When it comes to technology, change is constant. Within a few simple decades the entire computer revolution has occurred, and children born today know no world where smart, always-online handheld devices didn’t exist. Along the lines of the old 80/20 rule, it is reasonable to say most businesses put 80% of their technology spending on maintenance – running servers, handling backups, and the like, and 20% on innovation. The Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) agenda is to flip this around and embrace an Intelligent Workplace.
Technology changes with time, so maximizing value must be a key determinant of what is eventually adopted. Many technologies out there are great, but without strategy and coordination it can also be a complex mess, leaving information hard to find, and with uncontrolled costs.
This is where a good Intelligent Workplace pays for itself, providing secure, controlled access to corporate information from any location at any time on any device, while enabling –not inhibiting – user access to information and collaboration with each other. To guide you along the Intelligent Transformation journey, here are 11 signs your company has embraced an Intelligent Workplace.
1. You Use Data To Make Decisions
Sometimes you can’t beat instinct and gut-feel based on experience, but you can’t rely on best-guesses and hope to keep an Intranet efficient. If a company is not using data in its decision-making then something is wrong, whether the inability to access the data or the lack of interest in doing so.
2. Culture, Diversity and Inclusiveness are Promoted
There’s nothing technical about this, but there’s a parallel between growth and placing value on these so-called “soft” skill areas. Promoting culture protects the company as a great workplace; promoting diversity and inclusion means the company has greater exposure to a wide variety of ideas and ways of thinking.
3. Change is Embraced
Change can’t be for change’s sake, and not all change is easy. However, if the company has staff – worse, leaders – who like things just the way they are it can never expect better results.
4. Failure is Encouraged
Let’s be clear here; “failure” as in “I failed to pay people this week” is not a virtue. What is, though, is a company culture that encourages people to experiment and test new ideas, evaluating them regularly to see if they are viable or not. Terminate, and learn from, those that are not, and refine those that are.
5. The Why is Understood
What’s the company all about? It can be sometimes difficult for workers to see beyond the mechanics of their role, and how they fit into the overall purpose. Like the bricklayer who told Christopher Wren he was helping build a great cathedral, leading companies communicate their purpose clearly.
6. Technology Principles are Adhered to
As easy and wonderful as it is to sign up to online services in the click of a button, a free-for-all soon creates confusion over data, costs, identity and security. The rollout of new services needs to be carefully coordinated so agility is not lost, but neither is strategy.
7. Experience is Key
Whether user experience, customer experience, or any of a number of “experiences,” there must be a focus on how people will actually use and work with a company’s products and services. It’s no good deploying a feature that does a lot of work if it is hardly intuitive, overly complex and won’t work on most devices.
8. Solutions are Scalable
What works for a single office with ten people needs to also work for a national business with hundreds of people and a global business with thousands of people.
9. Machine Learning is the Roadmap
Even if not in use right now, it is a major trend in technology. What’s more, it’s the only way a company will keep up with the explosive volumes of data to come. Machine learning promises to help people focus on what’s really important.
10. Work Isn’t Confined to the Desk
Collaboration, creativity and results occur when people are enabled to work at any location, any time, on any device.
11. You Get to the Heart of Business Needs
Be it collaboration or finding forms or achieving a task, your Intelligent Workplace is build to support crucial business needs, rather than structured around the organization chart.