Most employees today have a combination of wireless devices at home — smartphones, tablets, laptops, even portable WiFi-enabled video game systems — and of course, high-speed wireless networks to support these digital empires. But these devices don’t begin and end with social networking and shopping. Just think: Do you use your smartphone to check work email? Have you ever logged into your company intranet from a personal tablet or laptop?
According to the Gartner report “(What to Do When) Every Employee Is a Digital Employee,” most of us do exactly that: “Employees use their own networks, devices, apps, and services for business purposes on a regular basis.” As we move into a digital age of work, Gartner advises us to consider 8 organizational capabilities that are crucial to achieving digital business success.
- Customer experience management
Employees can more quickly respond to coworkers and customers by leveraging real-time social tools and more connected, insightful systems of data. Plus, shared, easily accessible repositories are an important part of building the Worker Experience. Having the right tools to access necessary data helps employees work more efficiently and boosts morale. And employees who have insight into customer situations and access to customer data firsthand can create a better Customer Experience.
- Product and service design
Designers should have a collaborative network within your organization so that they can tap into business-to-consumer collaboration opportunities through customer channels like a community portal. Having design tools and services — and a collaborative infrastructure in place to support all design work within the organization — reinforces an innovative, consistent approach to the design of products and services.
- Information asset management
Gartner points out that one of the greatest digital workplace initiatives is to democratize analytic capabilities, simply by improving employee access to data and information through better search services, proactive information delivery, and data discovery tools. And when organizations provide open forums for company-wide communication, engaged employees are more likely to share information, which further increases the supply of data.
- Access and availability
One of the benefits of cloud technology is accessibility — anytime, anywhere, from any device. A cloud office suite provides your entire organization with rich mobile, real-time, connected communication tools. This makes employees not only more accessible but more engaged in their work and company culture.
- Business model agility
Today, organizations succeed by being able to shift and adopt business models that can meet changing business conditions. Engaged employees are more likely to take on new roles and responsibilities willingly and embrace the future of work — things like local leadership, remote work, and gig workers.
- Innovative culture
You can’t innovate without a deep understanding of customer needs, access to actionable insights, and collaboration across multiple teams. It’s that kind of connectivity that creates a sense of employee empowerment that promotes the desire and ability to innovate effectively.
- Digital leadership
In order to be first to market with new digital products and services, you need a close-knit execution environment, starting with primary research and going all the way through development, distribution, sales, marketing, and support. Again, employees are proficient in all portable devices these days, so it makes sense to foster digital dexterity for business purposes within your employees. This cultivates awareness and passion for digital opportunities across your organization.
If you haven’t gotten the message yet, collaboration is essential to digital business. The move to a cloud office suite, a social intranet, omnichannel support for customers, and engagement on social consumer sites like Facebook and Twitter are all part of a customer-focused environment. Essentially, engaged employees put collaboration at the heart of both internal and external relationships.
The future is digital — for you, your competitors, your employees, and your potential customers. By cultivating and leveraging these eight organizational capabilities, you’ll increase employee engagement, gain a competitive advantage, and be in a better position to take the lead in the new digital era.