The digital workspace is now a reality and set to bring benefits to everyone in your organization. But what is the digital workspace? It is a work environment where the physical becomes increasingly virtual and digital; where technology hardware and applications power new ways of working together – devices like smartphones and tablets plus applications like e-mail, instant messaging, enterprise social media, Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) suites such as conferencing and VOIP are bringing more than just (remote) employees closer together, increasing engagement and empowering workers like never before. It provides ways for us to communicate and collaborate in the workplace and consists of humans, robots (such as chatbots) with artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented reality (AR) and sensors.
What are the advantages of the digital workspace?
There are many advantages cited for why the digital workspace will help us create a more productive and collaborative working environment. Perhaps the major benefit is greater flexibility, which gives employees the ability to work from anywhere they choose, at any time, from any device and to any ‘party’. In days gone by, ‘working from home’ was a perk enjoyed by only a few employees; today, thanks to the digital workspace and UC&C tools, people can have a ‘virtual office’, with the same UC&C solutions and applications present and sync’d up across all their devices – laptop, home PC, smartphone and tablet. Meaning that no matter where they are, they can log on and continue working from where they left off.
The biggest advantage of the digital workspace, however, is the increased speed in effective decision making. The hyperconnected nature of individuals and work environments in the digital workspace means we can work and communicate faster than ever before – where huge amounts of data can be quickly collected from digital devices or shared by people across the organization, data which can then be quickly transformed into useful information to aid in decision making.
And because your employees and teams can share that information and knowledge and act on it more quickly, it can give you a big advantage over your competitors.
Familiarity is a big advantage too. The tools and applications used in the digital workspace are very much the same as those that workers use in their personal lives – social media, instant messaging apps, video calling and so on. This familiarity makes for stronger adoption rate of the solutions since the ‘fear of change’ factor is not present – which in turn means that the organization does not need to have as much training and support as they would with unfamiliar tools and apps.
Why is UC&C so central to the digital workspace?
In the workplace, Unified Communications and Collaboration tools have now become vital to how we do our jobs and will be central to the continuing evolution of the digital workspace. Recent research showed 96 per cent of executives believe lack of collaboration or ineffective communications make up the main source of failures in their workplace, while 39 per cent of employees believe their organizations do not collaborate enough. So end-user demands and business benefits are making the case that UC&C tools are set to be central to work and the digital workspace proposition.
While the digital workspace is now a reality, it is also in a state of continuing evolution – new ways of working emerge as new technologies are developed – but UC&C tools will remain its cornerstone. The increasingly connected nature of our world in general means workers will continue to have greater and easier access to information, and they will need to work in more connected ways. The communications and collaboration offered by UC&C will be vital to this.
Making the right UC&C choice to drive success
As with all shifts towards digital transformation and the digital workspace, making the right choice of UC&C tools is essential. The right choice of UC&C suite can be defined as one which can quickly and conveniently incorporate and integrate new digital workspace apps like social media and messaging clients without disrupting everyday operations. It must be capable of delivering what your organization needs today while also being ready for the challenges and new trends of tomorrow.
The right choice of UC&C also means one that will be quickly and readily adopted by your workforce, robots and smart applications. There are many UC&C suites available which can do the bare minimum you need them to, but the true value of UC&C to an organization comes when they are used regularly, when workers recognize the worth of UC&C in helping them do their jobs better, and they become part of the furniture. But making that right UC&C choice is about more than ‘just’ the product suite itself; companies must select the right partner who understands how to deliver an outstanding user experience from UC&C and the digital workspace and who will work with the company to ensure that happens.
Digital workspace inevitable
As the digital workspace is already a reality, the only question that companies face now is how they will transition across to it as smoothly as possible. Organizations that want to get there with minimal upheaval need to have the right UC solution in place now.
Research forecasts that the UC&C market will grow from $5.15 billion in 2014 to $17.38 billion by 2019, a CAGR of 27.5 per cent; a clear indicator that more and more organizations are recognizing the value of UC&C to their business and are embracing it in large numbers.
The growth of UC&C will help power the growth of the digital workspace, as organizations seek to transform working environments and practices to make their organizations more effective, staffed by more agile, engaged, productive and empowered individuals. Putting the right UC&C foundation in place now will set companies up to be higher-performing organizations today and well into the future.
To learn more about how Orange helps organizations maximize the benefits of UC and prepare them for the digital workspace, please visit http://www.orange-business.com/en/transform-your-communications