During the industrial age we learned to mass-produce things. With the quality movement we made things work more reliably. Now, as technology becomes easily connected, we make things that work together.
A digitally connected workplace opens up new sources of value while generating enormous opportunities for efficiency gains. But, providing a connected experience requires a new way of thinking to fully tap its potential.
For the past 50 years, software has been operated largely as a collection of products designed for a single purpose. But in a digital economy, one that is increasingly connected, users derive a higher value from products and services that digitally interact with each other. This interaction occurs as products generate and exchange data about how they are used (and the context in which they are used). All of this new data creates a valuable resource that we are using to generate new insights and capabilities.
For the first time in history, the ways content is consumed and experienced is digitally visible. This newly generated information, or consumption data, unleashes a new resource for both organizations and their human resources.
Service-oriented architectures, which derive even more fuel from the cloud, change the relationships between users and content. When an organization has deeper insight into how its employees consume its content, it has opportunity to add more value such as advising employees how they should prioritize their tasks or providing them with information that is more relevant to their role or current need.
Let’s take a closer look at several new opportunities emerging from a connected workplace:
1. In a connected digital workplace, content platforms become multipurpose
Content platforms such as Office 365 and Adobe don’t just manage your content, they are loosely coupled with other platforms (e.g. Slack) transforming your collaborative intranet from a monolithic application to an independent hub that aggregates content across multiple platforms and delivers it in a relevant business context.
As the digital workplace becomes connected, it also develops a new asset – a dataset of personal behavior unlike what has existed in the past. This data can fuel much more than the direct integrations. Stitching this data asset together with other points of capture and using it in innovative ways is at the core of our connected experience.
2. Employees choose and customize their own tools
In a digital connected workplace, opportunities for personalization go far beyond fine tuning an off-the-shelve software to the user’s preferences. We are in an era where users themselves are choosing and customizing tools to their liking. Consider the long-term vision for the smart digital workplace to be a basic, multifunctional portal which one customizes with personal apps, content sources, skins and other personal preferences to make it a personal expression of one’s identity and personality.
3. Communicators have new tools to avoid irrelevant content
At its most fundamental level, value is quantified by the performance a product delivers at a specific price (also known as the price/performance ratio). When the product is a piece of information, its performance is its relevance for a specific user. Irrelevant information is of no value. Until now, communicators have added things like weather widgets and menu plans to break their intranets from irrelevant status. Though many of these contents might be marketed as personal, they are actually modeled for mass-market consumption.
The data collected in real-time across digital content properties has led to experience customization to increase the relevancy and value derived. As information is given up and a data trail left behind, consumers have an expectation of this personalized experience.
In a connected digital workplace, the consumer’s personal consumption data becomes a value differentiating attribute by making content uniquely personal.
4. Digital services become trusted advisors
The digitization of both content and the capture of data that gives insight into how this content is consumed, creates a mountain of data organizations can leverage to advise employees. Modern organizations think of usage data as a way to make them perform more optimally. This type of usage data can also be used to make content management and targeting more efficient. The resulting time and cost savings to users becomes an irresistible part of the digital workplace experience. Much of this happens behind the scenes, serving up the most relevant content and experience based on usage, behavior and audience profiles without any handraising from the consumer. This enhanced experience raises the perception of digital services in becoming trusted advisors.
5. Continuous innovation opens up even more opportunity
There are many audience intelligence, customization and connectivity tools you can connect via APIs to power the most innovative digital workplace experience. A typical setup today may have a social integration with Instagram or Facebook, data being fed from back-end systems such as ERPs and CRMs with content pulled from a CMS, personalized using our content targeting algorithms and displayed on various devices.