July 30, 2018
They say it right that nothing stays forever, and this saying makes even more sense when it comes to technology. This mightiest disruptor has been constantly evolving and transforming everything that it comes across. Technology is responsible for the changing business landscape to a significant extent.
It has come a long way over the years and decades and when we look back, we wonder how we survived all the way through today without the technological advancements that we have today. In particular, workplaces have taken a giant leap in the last decade, thanks to the power of digital. Processes are getting automated, workflows are more streamlined and employee management systems are more organized today. Simultaneously, expectations of the employees are also changing as the intervention of technology increases. The age of silos is long gone; collaboration is getting ubiquitous and knowledge is truly the power. In this scenario, the employees want a smarter workplace where interactions are meaningful, collaborations are productive and enterprise systems make their jobs easier and more convenient. Summing it up, it’s the age of “consumerization”.
Gartner defines consumerization as below:
“Consumerization is the specific impact that consumer-originated technologies can have on enterprises. It reflects how enterprises will be affected by and can take advantage of, new technologies and models that originate and develop in the consumer space, rather than in the enterprise IT sector.”
Employees aren’t satisfied with an application with a wide range of features anymore. They want something which is beneficial to them and brings value to their work, something which is able to bridge gaps between processes and departments across the organization, something kind of a one-stop shop.
Organizations were not too serious about consumerization until a few years ago. The advent of the iPhone created a ripple which surprised employees with its ability to replace a laptop for a series of tasks. The ripple went on to become a wave and today, the workplace has become the need of the hour. Wiser business leaders are putting this on priority as they understand it’s not something which can wait.
So why is it advisable for them to focus on employee experience? How does it benefit the organization? What does consumerization have to do with this?
Let’s look at the five major reasons that provide answers to these questions.
Enterprise systems should able to provide a rich user experience to the employees. The applications need to be user-friendly and deliver value the employees are looking for. Moreover, an easy-to-use and beneficial application can find more usage among employees.
In addition to this, the systems should allow the employees to get a consistent user experience even when they are not at the office. Workplace flexibility and need for working beyond the clock have encouraged the frequency of work-from-home instances. Keeping this in mind, organizations should ensure that the systems and applications in use should be able to deliver a smooth transition from one place to another and continue to deliver a consistent performance and user experience. They should enable the employee to differentiate between tools for work and personal purposes. However, the applications should be equipped with proper security settings so as to prevent unauthorized access and information exchange.
2. Communication and collaboration are the keys to efficiency.
Teamwork is the fundamental element of workforce productivity. Most of the tasks need employees to come and work together to deliver the desired results. However, without the right technology in place, it may be challenging at times especially in a case where the team members are working from different locations. It may impact the communication severely. That is why it is crucial to facilitate a real-time collaboration among them on communication devices and streamline workflows in a manner that the distributed workforce can work with one another in real-time.
Google Docs is an excellent example here which allows multiple users to access documents simply using mobile apps and work on them simultaneously irrespective of being in different locations. Interestingly, Google Docs is gradually replacing Microsoft office and it’s not difficult to figure out why.
3. Amass a treasure of information.
Information is wealth in the business world. You employee need a ceaseless access various data-points, statistics and knowledge pieces at work to perform effectively. You need to regularly send out alerts, updates, reminders, and announcements to keep your employees updated and on top of compliance.
Organizations should realize the need for information sharing to obtain a sustainable performance. This equips the employees with all the information they need at work to perform and make important decisions.
It is recommended for the organizations to develop solutions that can facilitate a ceaseless flow of information and employees can considerably get benefitted with each other’s experiences and knowledge. A unified portal can be an excellent means of collaboration, interaction and of course knowledge sharing, especially if your employees can access it using a mobile app.
4. Find an increase in productivity in multiple ways.
Technology is an integral part of the daily functioning of all the departments and whether it’s a salesperson, doctor, customer service executive or even a helpdesk employee, they are heavily dependent on it and hence quality and updated enterprise systems are anything but optional.
Organizations should ensure that the developers are able to bring customized applications and employee management systems to the table. This means to say that the enterprise systems should be able to assist each employee in a manner specific to them and serve the business need of a specific role, function or department efficiently. This will be able to increase the productivity of each small entity accumulating to an enhanced overall performance of the organization.
5. Enterprise systems can reduce costs through employee experience.
An enterprise requires several systems to run its daily operations and enable its employees to work. An efficient system with a successful implementation can bring down the costs of operations significantly. Implementation is a one-time thing and requires investment in terms of both time and capital. However, if the user experience is kept on priority at the beginning of the projects, these investments can bring down the subsequently costs. If the investment is made in the right applications and implementation is fool-proof, maintenance and support costs come down subsequently. For example, a well-designed knowledge portal can continuously provide the employees with the information they require to perform their tasks and learn on the job. Also, this can minimize the need for additional training saving a lot of further investment.
Similarly, user-focused solutions may cut down the waiting time of employees and free up the helpdesk staff thus slashing the support costs phenomenally over the years.
The consumerization of the enterprise is real. It is happening and spreading it’s the spreading its reach. However, consumerization is not all negative motivation and businesses should start focusing on it not because they are bound to but because of the potential that it holds to achieve higher organizational efficiencies.
Change may look difficult and leave organizations with a lot of anticipation. But it is a strong business need today and brings along a huge package of numerous benefits. Enterprises will need to come out of their comfort zone to focus on what employees need rather than what the business wants. They will have to connect with their people, understand their perspective and give their experience a priority before investing in enterprise systems. Being employee-centric is not a value-addition; it’s the bare minimum.