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The digital workplace - defining digital business success

We asked researchers, consultants and commentators in the field to arrive at 30 questions modern business leaders should ask themselves about the impact of digital, collaborative working.

How – and where – we work is changing forever. In a few years the old habits of being rooted to a desk, with a large, unwieldy PC will be a distant memory. We’re entering the era of the digital workplace –  a space in which we do our jobs where and when we need to. A place where our networks keep us seamlessly connected so we can collaborate effortlessly and pick up what we were doing any place, any time on any device. And where technology is mobile, smart and genuinely helpful.

In our paper 'The digital workplace - defining digital business success' we share some thoughts about the next generation workplace – how it will feel, why it can uniquely enhance innovation and productivity, how to thrive in its revolutionary environment, and what’s waiting over the horizon.

Why is now the time to embrace the digital workplace?

Organisations have always looked for more flexible and advantageous ways of working. In recent years the vision of a truly digital and mobile workplace has promised easier collaboration, greater innovation and an ability to respond more swiftly to events and customers, not to mention the freedom for employees to work where the job needs them to be, not where the computer forces them to sit.

The reality hasn’t always lived up to that dream. So why is 2016 different? Three factors have combined to make now the time for this vision to reach its full potential:

  • First, the technology has achieved a level of maturity that can finally integrate everything required to make a digital workplace work.
  • Second, organisational cultures have shifted to see digital working not merely as a cost-saving exercise (though it can be that too), but as a valuable asset in driving their business forward, one that can embrace every person in every part of their enterprise.
  • Third, employees, who a few years ago might have looked on digital working as an imposition from above, are now actively demanding the same tools, approaches and attitudes they’ve grown familiar with through social media. And they know how to use them really well.

The ways we interact today, particularly our ability to build relationships ‘without physical presence’ and make them function naturally, instantly and creatively, would have been unimaginable in the 1990s. Correspondingly, the ease with which we can now do our jobs away from the office, via fast mobile links to a secure cloud, was science fiction even when the first iPhone was launched, less than 10 years ago.

When it’s done properly, the digital workplace can be viewed not just as a technology project but as part of true cultural change, it can launch enterprises into the 21st century with greater productivity, collaboration and innovation and a workforce that feels more creative and satisfied.

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