What does the future hold for the digital workplace? In many ways, it’s already here, argues Dean Guida, founder and CEO of Cranbury, New Jersey-based Infragistics.
Guida spoke with StrategicCIO360 about why now is the time to shepherd your organizations into this new era, which issues tech helps to solve and why data catalogs are critical.
How can information technology professionals help make remote, hybrid and in-office workers more successful?
Today’s workplace is no longer a physical space that team members occupy during working hours. The workplace has become an online environment that requires digital transformation. Employees can work from anywhere in the world and more organizations are reshaping their workplaces to be productive for in-person, remote and hybrid teams.
When Covid-19 began impacting companies and their people more than two years ago, everything quickly moved online as team members struggled to work together and be productive without being able to collaborate in person. Thankfully, our company had a lot of people who were already working remotely and we had the infrastructure already in place to support it. As a result, Infragistics’ productivity remained extremely high.
But many organizations were in disarray and their productivity suffered as they scrambled to cobble together apps like Asana, Slack and Tableau to connect their teams. Rather than app switching, I’ve found that the best way to keep your people connected when they are far apart and to keep productivity high is to transform your digital workplace with one software platform that can connect all workers—from R&D, marketing, sales and customer support to manufacturing, HR and IT.
How can technology executives address problems in today’s digital workplace?
There are many problems in today’s digital workplace that technology executives are working to address—team productivity, business process and customer service, to name a few. Information technology professionals should explore digital workplace technology that can effectively combine project management, data-driven features, content management, chat and discussions together in one tool, without the need to waste time switching between multiple apps.
The digital workplace then becomes an online hub, replacing the physical office with effective team collaboration. In the online hub, teams have visibility, can resolve issues, manage and track tasks and processes, and react in a relevant way.
Why is a data-driven workplace so important?
The most successful organizations recognize the strategic value of generating actionable insights from their data. With the help of business intelligence and predictive analytics, businesses can make data-driven decisions.
Businesses are also taking advantage of the benefits of data catalogs, which act as a central location for the data that matters, so teams can make informed decisions through dashboards. If an organization lacks a data catalog, you could typically waste weeks trying to find, understand and validate data, and then determine the meaning and business logic behind it.
Data catalogs create and maintain an inventory of data assets through the discovery, description and organization of distributed datasets. All data consumers can easily understand these defined, meaningful and searchable assets, which can accelerate time to insights.
Data catalogs are quickly becoming a core component of modern data management. Organizations that are already leveraging data catalogs see a significant change in the speed and quality of data access and data-driven decisions. Armed with data insights, companies can increase profitability, improve employee engagement and customer relationships, and identify opportunities for growth.
What can we look forward to in the future digital workplace?
The most successful digital workplace strategies go beyond the digital and combine both technology and people as elements within a successful collaboration. In its essence, digital workplace transformation not only boosts employee engagement and agility but it also empowers your people to succeed and keeps them truly connected—no matter where they are.
The future workplace will have a data catalog for businesspeople to find and understand the data in their organization, as well as a data analytics business intelligence platform that works with all of an organization’s systems to drive more insight and better decisions. It will be able to connect with an organization’s cloud stores and it will have enhanced security when sharing information both internally and with outside parties.
The value of a transformed digital workplace is that it connects all people working together to every necessary component of the work process—content, projects, analytics and chats. Digital transformation is key in fostering collaboration and productivity in an increasingly digital world. Those who do not evolve cannot thrive and innovate and they are the ones who will be left behind.