Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change”. These words apply to almost all facets of life including the evolving nature of work. Trends like remote working, gig economy and co-working spaces are gaining prominence, and have led to a change in the definition of “work” as we know it. New age technologies have also brought in a new dimension to modern workspaces, making them more digital. With a rise in IT spending, the focus has now expanded to the role of emerging technologies at the workplace and how they are contributing to the employee experience.
One of the most prominent highlights of any workplace today is the number of millennials that constitute a large share of the pie. This knowledge hungry group of individuals is changing the way work is traditionally done. With the growth of sophisticated solutions that are available at one’s fingertips, millennials have the ability to optimize these digital solutions for steady business growth. These tech savvy digital natives don’t let factors like location hamper their productivity and are always up to completing a task through collaboration on the go.
Considering the rapid pace of their adaptability to emerging technology, it has become that much more critical for enterprises to understand the needs of this diverse group and find the best solutions to help them deliver their finest performance every day. Additionally, an enterprise is also tasked with the challenge of arming new entrants and the senior staff with skills that they may currently lack. This will ensure that the organization, as a whole, is on the path to progressive development.Companies that fail to understand the technology needs of their workforce, are losing out on the benefits of an energized and engaged work environment.
From the moment an employee walks through the door, every element in the workplace is contributing to his/her overall experience, with technology playing the primary role as an enabler. While it is the responsibility of the entire C-suite to understand their employees and create an environment that is conducive to fulfilling personal and organizational goals, the role of CIOs still remains critical. They need to work toward avoiding inconsistencies including limited storage, network glitches and poorly envisioned tech policies that can put a permanent dent in the employee experience.
The C-suite also requires support from multiple departments within an organization like administration, HR and IT in order to create well-designed workspaces that encourage collaboration, invite talent and also enable remote working.While space designers can manage the overall layout, IT teams can enhance this function with an adaptable tech infrastructure. Given their importance, IT teams should also make themselves more approachable to change any perceptions related to unresponsive support.
Additionally, continued investment in tools like cloud and collaboration platforms along with new age technology integration like AI, machine learning and analytics will not only help in completing everyday tasks effectively but will also contribute to larger business goals. Having said this, organizations will also have to keep a watchful eye on security related problems. This is validated by a recent Citrix study on The State of IT Complexity in India, that revealed a shocking 98% of employees bypass IT policies and security and use unapproved business apps to get work done. Unknown sources like these can prove to be harmful for organizations and it would be the CIO’s responsibility to ensure that the gates are shut at all times for malicious third parties.
Strategic planning around technology investment for digital workspaces in the coming few years, must move beyond the basic services that are available to employees. The discussion must now move toward a more automated environment with the use of emerging tech that lays out a clear roadmap for future collaboration efforts. This thought process is essential to provide a good employee experience, which is the future of productive workspaces.
By Ravindra Kelkar – Area Vice President, Sales & Services, India Sub-continent, Citrix