Digitization: a Buzz Word or Essential to the Modern Workplace?

Written by Keith Jump

In last month’s’ blog, we discussed how the workplace is evolving using hybrid work practices enabled through the convergence of the physical and digital layers—exploring how to make the best decisions and provide the best employee experience.

Data driven from every interaction and connection is the key. Ensuring that behavioral analytics, environmental information, and other data points can inform true spatial intelligence and enable informed decisions can optimize the workplace experience for each employee.

However, how do we get there?

Digital transformation of course…

As digitization increases its coverage across the built environment, data points are growing in quantity and granularity.

There is a need to be able to consolidate and consume data quickly and efficiently from a single source of truth—to be able to query the right data, at the right time, from anywhere—this will become a necessity, not a nice to have.

This single source of data will need to include inputs from IoT, space management and reservation applications, building management systems, access control, employee collaboration, and communications and workplace experience platforms. That means, not only do you need the source of data, but you need to connect and aggregate the various systems, to give you that single pane of glass view of your workplace and built environment.  Then you need the reporting capabilities to share meaningful insights and optimize your workplace over time.

Therefore, a building and workplace ecosystem will be essential, demanding an open architecture from all its component parts, enabling the integration and connectivity needed to achieve a single source of truth.

Each system must be able to share meaningful data in real-time, whether to trigger an application event or inform descriptive and predictive data models for analysis.

The interrelationship of components is essential, where each part of the ecosystem must be able to share data, information, and content in a recognizable format, through simple APIs and feeds—to not only provide meaningful data, but insights across the employee journey and experience.

Digital transformation is indeed an essential part of the modern workplace.

So, is digital transformation difficult?

Employee expectations are growing, regardless of where the employee is working from—hybrid, in-office, or fully remote. This is putting pressure on organizations to create a connected experience, relying on cloud-first digital services to increase productivity, drive engagement, and ensure the overall employee experience attracts and retains talent.

Demands have never been higher to accelerate agility in the workplace, with collaboration and innovation being a priority. Open, integrated, and event-driven architecture is a deciding factor when selecting constituent parts of your ecosystem and connecting those technologies.

Therefore, new roles and skills have been and will continue to emerge across each industry. The business technologist will play a pivotal role in partnering with cross-functional teams in-house and with their ecosystem partners, delivering a connected experience and business intelligence through data.

The advent of AI and automation within all aspects of the eco-system will accelerate the development, implementation, and engagement of new digital services, with the core objectives of delivering a connected workplace and employee experience.

As we touched on in the last article, AI can drive automation and huge productivity gains. Just imagine a world where your Business Management System (BMS) constantly reviews its own performance, optimizing its settings, diagnosing inefficient equipment and delivering building efficiency gains, as though you had a large, dedicated team working on it 24/7.

Apply this to your space reservation systems, employee communications platforms, or environmental systems, and it becomes clear that AI is set to be the most significant advancement in the workplace for many years—a transformational function, through the digitization of the workplace.

Interestingly, some of this automation has already become part of our everyday lives without us realizing, but as it grows within corporate real estate, at every level through the digital layer—it will deliver increasingly more powerful results, creating a more connected experience along the way.

Integration is king in the digital transformation of our global workplaces.

At the heart of the workplace is people.

Employee Experience is paramount to a successful business in a hybrid world. We are seeing a growing number of businesses prioritizing the creation of the connected employee experience as one of their key organizational goals and outcomes.

Rating alongside that is operational efficiencies and productivity, hence why digital transformation is on the agenda for most forward-thinking and profitable businesses.

The key foundation layer of any digital transformation program should focus on employees and  customers—hence, you’ll hear human, people or colleague-centric design principles often referred to.

Get the people part of a digital transformation right and the rest will follow.

Employee experience is a determining factor in continued engagement and success, which means it needs owners, investment, and measurable standards.

In essence, digital transformation is happening around us all the time. To capitalize on that fact, organizations must continually link digital transformation back to business objectives and key results to create a more effective, transparent transformation program.

Digitization may be an enabler, but with AI and automation, it is now part of the way forward like never before.

In partnership with FWI, Connect XP will look to organize a roundtable event in July, please DM me if you are interested in being involved.

My next blog is in July…

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