Arraya Insights | March 7, 2019
On a scale of “We haven’t started yet” to “We’ve reached operational maturity,” how would you describe your efforts to transform into a digital workplace? Most, according to CMS Wire and DWG’s latest State of the Digital Workplace report, believe they remain in the early stages (46%). That’s the case even though almost three-quarters of respondents (74%) ranked digital workplace initiatives as somewhere between important and extremely important in terms of priority. Despite the enthusiasm, plenty seem to be struggling to move further along in the process. When researchers checked into the reasons for this, they encountered an all-too-familiar road block.
Financial constraints landed atop the challenges most often faced by IT leaders pursuing the digital workplace, cited by 34.8% of participants. Peppered throughout the rest of the list were obstacles shaped by corporate culture. This included issues such as competing initiatives or departments (28%), siloed systems and data (26.8%), lack of cross-departmental collaboration (17.1%), and a lack of executive support (10.4%). While the power of the purse is likely to remain outside of IT’s jurisdiction, the above cultural challenges may soon be very much within its reach.
Research and analysis giant Gartner predicts that in just two years, technology leaders and HR could have the exact same amount of responsibility for molding organizational culture. This evolution is a byproduct of the increasingly central role technology plays within modern businesses. Now, the decisions made by technology leaders influence all parts of an organization, right down to the ways in which co-workers interact.
Creating a digital workplace-friendly culture
So, how can technology leaders leverage their growing cultural influence to remove those barriers to digital workplace adoption? Here are some ideas inspired by Arraya’s own experiences in the digital transformation space as well as by additional research from Gartner.
- Give users a voice. Make user needs front and center in the technology decision-making process. Leaders should solicit feedback directly from users and use that to align technology initiatives with actual pain points. Changes that don’t sync up in this way may end not be worth pursing after all.
- Step outside of IT. Technology decisions may look a little different when viewed through the eyes of, say, finance or marketing. Enlist representatives from all departments impacted by a change to participate as early as possible in the process. Whether it’s initial planning or pilot testing, doing so can make sure users are on board when a change rolls out.
- Put the past away. The processes or solutions that have always worked for a business or a team aren’t necessarily always going to work. IT leaders should encourage suggestions from all teams that challenge the status quo. Positive results in the past shouldn’t be a reason to avoid change. Even better results could be waiting.
- Showcase success stories. There will always be some level of suspicion surrounding change. One way to reduce that to the lowest amount possible is to put wins on display. So, following a pilot test, distribute the upsides experienced by those inside the test group to the rest of the company. This proves the benefits promised are more than mere hype.
- Engage at the top. End user support is essential for changes to take root, but so too is the backing of executive leadership. C-level leaders can speak to the strategic vision behind digital workplace initiatives. Also, support from the top can demonstrate to the rest of the organization long term commitment to a change.
Next Steps: Furthering your own digital transformation journey
There’s a lot of value in progressing beyond the early stages of a digital workplace transformation. Arraya Solutions can do more than connect you with the tools needed to bring the digital workplace to life. We also have the strategic expertise necessary to lay the foundation for – and execute – real, meaningful business changes. Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to start a conversation with our team of digital transformation and workplace experts today.
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