Digital Workplace Trends and Transformation #KMWorld

KMWorld 2013Speaker: Jane McConnell, Digital Workplace Strategic Advisor, NetStrategy/JMC.

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2013 Conference. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

Session Description: Based on an extensive research study of several hundred organizations worldwide, the 8th annual such study, this session looks at what most organizations have that people use to do their jobs—digital applications, tools and intranets. Not all are equally mature in different enterprises and may include managed information processes, structured and social collaboration, and a mobile dimension. Many organizations are experimenting, but the early adopters are transforming the ways of working together with greater collaboration, open innovation, mobile and real-time interactivity. Get the latest trends as McConnell shares the results of her study, including social collaboration and networking, the cloud, and more!  (See also the results from the 2013 survey.)

Link to Session Slides: (user/password: DC2013)


  • Key Questions: (1) What is the Digital Workplace (DW)? (2) Does the DW enable the voices of the people to be heard? (3) Are our ways of working changing? (4) Has mobile arrived in the enterprise? (5) What impact does the DW have on people and the organization? (6) What are the challenges?
  • What is the DW? A workplace that
    • enables employees to work effectively from anywhere, at any time and on any device
    • provide the same experience for all employees
    • an eco-system that allows us to better serve custoemers
    • it involves an important cultural change
  • Who participates in the survey? Digital practitioners within the participant organizations — not the endusers or rank-and-file employees.
  • What are the strategic drivers behind DW? Organizational intelligence, efficiency and cost savings, and engagement and belonging. Other drivers include, agility and speed, and improved performance.
  • What do individuals expect of the workplace: I should be able to (1) describe myself, share information about myself with others; (2) share my information and my ideas openly; (3) react to ideas of other people openly; (4) participate openly in developing new ideas and innovations. (“Openly” means spontaneously — outside a specific automated workflow or official content management system.) There has been steady progress, but these abilities are not standard in all organizations that participate in the survey. Notably, 65% of organizations participating in the survey are facilitating the ability of workers to share their information and ideas spontaneously.
  • What impact is the DW having on your organization? 30-40% said low impact. Only 5-10% said it was having a transformational impact.
  • Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs): 10% of the participating organization have weekly activity by over 50% of thier people (posts, likes, comments). While there are some organizations leading in this area, most are just beginning this journey.
  • Integration of the ESN into daily work? Only 2% of the participants said yes. (This is contrary to the hype from most vendors in this space.)
  • Has mobile arrived in the workplace? Based on the survey, the answer is “no.” Remarkably few organizations have fully implemented mobile in their DW strategy.
  • BYOD: 30% of organizations authorize BYOD and support it. 20% are in the process of defining their policy on this. 27% have unofficially accepted this. 13% have forbidden it. Other trends to track: BYOPC (Bring your own PC) and BYOA (Bring your own app).
  • Key role of DW: (1) Retaining knowledge as key experts retire. (2) People development — using DW to help people learn and develop their skills and knowledge as a natural part of their work. (3) Business flexibility — how quickly can your organization respond to changes in the business environment? (4) DW can help customer-facing employees provide more efficient and effective service, and collaboration more effectively with customers.
  • Key cultural changes that are necessary: Team oriented rather than individually competitive. Have freedom to experiment rather than keeping to the rules and following specific instructions. Are people encouraged to learn from experience or are they punished for their mistakes? Is everything open except what needs to be closed OR is everything closed except what needs to be open?
  • Key Challenges to the Organization: (Management needs proof of quantifiable ROI. (2) Too much focus on the tool and not enough on people and change. (3) There is hi station or reticence to rethink our processes and how we work. (4) Internal, high-level stakeholder politics sometimes bring power struggles into decision-making; (5) We make decisions based on consensus, which can take a long time.
  • How DW disrupts organizations: (1) It break silors. (2) It gives people greater control over how they work (manager need to become leaders.) (3) It impacts customers — with more mobility, work will become more flexible me efficient and bring benefits to customers. (4) DW is a strategic asset — it is essential to doing business and must be managed as a strategic asset.

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