With today’s speed of innovation, the modern workplace is rapidly transitioning toward digitizing business operations. According to the results of a Foundry study, “93% of organizations have adopted, or have plans to adopt, a digital-first business strategy.” Whether incorporating a cloud solution for file storage and retrieval or utilizing remote worker tools to create a work environment for both in-office and off-site workers, digitization has become a focal point across various industries.
As companies embrace the power of digitization, a continuous assessment of emerging innovations across the digital landscape can help organizations with a smooth digital transformation that can positively impact key business drivers such as employee engagement, customer service and cybersecurity practices.
Managing Employee Engagement
With many companies embracing hybrid work environments, organizations have upgraded forms of communication to liaise between remote and in-office teams. The challenge then becomes adequately engaging and developing strong relationships between office-based and off-site employees, who are often located in different regions.
According to the results of a Microsoft study, “43% of remote workers do not feel included in meetings.” To create an inclusive digital environment, leaders should ensure meetings have in-person and remote components. A bank of specialized digital tools and apps can encourage participation and engagement from those working off-site. For example, many organizations have succeeded with online resource hubs that can record and transcribe meetings while storing notes and assets to influence digital collaboration better.
Incorporating digital tools can not only increase engagement and productivity but also increase accessibility for hybrid team members, which can help limit disruptions across the workplace. With the adoption of digital filing, employees can easily reference needed resources without spending unnecessary time searching through archives.
With hybrid work becoming a new reality, it’s important to remember that these methods can be essential in keeping units on the same wavelength. What might work for one business unit or group could pose issues for others. When thinking about changes to digital platforms, leaders should always assess if and how these advancements can satisfy the common goal of an organization.
Enhancing Customer Service
Customer service is a cornerstone of any successful business and shouldn’t be an afterthought during a digital transformation. Digital-first entities can lean into advancing customer service and experiences in many ways, like leveraging data to better tend to customer-specific wants and needs. I’ve found that additional tools such as remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance solutions, augmented reality and artificial intelligence can also arm customer service departments with data that can help them troubleshoot issues and share informed solutions in a timely manner.
A deeper dive into digital transformation can also allow companies to have a wide range of access to customers around the globe. For example, augmented reality capabilities can help support teams remotely aid customers by offering agents a visual look into the issues being experienced. Customers sometimes have trouble communicating the issues they’ve encountered, so having customer service agents virtually interact with the root cause may help slice the time between problem and solution.
With the use of digital tools, companies can refresh and update their customer service models to keep up with the needs of their community, which can help them in their efforts to enhance brand trust and corporate reputation among stakeholders like customers, partners and the overall industry.
Security Considerations For Digitizing The Workplace
When implementing new digital tools and solutions as part of a digital transformation, a key consideration to limit service and operations disruption is establishing a strong cybersecurity plan. Given today’s hybrid culture, some employees may prefer to complete tasks outside their homes and connect to public networks. However, doing so can leave employees more vulnerable to infiltration by malicious actors who look to exploit weak points and allow outside parties to tap into devices connected to the same network.
If a remote worker connects to a network that has been infiltrated, sensitive materials and company-owned assets are at high risk of being encrypted or stolen. Moreover, access to a remote worker’s laptop can lead to an attack on the entire company network, as the infiltrator can use this opportunity as a front door to take over the company’s wider network. This domino effect of access can be disastrous for both brand trust from customers and partner trust from stakeholders, solidifying the need for business leaders to implement cybersecurity plans that include in-person and remote workers.
To supplement cybersecurity efforts, organizations should also prioritize educating employees as another step in their efforts to help safeguard against digital attacks. Consistently updating and teaching employees about current cybersecurity plans, the tools and methods malicious actors use and how to navigate suspicious activity can help in a company’s efforts to prevent systems from being compromised.
When implementing digital security efforts in the workplace, employees are often one of the first and most important lines of defense. Like other facets of a company’s digital transformation, cybersecurity shouldn’t be treated as a one-size-fits-all situation. Each department will have differing needs and rates of cyber incidents based on how much information they can access. Thus, tailoring employee education programs throughout departments is necessary to increase threat awareness and digital confidence, as well as to help in efforts to safeguard the organization.
As 2023 comes to a close, companies will continue embracing the power of digitization to transform operations and performance. Therefore, staying up to date on the latest advancements and innovations is one key aspect to achieving a smooth digital transformation in 2024 and beyond.