Millions of companies transitioned to a digital workplace in response to the global pandemic. While this transition was difficult, it forced many companies to look at the way they use digital tools in their workplace.
According to a 2020 Fuze survey of 100 tech leaders, 96 percent said COVID caused them to pay more attention to remote working tools. What’s more, since the start of the pandemic, 19 percent said they’ve invested in their first remote communications tool, and 55 percent reported implementing new communications tools in addition.
However for innovative organizations, that’s not where the digital transformation stops. Transitioning to a digital workforce, where automation and digital tools do the work, can be vital in accelerating your growth. If your organization has made some changes but otherwise remained stagnant, here’s how you can stimulate digital transformation with a digital workforce.
What is the Digital Workforce
The digital workforce can be defined as a group of software “robots” that augment the capabilities of human team members. Deloitte has dubbed the digital workforce the “natural evolution of the workplace.”
Employers can task these digital workers with performing otherwise manual processes, which reduces the workload of human employees. In turn, employees can focus their efforts on more dynamic strategies that add value to the organization and spur transformation and innovation.
A high-performing digital workforce will enable streamlined collaboration by allowing individuals to easily access the information and applications they need to work successfully.
Your digital workers include any technologies that companies can use to complete traditionally manual tasks with technology within the digital workforce. For example, digital workers can handle HR applications, social media management, software development, and more.
The benefit of a digital workforce is that it empowers employees while simultaneously allowing them to work more efficiently.
How Does the Digital Workforce Impact Your Digital Transformation
Digital transformation requires more than simply implementing the right technology. To embrace the new, you have to let go of old processes and ways of doing things. This is what implementing a digital workforce is all about—and when implemented, it can change the way your business functions and how successful it is.
Consider the many ways a digital workforce can impact your digital transformation efforts.
According to the Agile Business Consortium, business agility is defined as “agility in an organization’s culture, leadership, strategy, and governance that adds value to all stakeholders who operate in uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments.” Agile businesses can quickly adapt to market changes. They can also respond flexibly to customer needs while rapidly developing solutions and continuously maintaining a competitive advantage.
Digital workforce solutions are one of the most effective ways to increase business agility. These digital workers make it possible to leverage the resources and tools necessary to transform your core infrastructure and processes, affecting the entire business.
For example, digital workplace technologies implemented within a customer care team allow you to provide consumers with the convenience they’re looking for. The 2020 Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report found that 59 percent of consumers currently use self-serve portals, 43 percent use chatbots for simple service, and 28 percent take advantage of automatic order replenishment.
Transforming your business in this way expedites growth because you can be agile where it matters most: on the customer-facing side of your business.
The global pandemic has taught us that resilience is necessary for business. Digital transformation allows your business to be more resilient, no matter what happens. With processes automated, documents in the cloud, and tools already implemented, your business will never skip a beat.
In implementing new digital workplace solutions, focus on how they can help you build resilience in these key areas:
- Financial resilience
- Operational resilience
- Technological resilience
- Organizational resilience
- Reputational resilience
- Business model resilience
Reduced Distance Barriers
A seamless and well-executed digital workforce solution will enable employees to access business-critical information, regardless of time zone. This technology is the great unifier that can connect your workers with the institutional knowledge they need to do their jobs better, which breeds innovation. When employees have what they need and aren’t burdened with menial tasks, they can innovate.
For example, digital enterprise search capabilities provide your employees with one place to look for all links, media, presentations, documents, and files that are spread among hundreds of tools. While implementing an enterprise search tool like this is a powerful digital transformation, it’s the first step to more impactful transformation. The time spent searching, digging and not finding these items keeps your employees from doing the work that can help the company grow.
How to Implement the Digital Workforce Into Your Company
Chances are you’ve already started implementing some elements of the digital workforce in your workplace. If you use a chat bot to connect with clients you are implementing a digital workforce.
At its core, a digital workforce is intended to improve the productivity of your staff. These technologies should facilitate information sharing and collaboration while managing tasks hindering your digital transformation.
When thinking about how to implement a digital workforce, start by determining how new technologies can help you streamline and automate these areas:
- Project management and workflow management
- Enterprise Resource Planning
- Internal resource and asset searches
- Connection and collaboration
- Customer experience and sales
- Product development and production
Ultimately, the goal is to automate redundant processes so your organization can create impactful digital transformation.
Benefits of a Digital Workplace Solution
Digital workforce technologies will not only accelerate your digital transformation—they impact every aspect of how employees work and your business operates. Here are a few benefits you can’t overlook.
An empowered employee feels as if they’re making an impact within the company. Specifically, empowered employees accomplish meaningful tasks, feel confident in their work, and are determined to play an active role in the organization.
Digital workforce solutions empower employees by giving them the means to solve problems quickly and easily. These technologies, in turn, boost employee confidence, enhance their autonomy, and allow them to do their best work.
When employees have to spend hours searching for a single file, for example, productivity plummets. This is the case for organizations that use dozens of tools without a centralized location to search for all the data they house. In turn, they have to ask other team members for help, which consumes even more time and resources. The result is that your digital workplace becomes inefficient and costly.
Digital workforce solutions solve productivity issues by making it possible for team members to access what they need, automate repetitive tasks and much more.
Streamlined Business Operations
The way your business operates, from how your sales team escalates issues to the way your product team facilitates development, affects growth. If there’s a single kink in the workflow or an outdated process, the entire company feels it.
Implementing the tools of a digital workforce allows you to avoid these human-lead issues. Thanks to innovations like AI and automation, these digital workers take what you give them, like a set workflow, and then keep that workflow going. No human error, no “I didn’t have time to upload that data point.” Just a process that works on its own.
A Digital Workforce Translates to Greater Transformation
If you haven’t tapped into the digital workforce yet, now is the time to do it. As companies move increasingly digital to keep up with consumer demand, those who don’t will be left behind. With so many benefits beyond accelerating your digital transformation efforts, implementing a digital workforce is a smart strategy for future organizations.
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