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Supporting the next-generation digital workplaces

Supporting the next-generation digital workplaces
November 20, 2017

Digital disruptions are imposing greater demands not only on the IT systems but the whole enterprise strategy. The mantra for enterprises to succeed in the digital era is to imbibe agility to evolve and remain relevant amidst a break-neck pace of change, while fostering innovation in exceedingly shorter cycles by drawing on its most critical asset, a talented workforce. Digital workplace for the 21st century must accordingly transform to be closely aligned to the business, with a rigorous focus on business outcomes, while valuing and improving employee experiences, productivity, and more importantly their engagement.

Employee experiences matter more than ever before in the digital era. Our experiences from the frontier.

Our digital experiences and journeys with numerous enterprises so far have led us to the heart of accomplishing these lofty ideals for the digital workplace: a seemingly simple approach of ‘Experience Matters’, a digital workplace support paradigm that is hyper-focussed on proactively managing employee experiences.

Digital Workplace support no longer grapples in the dark waiting for users to call in about bad experiences, and instead wields a powerful ally in the form of workplace analytics. When effectively harnessed, workplace analytics can shine a light on how the various components of the IT infrastructure impact a user’s experience, giving unprecedented insight into how healthy the workplace is in equipping a user to perform their job role. While the Experience Matters approach is an easy one in theory, its successful implementation and realization for measurable impact towards business success is one fraught with challenges. 

Giving Employee Experiences a Business-context

The first challenge lies in meticulously aligning user experiences to the business-context. When experience monitoring gets a business context, support can identify and assign an impact to a device crash at a point of sale device in a retail store to be one that can impede customer experiences and revenue inflows. A temporary application freeze, which can be a minor experience impediment for a non-critical application, assumes a magnitude of different proportions for a crucial trades application on a trading floor. An inventory management application crash for a supply chain management personnel can have a potential on impact production timelines. A business-aligned experience management approach allows support to rightly-prioritise and manage experience impediments to business.

Define and track the right metrics

The second challenge lies in defining metrics and indices that are data-driven and accurately depict user experiences and productivity in a business-aligned manner, to take an outcome-focussed approach to managing experiences. Workplace analytics can play back an overwhelming 680 MB per month of raw user experience data in over 240,000 accessible parameters. When this is effectively mined to focus on meaningful and actionable insights, support is equipped to proactively influence user experiences by focussing on tangible metrics defined in a scientific and an objective manner. This razor-sharp focus on improving experiences to boost user productivity translates into a direct impact on the bottom line and not just the top line.

Reimagine support models

The third and most difficult challenge lies in developing a workplace support culture that has a consistent and continuous focus on the proactive management and improvement of above defined user experience indices. This means implementing rigorous processes in place to proactively mine for problems using powerful correlations amongst user experiences across the enterprise, identifying potential causes and flagging them to the relevant resolver groups. This enables support to proactively identify problems and bottlenecks with insight into the potential root-cause of these problems, even before the users flag an issue helping in reducing crucial user downtime. Support can better respond to experience issues identified by delving enterprise-wide to proactively identify all the affected users in the environment, and enterprise-deep to identify other experience factors plaguing the user. This allows IT to double-down with objective insight on the effect that something as granular as a tested patch or an update rolled out in the production environment has on crucial experience parameters of device health, application experiences, user productivity, with no more blind spots.

HCL manages the digital workplace experiences of over 45 Global 2000 organizations workforce using WorkBlaze, powered by a scientific and objectively measured user experience index to measure business impact, that is monitored and managed by dedicated user experience management offices who have proactively identified and resolved over 600,000 user issues. This not just boosts employee productivity and morale, but also improves the perception of workplace and IT, and user delight fostering higher engagement levels – an intangible and invaluable objective that can impact an organization’s ability to retain and attract superior talent and innovate better.