4 common barriers to a digital workplace
We’ve all heard of digital transformation and how some businesses scramble to keep up with it on top of all the other activities they are undergoing every day. However there are some digital transformation champions, like Virgin America which has gotten a lot of praise for their Intranet, and for championing the widespread use of tablets for essential operations on planes and on the ground. But what separates such digital workplace unicorns from the rest of the business world? You may ask ‘What’s missing so my company can become a digital workplace, too?’
Here are the top 4 barriers we see keep businesses from engaging in a digital workplace transformation.
1. Digital transformation is 1% software, 99% culture
You already have great applications, databases, cloud services, mobile gadgets, users and even customers. But that alone doesn’t make a digital workplace. What’s missing is something that has the capability to empower your users to identify technological and global economic opportunities.
The digital transformation means you and your organization need to reinvent in an ongoing process. Virtually no organization can afford the luxury of an annual IT deployment cycle any more. From the identification of needs to the implementation what used to take months, now should take just a couple of weeks – even if it’s still rough around the edges. If you want to create a digital workplace that works for your organization you need to find what uniquely fits your users’ diverse needs. And that’s best done by following the rule ‘Fail fast, fail often’.
IT departments need to give up on the age-old notion of technology-centric systems and solutions that are sometimes separate to department needs and processes. Instead they need to think of enabling value creation without giving up on information security.
Value is created when employees can use systems and tools to get their work done, collaborate to solve problems, innovate and so forth. They need digital tools and a digital workplace that empowers them to do this in the best possible way.
2. Companies are missing a silo buster
Business software that specializes in specific business functions manifests organizational silos, resulting in a lack of openness, transparency and sharing across silos, as well as a lack of common tools and ways of working.
Silos of data can interfere with an organization’s ability to share data internally, and to get a clear picture of a consumer segment or business opportunity. Many leaders are struggling to make decisions based on the data they collect, especially in the absence of a strong corporate strategy.
It is therefore necessary to find ways to integrate data across an enterprise and then mine it for actionable insights. The lack of alignment and coordination among on-premise solutions, service providers and operation systems can be overcome with a mobile integration platform.
Such a middleware platform can cleanly separate the need for front-end development from back-end services. With our new product Mobility Portal we provide a three-fold advantage to data-laden businesses:
Liberty - Out of the box connectors to access all your data
Unity - A Central-API-Hub to unite your data into ONE Super API
Mobility - a framework of reusable components to create mobile HTML5 apps for all OS’s and form-factors with little to no code.
3. Making connections needs connected data.
Only when your data is connected context is possible.
Let’s say you have a customer. Every department will be liaising with said customer; e.g. Sales, Accounting, Operations, Customer Care, Consulting, etc. Near enough every employee (bar the facility manager) is in one way or another working for your customers. And that’s an interesting observation from a data point of view. It’s not good enough to just throw all your customer-related data into one bucket, you need to be able to pull contextually relevant information based on who’s asking a question.
An Accountant needs the customer’s account. Sales needs the CRM-relevant views. Marketing needs Sales-figures and Analytics. Management needs a whole bunch of other number and indicators. The Customer Service team needs their tickets, etc.
Although everybody in your organization is connected to the customer, everybody also requires a slightly different view on them.
Once you have established all of the necessary views you can create a single app that contains all your customer information, but presents it in the different views required by the different audiences in your business.
4. One app is easy, many apps is hard
Mobility Portal is an end-to-end data integration platform that unites APIs from all existing backend systems and freely combines the data into apps to serv mobile-first use cases. These HTML5 apps can be rapidly created with a simple and low-code App Designer that build apps based on a mobile-first front-end framework using Google Polymer. All apps work on any device, any OS and are responsive design by default.
The advantage of this kind of an architecture is that it saves time when creating lots and lots of apps, as reusable components can be shared between them.
The result is a digital workplace that reduces complexity, disconnectedness and inflexibility that hinder value creation.
It is the fastest way to respond to new opportunities. Be it a new app for your customer’s support, a new cloud-service your departments want to use, or endless possibilities to combine existing data into a new meaningful way to get more insights or just to make all of your data available mobile.
However with many apps, their deployment and distribution quickly is at the center of attention. The built-in App Store in Mobility Portal allows IT departments to easily distribute hundreds of apps based on a user’s roles and ‘Audience’ within Mobility Portal but also allowing them, to some extent, to self-control the apps they want to use.
In summary, to become a digital workplace champion organizations are missing an all-encompassing, end-to-end solution that ties together all of their scattered data and feeds into an easy-to-use App Designer.
Mobility Portal is such an end-to-end platform for mobile enterprise application development as it makes organizations independent of:
- devices categories to work with (from watches to cars anything is possible)
- user profiles (from white collar to blue collar to customers)
- proprietary code