Work Transformation Is Crucial for Digital Transformation

January 20, 2020

Sponsored by Comcast

Written by Holly Muscolino, Research VP, Content and Process Strategies and the Future of Work, IDC

As organizations accelerate and expand digital transformation (DX) initiatives, traditional work models are no longer nimble enough, adaptive enough nor scalable enough to align with rapidly changing technology advancements and shifting market and customer requirements. A new work model is required. We call this transition "work transformation", and it is a crucial component of a successful digital transformation initiative.

Work transformation is a fundamental shift in the work model to one that fosters human-machine collaboration, enables new skills and worker experiences and supports an intelligent and dynamic environment un-bounded by time or physical space. Organizations that successfully transform the work environment will experience increased employee productivity and improved employee experience, engagement and innovation, resulting in greater business value and competitive differentiation.

Several forces are uniting to make work transformation a critical component of organizations' DX initiatives. A broad range of technologies are changing how we get work done by automating routine, repetitive tasks and processes. Human workers operate side by side with AI-enabled solutions, allowing those workers to focus on higher-value activities.

In addition, our consumer experiences are driving new expectations for the work environment, including personalized experiences and easy access to resources, anytime and anywhere. This is exacerbated by our multi-generational workforces, which bring differing needs to the workplace, all of which must be accommodated. These changes are happening very rapidly and will impact organizations of all sizes across all industries.

In a recent IDC study, we asked respondents to identify the most important drivers for implementing work transformation initiatives in their organization (see Figure 1). In addition to driving productivity, respondents told us that work transformation initiatives drive improved employee experience and better engagement with customers and partners. A better employee experience and work-life balance contributes to better talent acquisition and retention. As noted previously, this leads to new value creation and competitive differentiation, impacting the top line as well as the bottom line.

FIGURE 1: Work Transformation Drivers

Q. What are the most important drivers for implementing workplace transformation initiatives in your organization?

Comcast_Work X_HollyBlog1_IMG1
Source: Future of Work, IDC, November 2018, N=400

The Digitally Transformed Workspace

To support a new way of working, organizations must support an agile workforce with a flexible and connected work environment. The future workspace must enable collaboration among all stakeholders and provide secure access to corporate resources from anywhere and via their preferred device.

This requires integrated systems, tools and data that participate in new (and changing) workflows and that are governed by new policies. Seamless connectivity and access to enterprise resources that does not hinder productivity or diminish user experience are integral to the future workspace. This requires connected, agile, secure, always-on infrastructure.

Of course, security remains an imperative. Since the digitally transformed workspace is no longer bounded by a physical location and must enable anytime/anywhere access to corporate resources, the secure perimeter of the past is no longer enough. In addition to secure access, organizations must consider compliance with industry and government regulations, including data sovereignty and privacy laws.

Work Transformation is Underway

Respondents to our survey indicated that many work transformation initiatives are already underway (see figure 2.) Security solution, reskilling, and collaboration solutions top the list. Over 45% of respondents have introduced or plan to introduce security solutions and policies to support new workstyles. Almost 39% have (or plan to have) tools to facilitate internal and external collaboration.

FIGURE 2: Work Transformation Initiatives in Progress

Comcast_Work X_HollyBlog1_IMG2
*Technology includes process automation, robotics, AR/VR
Source: Measuring DX Through CX and EX, June 2019, IDC, N=875

Network transformation is key to enabling the intelligent digital workspace. Organizations that leverage a wide portfolio of software-defined WAN underpinned by a global broadband IP-network, are in a great position to enable the work transformation journey.

For the full story on how organizations are driving increased employee productivity, improving employee experience and driving greater business value with work transformation, download the IDC report, “The Digital Transformation of Work: How Technology Is Enabling a More Productive and Dynamic Work Experience.”

As DX efforts expand, a new work model is necessary to align with shifting market requirements.

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