A few months back over at the Digital Workplace Forum I wrote a review of this year’s Digital Workplace Trends from Jane McConnell ( NetStrategy/JMC). I work with Jane regularly on the Intranet Innovation Awards where she is one of the judges and this year she asked me to comment on the format and style of Digital Workplace Trends 2013, which has undergone some changes. So I’ve been lucky enough to see the report as a work-in-progress, and as a finished product.
It really is a very valuable report, and definitely worth the investment. Even better, if you are a practitioner, make sure you contribute next year, as you can then get it for free.
Over on my DWF review I covered several of the main takeways which included:
- Mobile is now a prAdd Mediaiority focus for investment and attention (at last)
- Organizations are beginning to think in “digital workplace mode”
- But the user experience is becoming more fragmented
- No progress is being made at all on strategic governance and if anything, has moved backwards
Here are a few additional points which really stood out for me.
Organisations are investing in development, and then failing to support it
There’s a sobering statistic which shows that organizations are spending 64% of their investment on development and implementation, but only 14% on education, training and change management. While this may be a reflection of high implementation costs, and some of that spend might be channelled into making ongoing improvements, I suspect it shows that organisations tend to launch and leave digital workplace initiatives, and hope for the best. I’m convinced this lack of investment results in lower adoption.
Having active role models from senior leaders is a huge bonus
There’s an interesting statistic which suggests that 53% of senior leaders in the early adopters are visibly active in the digital workplace, compared to 16% of the majority. This is a huge gap and I think reflects just how key this element is. Senior leaders being active shows their endorsement, and particularly in social enterprise networking gives “permission to play” that contributing and participating has value. It also perhaps shows that if an individual from senior management experiences the power of the digital workplace themselves they are much more likely to support related initiatives.
Security will always remain a big issue in the digital workplace
There are a number of questions about security in the survey, and this comes out as an area of top concern for organizations around cloud and mobile deployments. It’s a salient reminder that risk, compliance and security functions always need to engaged early when planning an intranet or digital workplace programme, as concerns about security can be a deal-breaker if it is not right. There’s also a statistic which shows that early adopters are less likely to let security concerns limit their cloud or mobile deployment than the majority.
Finding expertise needs fixing in many organizations
In my view having a rich enterprise-wide directory is central to an effective digital workplace. This year’s survey confirms that this is not easy to achieve and many organizations are struggling in this area. There are huge gaps between the early adopters and the majority, where 87% have deployment (enterprise-wide or in some parts) compared to 34% in others. However there is widespread dissatisfaction with levels of adoption and uptake. Getting employees to complete their profile is an age old problem and I’m not sure there are any easy answers.
Getting active users on social enterprise networks is also tricky
Despite significantly more deployment of social networking and far deeper integration, on average early adopters have barely proportionally more active users than other organizations. To me this is a really fascinating takeaway. I think it shows that not only social enterprise networking has a long way to go but also perhaps that there may always be a limit to who contributes. The reasons for this may be cultural, may be because people are extremely busy, perhaps something else. It’s also remembering that “lurkers” e.g. those who do not participate, still get value from an intranet or employee social network. Active usage is not the only measure of value.
Overall “Digital Workplace Trends 2013” is excellent if you want to have some reliable data behind you to enable conversations about the digital workplace journey within your organization. You can find more information here.
Martin White says
There are many good reasons why people will never be able to write down what they know and in many cultures would not wish to do so. Take a look at Dave Snowden’s Seven Principles of Knowledge Management, especially Principles 1, 2 and 7.Important insights. Thank you. I agree about the problems of locating expertise, but often just finding people (especially if you don’t exactly know how a name is spelt) is poorly supported. By coincidence I’ve been writing a lot about this today http://digbig.com/5bhmhy for the short version and http://digbig.com/5bhmja for more detail.
There is a lot of research into using search across multiple databases to build up a view of expertise based on ‘passive’ information. IBM, HP and Sinequa are just three companies working on this approach and I know that more will follow. One of the catalysts is the launch of the Facebook graph search approach which can be implemented inside an organisation. This is the approach that HP have taken.