a specific size and with a specific number of employees. For example, start-ups with just a few employees and apps in place often prefer free or inexpensive chat applications. When operations grow and more employees are hired, holistic solutions become more suitable since they can handle large volumes of data, streamline communications, and integrate a variety of third-party apps.
Your teams find it hard to collaborate
Collaboration is the backbone of any successful business. If your teams don’t have the right policies, culture, and tools in place to collaborate effectively, then they will find it hard to do so. This will eventually affect productivity and profitability. Employees – especially millennials, who constitute most of the workforce today – are ready to work in teams and be part of a community. They also believe that the absence of collaboration and tools and resources is what prevents them and their companies from achieving business objectives, according to a salesforce report.
If you have noticed a lack of collaboration, or if managers and employees have been telling you about deploying new tools, then perhaps it is time for change. A DWG report on the state of the digital workplace found that 44.2% of businesses with a digital workplace programme in place stated that collaboration was working well. Compare that to 17.6% for those with a programme in progress, and just 13% for businesses with no programme or strategy, and you can see the effects that digital workplace solutions have on collaboration.
Your employees are using their own devices and tools
Employees have quite high expectations about the apps and devices they will be using in the workplace. Being used to a host of consumer apps in their daily lives, employees expect the same at work. A failure by employers to meet those expectations may lead employees to use their own apps and devices at work, without the knowledge or approval of the IT department. This leads to a phenomenon known as “shadow IT”. We have covered shadow IT and its threats to businesses in previous blog posts. The most obvious threat is to security. Communicating and exchanging data via unapproved channels may lead to data loss and theft. Additionally, IT teams would have less control over system upgrades, which may lead to security vulnerabilities and compliance issues.
You plan to implement remote working policies
The COVID-19 pandemic has left businesses with no choice but to introduce remote working policies. Even after restrictions are eased, some will continue to consider part-time remote working, following the demands of their workforces. Studies have shown that employees are willing to continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future. Gallup found that 59% of full-time U.S. employees would like to continue working from home or other remote locations as much as possible after the pandemic.
Shifting to this new way of working, even partially, is not easy. It requires a combination of policies and software solutions if it is to work efficiently and securely. Messaging and videoconferencing apps and digital workplace solutions have proven to be the go-to software to facilitate communication and keep people in touch during the lockdown, and they will be your best bet in the future. If you are looking to shift your operations from the office to remote locations, then you are most certainly ready to embrace a digital workplace.
The process of implementing a digital workplace requires a deep understanding of, variously: your employees’ needs, what you expect to achieve, how you are going to introduce the solution to your communities, how to integrate it with existing systems, and more. However, the process starts with a couple of indications that you and your employees are ready for a digital workplace.
If you would like to know more about digital workplace solutions in general and eXo Platform in particular, I suggest you take the blog tour and download this whitepaper.