The proliferation of new consumer technologies has left many enterprises struggling to maintain innovation and IT leadership. Workplaces need to keep up with the rapid progression in our own digital lives, because if businesses fail to adapt to new business models, they are at risk of being overtaken by more agile companies.
Dion Hinchcliffe shares this view in his recent ZDNet article, The new digital workplace: how enterprises are preparing for the future of work.
He argues the transformation is being prompted by the number of millennials entering the workforce: “The growing dominance of millennial workers as a share of the workforce means that by the end of this decade, nearly half of employees will come from this group of tech-savvy, mobile-centric, socially networked workers. They will be fully 75% of the workforce in a decade.”
Adopting the Digital Future
This always-connected group should naturally accelerate digital adoption within businesses as they demand more fluid applications, but businesses will only experience long-term success if they engage with staff while considering the deployment of new work systems.
Hinchcliffe outlines three key initiatives to keep ahead in the digital world:
- Alignment and adoption –the enterprise has often been slower to refresh existing systems and adopt new tools, however with flexible cloud solutions and hybrid delivery models becoming increasingly common, businesses can now match the speed of innovation displayed in consumer industries.
- Collaborative communication – demanded by workers, enterprises should consider unified communications, visual communications and interactive collaboration technology to drive greater business efficiency.
- Consumerisation – enterprise products are often unnecessarily complicated and unintuitive. Deploying the reverse – business applications that are easy to use and reliable – will ensure greater technology adoption and long-term business value.
Adapting to Attract and Retain Talent
These changes do come with significant challenges, some of which are highlighted by Hinchcliffe, “organisations must successfully cope with the critical macro changes taking place in a) new models of work, b) required evolution of enterprise applications, and c) new types of devices which will truly reshape businesses in terms of their processes and structure.”
He is correct, but one of the most significant adjustments that needs to take place is ensuring management has a digital-first mentality, and that the business has an effective delivery framework in place to deploy and support the solutions employees are requesting.
Businesses have always needed to be adaptable, but they can no longer afford to ignore the effect that consumer technology is having on corporate IT, and the business models that depend on it. If they do, there is the chance that their employees will look elsewhere for work before revenue quickly follows suit.