Enter the Hybrid Era: Your Guide to Digital Workplace Transformation - Stefanini

Enter The Hybrid Era: Your Guide To Digital Workplace Transformation

Per the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant ™ for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services report, “The demands from workplace employees to provide more flexibility in work hours, conditions and locations continue to drive transformation efforts from most organizations.”

Hybrid work is here to stay and so are digital workplace transformation efforts.

As hybrid workplaces become the gold standard, organizations are implementing digital workplace transformation strategies to create a virtualized, secure work environment along with a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, where employees are empowered to leverage technology to work smarter, collaborate more effectively, and achieve better results.

What is digital workplace transformation?

Digital workplace transformation is the process of using technology to fundamentally change how an organization functions. It’s about creating a virtualized, secure work environment that empowers employees, enhances collaboration, and boosts overall business success.

Digital workplace transformation has become more prominent in organizations of all sizes and industries since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the large-scale move to hybrid work to ensure business continuity.

Pre-digital workplaces were less efficient, more siloed, and offered less flexibility for employees. Information flow was slower, collaboration was challenging, and tasks were often more time-consuming and error prone. Many tasks were performed manually, such as data entry, scheduling, and document management, leading to errors and inefficiencies. Employees relied heavily on physical documents and paper trails for communication and information sharing. Working remotely was uncommon.

Digital transformation efforts used technology to improve upon these limitations.

Key outcomes of digital workplace transformation include improved communication & collaboration, enhanced employee experience, increased productivity, greater agility, and data-driven decision making.

Digital workplaces support remote and hybrid work models, break down geographical barriers, and foster better communication and collaboration across departments and locations, allowing employees to work securely, on any device, from anywhere with an internet connection.

What are the benefits of digital workplace transformation?

Digital workplace transformation creates an empowered and engaged workforce, increases productivity, and offers businesses a competitive advantage.

Empowered and Engaged Workforce

Digital workplace transformation empowers and engages employees by fostering a more collaborative and supportive environment. Tools like cloud platforms and instant messaging break down communication barriers, while automation frees employees from repetitive tasks and allows them to focus on higher-level work. Additionally, remote work options increase flexibility and improved access to resources create better work-life balance and foster a sense of trust and autonomy, leading to a happier and more productive workforce.

  • Improved Communication & Collaboration: Digital tools break down geographical barriers, fostering better communication and teamwork across departments and locations.
  • Enhanced Employee Experience: A user-friendly digital environment with access to necessary resources creates a positive work experience.
  • Greater Flexibility & Agility: Digital workplaces support remote and hybrid work models, allowing employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

Digital workplace transformation boosts efficiency and productivity by streamlining workflows, enabling real-time collaboration and data-driven decision making. Automation tackles repetitive tasks, while digital tools and centralized information platforms reduce time wasted searching for resources. Real-time collaboration tools allow teams to work seamlessly regardless of location, and employees can access the information they need quickly and easily. This reduces errors, eliminates delays, and allows employees to focus on their core tasks, leading to an increase in overall output.

  • Streamlined Workflows: Digital tools can automate repetitive tasks, improve document management, and centralize information. This reduces wasted time and effort, streamlining workflows and boosting productivity.
  • Real-time Collaboration: Cloud-based platforms enable real-time collaboration on projects and documents, allowing teams to work together seamlessly regardless of location.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Integration with various software allows for data collection and analysis, leading to informed decision-making. This allows companies to optimize processes, allocate resources effectively, and make data-driven business decisions.

Competitive Advantage

Digital workplace transformation offers a competitive advantage by making businesses more agile, adaptable, and innovative. Access to digital data allows companies to respond faster to market changes and customer needs. Collaboration tools foster innovation and help businesses capitalize on new ideas quickly. Also, improved employee experience and remote work options attract and retain top talent, giving businesses a significant edge in today’s competitive landscape.

  • Improved Agility: Digital workplaces enable organizations to adapt to changing market demands and customer needs more quickly. This agility is crucial for staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment.
  • Enhanced Innovation: Digital tools can facilitate brainstorming, knowledge sharing, and collaboration, fostering a culture of innovation and leading to new ideas and business opportunities.

What should I look for in a digital workplace transformation partner?

According to the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant ™ for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services report, “Gartner defines the outsourced digital workplace services market as the capabilities required of a provider to deliver consulting, implementation, or support services to end users of technology who utilize end-user devices or applications to conduct business.”

The report outlines the following must-have and standard capabilities for digital workplace services providers:

Must-Have Capabilities

  • Service desk
  • Desktop virtualization
  • Field service and depot service support
  • IT service and process management

Standard Capabilities

  • End-user support for cloud-based apps
  • Unified communications as a service (UCaaS)
  • Data privacy and security
  • Walk-up support and self-service
  • Multilingual service desk capabilities

When choosing a digital workplace transformation partner, it’s essential to select a company that aligns with your specific needs and goals. The right partner should offer most, if not all, of these key criteria:

Industry knowledge: Look for a partner with a proven track record of successful digital workplace transformations within your industry. They should understand the unique challenges and opportunities faced by businesses like yours.

Technology expertise: The partner should have deep expertise in the relevant digital workplace technologies and should also stay current on emerging trends to ensure your solutions are future-proof.

Project management capabilities: A successful transformation requires strong project management skills. Look for a partner with a proven methodology for planning, executing, and delivering projects on time and within budget.

Collaborative approach: The ideal partner will work collaboratively with you, understanding your vision and goals. They should actively engage your team throughout the process, ensuring the solutions implemented are tailored to your specific needs.

Change management expertise: Digital transformation involves change. Your partner should have a strong understanding of change management principles and be able to help your employees adapt to the new tools and workflows.

Long-term commitment: A digital workplace transformation is a journey, not a destination. Choose a partner who is committed to your long-term success and can provide ongoing support and maintenance after the initial implementation.

Solution portfolio: Ensure the partner offers a comprehensive suite of digital workplace solutions that cater to your specific needs and can integrate seamlessly with your existing systems.

Security and compliance: Data security is paramount. The partner should offer solutions that meet industry compliance standards and have robust security practices in place.

Scalability and flexibility: Your needs may evolve over time. The chosen solutions should be scalable and flexible to adapt to your future growth and changing requirements.

By carefully evaluating these criteria, you can select a digital workplace transformation partner who will be a valuable asset in your journey towards a more efficient, collaborative, and future-proof work environment.

What are the key trends shaping the digital workplace?

As shared in the 2024 Magic Quadrant ™ for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services report, Gartner® has observed four main trends that are reshaping the ODWS market in the short and long term. The key takeaways are summarized below, but you can download and explore the entire complimentary report here.

“Autonomous ODWS capabilities continue to be a key differentiator”

Automation is no longer enough. Businesses are looking for Digital Workplace Service providers who are set up to deliver services with minimal human intervention (“autonomous-first”). This, along with new technologies like GenAI, helps companies cut costs, boost productivity, and offer a better experience to their employees. Providers who haven’t adapted to this new way of working will struggle to compete

“Sustainability and innovative solutions are trending further”

Businesses are looking for ways to make their workplaces more sustainable, not just for the environment, but also socially and economically. This means using resources efficiently, offering contactless support options (reducing paper waste and physical interactions), and developing innovations that help people with disabilities. Leading Digital Workplace service providers are taking note and building sustainability features into all their offerings

“EX is becoming central to workplace and workspace design”

Businesses that outsource their digital workplace services now expect providers to actively improve the employee experience (EX). Instead of focusing on fixing things when they break (SLAs), contracts now focus on guaranteeing good experiences (XLAs). Leading digital workplace transformation providers use consulting and specialized tools to design these experiences and are even willing to risk some of their profits to ensure employees are happy.

“Needs for field services change with hybrid work conditions”

With more employees working remotely, companies need digital workplace service providers to adapt. There’s less need for on-site tech support, but greater demand for remote support services that cater to individual needs. Leading digital workplace transformation providers are using virtual tools, AI, and other smart technologies to deliver this personalized remote service, while also reducing costs and fixing problems faster. Creating different service packages for different types of employees (remote workers, VIPs, etc.) to make sure everyone gets the help they need.

Implementing digital workplace transformation

To implement digital workplace transformation, begin by assessing your present ways of working. Analyze current communication tools, collaboration practices, and employee needs. Once you have a robust understanding of your current state, define your goals and strategy. Outline your key objectives (e.g., boost productivity, enhance collaboration) and begin evaluating strategic partners to help you create a roadmap for achieving them.

You should choose a partner and solutions that align with your needs, budget, and existing infrastructure. Choose a partner whose culture aligns with yours and request references from their past clients to understand their experience working with the partner.

Finally, get clear and transparent pricing models. Costs should be competitive and aligned with the value delivered.

As implementation begins, your partner should have plans in place for employee training and communication throughout the transition and offer ongoing support to ensure user adoption and maximize the benefits of new tools.

Digital workplace transformation is a necessity

Digital workplace transformation is no longer a choice, but a necessity for businesses of all sizes and industries. As hybrid work becomes the norm, organizations must create a virtualized, secure work environment that fosters collaboration, empowers employees, and drives business success. By implementing digital workplace transformation strategies, businesses can achieve a multitude of benefits, including a more engaged workforce, increased productivity, and a competitive advantage.

If you’re embarking on a digital workplace transformation journey, carefully evaluate your needs and select a partner who possesses the necessary expertise, experience, and commitment to guide you towards a successful outcome. Remember, this is a journey, not a destination. By choosing the right partner and making informed decisions, you can create a future-proof work environment that empowers your employees, streamlines your operations, and positions your business for long-term success.

Explore the 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant ™ for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services Report. 

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