Upgrading Your Digital Workplace

Some organizations seem more tactical than strategic when it comes to their technology. What does this mean? They focus more on individual software or technology platforms than on creating a well-integrated, high-functioning digital workplace. What’s the difference? Well, is your main project a particular Microsoft upgrade or are you operating with a holistic view of how all your technology operates together to give your knowledge workers a seamless workplace they can use no matter where they are, what device they use or when they choose to work?

Paul Miller of the Digital Workplace Group has been studying how we work online for a very long time. As he and his colleagues shifted their focus from intranets to the entire digital workplace, they learned some interesting things about what makes a truly productive digital workplace:

  • first and foremost, the digital workplace must be human-centered rather than technology-centered
  • a well-designed digital workplace makes it easier for everyone to focus on (and measure) outcomes rather than mere presence
  • online collaboration becomes the de facto (and seamless) way of working
  • it includes all necessary business processes and workflows, each of which is properly designed and connected (where necessary) in intelligent ways
  • it is built on consistent information architecture and metadata across the board
  • it integrates all necessary applications via a single gateway interface
  • it begins and ends with an excellent user experience

In The Digital Renaissance of Work, Paul Miller makes the following observation about the way many of us are forced to work:

Based on the fragmentation my colleagues and I in the Digital Workplace Group (DWG) observe in organizations each day, if your digital workplace were a bricks-and-mortar building, the chances are it would be condemned right away on health and safety grounds.  Once you’ve got online, you follow a link, only to find you are being prompted for your password for the umpteenth time. What was it again? Now it’s time to leave the ofice to go to a client…OK, I can review the meeting notes in the taxi … but hang on, I can’t access them on my iPad…

Does this sound familiar. If so, you may need to spend time thinking about how to upgrade your digital workplace. To learn more, see Paul Miller’s webinar on hbr.org: How to Create a Digital Workplace. Alternatively, see these downloadable resources provided by DWG. If, on the other hand, you think your digital workplace is in good shape, consider benchmarking it against DWG’s Digital Workplace Map. No matter what you choose, do something. Your colleagues are desperate for a truly productive digital workplace that serves and delights.

[Photo Credit: Geralt]