Constellation Research defines digital transformation as “the methodology in which organizations transform and create new business models and culture with digital technologies.” And according to Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst, these new business models are responsible for the current winner-takes-all industry scenario. Survival and growth under such changing circumstances are possible only through the transformation of business models and addressing the modern on-demand, post-sale, attention economy head-on. This renewed focus on engagement and convenience doesn’t just apply to employees and customers but extends to suppliers and partners too. Why? Because the digital transformation era is more than a mere project; it is a continuous program.
Challenges to digital transformation era
Perhaps the biggest change in the modern marketplace is the untethering of the workforce. Always on the move, these people pose challenges for HR, IT, and facilities teams who attempt to keep the employees collaborative, productive, and secured. But considering how the majority of the workforce is comprised of millennials – 64 percent of whom work offsite on a regular day — workplace management involves setting targets that together create a “smart office” plan. A good place to begin is to understand the kinds of environments and experiences that workers look forward to. And once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to apply the right technology so that your company can engage all the employees and digitally transform the workplace as required. Four major ideas are presented below:
The digital transformation era means working on the go, which requires the need to take vital data outside the confines of your office network. Though this level of freedom has changed the way we work, there are several concerns as well, mostly regarding security. The fact is, owing to the mobility of data, standard security measures no longer apply. An innovative approach is required to secure different personal devices and company-owned equipment along with sensitive data. This is where the trust factor comes into play — employees need to believe what they receive, launch, or send will not jeopardize their partners, co-workers, and, most importantly, their clients. At the same time, the content needs to be safe for themselves.
A good way to strengthen endpoint security involves the setting up of authentication protocols that are not held back by software limitations. For example, many companies have developed multifactor authentication (MFA) to fight security breaches. An advanced layer of protection to the endpoint makes it that much harder for hackers to access company data than through software protection alone. If you deploy this approach in your business, your workforce is going to appreciate its strengths.
Most millennials have never tethered their laptops to an Ethernet connection. In fact, a lot of laptop models lack those network inputs altogether. So, the chances are high that the young workers would be averse to start now. But this kind of distributed workforce along with the prevalent use of mobile technology presents a constant challenge to IT managers, especially in the digital transformation era. Yet they are unable to take a firm stance because it is evident that doing so will compel the workers to try to handle the matter on their own by placing valuable data in the public cloud space and using their own mobile devices.
The thing is, for workers to effectively work anytime and anywhere, they need to adopt a new way of thinking as well as a fresh set of tools. For that reason, remote management can successfully be implemented by ensuring that all the devices within the company are constantly receiving updates and they can be switched offline as soon as a security threat emerges.
If your company promotes smart remote management practices, they are laying the foundation so that work can happen whenever required. However, bear in mind that unmanaged devices tend to become unusable very quickly, resulting in a sharp decline in productivity.
Due to technological advancement, companies want to host smarter conferences, both at the local and the international level. This will provide the workforce the freedom they crave for conducting business meetings in any location of their choice at the simple click of a button. While this is not enough to do away with conference rooms for the foreseeable future, it indicates that you no longer need to reserve one for a meeting.
This will be good for companies as it will cut down on the time and resources necessary to secure the hardware for collaboration and screen sharing during conferences. For example, not many companies invest in projectors any longer, and few conference rooms come with the right dongles. So, you must search for a customizable and extensible meeting room platform — preferably one that does not require all of the participants to show up at the same time and is capable of streamlining the intelligent spaces and existing tools to facilitate easy workplace transformation.
While it would be impractical to adopt technology just for the amusement of the workforce, you still need to find ways to develop employee engagement. Think of something like virtual reality or augmented reality. The two are no longer used for gaming only. In fact, according to industry experts, business or commercial use of AR and VR may soon trump the gaming industry. A lot of sectors like construction, retail, health care, and manufacturing already rely on the advantages provided by 3D visualization and virtual models. Plus, the wireless gigabit technology enables workers to move around freely without the hassle of wires. VR technology is going to affect almost every industry in the coming decade, and it is time to test out this innovative technology in real-life scenarios to determine how it can benefit your business.
You need to think of new methods to empower and engage your company workforce. It could be through the use of 3D visualization or virtual reality, or more advanced tools that connect the international team — whichever you use, workplace transformation should be the main priority. Only through a combination of innovative technology and flexible company policies can the workers, especially the millennials, be engaged and you can reap the advantages of the digital transformation era.
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