The digital workplace: Assessing the challenges and finding solutions
Modern employees value a flexible work experience
Today’s workforce craves a more dynamic and fluid work experience. Thanks to the digital workspace, employees can experience exactly that.
The digital workspace offers all of the devices and tools employees need to do their jobs from any location at any time. For some, that might mean working from home for a few hours instead of getting bogged down by rush hour traffic. For others, that might mean knocking out some business from a local coffee shop or responding to emails from their phone while attending their kid’s little league game.
Although employees want this sort of environment – 64% of employees are looking for flexible work and adaptable schedules – many organizations aren’t implementing a digital workspace for logistical reasons.
Fortunately, these issues don’t have to deter you – not if you know what you’re up against and have a plan to combat potential issues.
Let’s get into it.
The biggest concerns facing companies
There are a handful of challenges you’ll likely face when trying to support a digital workspace. The most pressing concerns include:
- Security: You now have devices with sensitive material on them out in the field. Employees may also be bringing in their own devices. You need to ensure those devices meet the company’s security requirements, including areas like anti-malware and anti-virus software, as well as correctly patching various versions of the operating system and software.
- Support/management: You need to be sure your IT team can support the devices, including remotely controlling the app settings and making any necessary changes.
- Access: Traditional enterprise applications were built to run on standard workstations and hosted within the company’s data center. Employees must now be able to access the data they need wherever they are.
Digital workspaces aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There are a plethora of hardware, software, and service solutions for each of these concerns. Once you evaluate your needs in each of these areas, you can determine what makes the most sense for your organization.
Skill sets required to implement a digital workplace
Before you can determine the best solutions and technologies for your business, however, you must first understand your organization’s business drivers and limitations.
- How are your employees planning to use these devices?
- What kind of data and applications are your employees planning to access?
- What sort of compliance and regulations does your organization have in place that might limit certain employee access?
This all leads into the comfort level of your current IT department, and whether you have the internal resources or skill sets needed to accomplish this goal.
Most organizations hire technologists who are good at configuring technology, but who don’t always understand how that technology supports the company’s business goals and requirements. Make sure you have at least one person who can map out that correlation.
Organizations also tend to lack an experienced project manager who’s familiar with large rollouts that can disrupt end users’ work.
Bring someone into the company who understands the process, recognizes the potential pitfalls, and uses tried and true methodologies. Successful organizations typically deploy devices in small groups first, then expand to a few more diverse groups within the organization before eventually going company wide.
Overcoming resistance to change
The days of employees spending eight hours a day hammering out work inside of a cubicle are falling by the wayside. These days, more individuals are interspersing work activities with personal activities. They’re still getting the same amount of work done, they’re just no longer limited in location.
But just because there are advantages to implementing a digital workspace doesn’t mean there won’t be any resistance to change.
Whether it’s implementing a new policy that locks down devices in ways end users aren’t used to, or introducing new technology while removing familiar programs, you need to keep your end users abreast of all of these changes and the reasons behind them. This is the easiest way to get buy-in from your employees.
If your organization isn’t ready for a digital workplace, it will face challenges. But if you recognize these challenges and are willing to take them head on, you’ll be well on your way to a successful transition that enables your employees to get their work done from anywhere at any time.