Analysts Will Discuss the Future of the Digital Workplace at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2014, September, 15-16, in London
Gartner, Inc. said that IT leaders have a significant opportunity to contribute to the business by creating a more flexible work environment that accommodates the needs of the business consumer.
"Starting with the rise of PCs and the internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the "business consumer" — an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle," said Matthew Cain, research vice president at Gartner. "Individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work. Business consumers often make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles to increase efficiency."
Given the complexity of work environments and the geographic distribution of expertise across organizations, a critical competitive advantage will accrue for businesses able to create a socially active workforce that can tap internal and external knowledge and expertise easily. The digital workplace provides significant advantages in how business consumers work, by:
"The substantial gap between the business computing environment and the consumer computing environment is traditionally explained by reasons such as culture, security and compliance," said Mr. Cain. "However, those assumptions must be re-examined. For many organizations, the partial or wholesale embracing of a consumer style of computing for business purposes will be beneficial and, in some cases, transformational. Considering a digital workplace helps organizations determine if and how rapidly they should embrace consumer-style computing trends."
Gartner research shows that most organizations are responding to consumerisation in an ad hoc fashion, with IT groups and/or business units juggling initiatives such as: bring your own device (BYOD), bring your own application (BYOA), mobile application development and DevOps development. The issue is that these efforts are being made tactically and in isolation, and many are customer-facing, with little impact on the partner or employee communities. Gartner recommends that IT leaders assemble a portfolio of digital workplace tools and services to better manage and amplify the impact of the investments.
"By collecting related digital workplace tools and services into a common portfolio, IT leaders can more easily promote skills transfer and application reuse across the three constituencies: employees, partners and customers," said Mr. Cain. "Experience gained in mobile application development for employees, for example, can be applied to partner and customer communities, or skills developed in user experience design for customers can be applied to employees."
The digital workplace portfolio also assists in determining the appeal of related emerging technologies. First, it needs to focus on understanding how workplace trends, starting with consumerisation, are currently affecting the organization and what the long-term effects on the business will be. Second, it should determine what the IT response has been, so far, to the workplace trends. Third, a plan needs to be created to proactively respond to workplace trends over the next several years — with a portfolio of policies, skills, tools and services. "The critical element is not necessarily how IT leaders will respond, but that there is a program in place to strategically and consistently respond to these changing workplace dynamics," added Mr. Cain.
It's inevitable that organizations will have to embrace consumerisation trends, and respond to broad changes in the workforce and workplace. For some, it may not take place for a decade, and for others it has already taken place. Most organizations, however, are somewhere between these two extremes. "At a minimum, IT organizations need to be working with business and human resources leaders to identify workplace changes that will affect the business, and determine if a response is warranted," said Mr. Cain.
More detailed analysis is available in the report "Create a Digital Workplace to Respond to Critical Changes in the Workforce." The report is available on Gartner's website at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2719618.
Gartner analysts will further discuss workforce effectiveness in the digital workplace at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2014. For information about the Summit, which will take place from September 15 to16, in London, please visit www.gartner.com/eu/pcc. You can also follow the event on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc using #GartnerPCC.
About the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2014
At the Summit, Gartner analysts will help IT and business leaders to discover the potential of social media, mobile applications, big data and analytics in driving efficiency, collaboration and innovation. Delegates will learn how social software, portals, and content and information management systems can generate new revenue sources while increasing agility.
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading research and advisory company. The company helps business leaders across all major functions in every industry and enterprise size with the objective insights they need to make the right decisions. Gartner's comprehensive suite of services delivers strategic advice and proven best practices to help clients succeed in their mission-critical priorities. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has more than 13,000 associates serving clients in 11,000 enterprises in 100 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.
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