Work is changing, and so must the employee experience. Consider that one in five jobs in the U.S. is held by a worker under contract, according to a recent study, and within a decade, contractors and freelancers in the “gig economy” could make up half of the U.S. workforce. More U.S. employees are also working remotely, and for longer periods, according to a Gallup survey. In fact, enterprise companies now make up 20% of WeWork’s membership and 30% of its monthly revenue, according to the coworking company.

What’s the same across all of these populations is that the great majority rely on digital to be productive. All workers – but especially younger generations and anyone who’s the least bit tech savvy – expect their data, applications and system access to follow them wherever they work. Whichever devices and technologies they use to navigate their personal lives, they’ll expect in the workplace, with the same level of contextualized experience.

Meanwhile, emerging technologies are expected to reshape the in-office workspace. Consider the movement toward smarter workspaces – smart buildings, smart badges, etc. – and other advancements, such as intelligent bots and virtual assistants, AI-driven data discovery, personal productivity analytics and workstream collaboration. All of these trends will continue to automate tasks and enhance the employee experience while further encouraging the adoption of digital.

Employee Centricity

For businesses, all these changes are causing  a tectonic shift in mindset, from an office-centric work culture to an employee-centric service model. But while business leaders recognize the performance benefits and revenue opportunities that come with a digital workplace,  this transition can be more difficult for IT, which  needs to give employees the freedom to be creative and productive with both mobile and enterprise applications while maintaining security and compliance. 

The fact of the matter is that traditional methods for managing devices and apps just aren’t sustainable as we move toward more employee-centric models of working. The business wants IT to empower workers through a consumerized experience, and IT must figure out how it’s going to meet this need, manage the new model and still keep the enterprise secure.

Converge Silos, Simplify and Secure

A unified digital workplace platform can help IT address this shift  in the employee experience by bringing aspects of user, device and applications together under one single pane of glass for centralized service delivery. Such platforms provide users with contextual and conditional access to business and IT resources. Applications are provided based on user persona, and selected from a service catalog. Built-in intelligence and analytics automate and measure the user experience.

By helping a leading multinational consumer goods company upgrade its infrastructure to VMware WorkSpace One, for example, we helped the company provide both corporate and retail employees with access to the business’s content, apps and business processes. This established a single go-to competence for all mobility needs. The company now has a secure, controlled mobile workspace environment; contextual and conditional access to enterprise resources; higher employee productivity; and an enriched employee experience.

Creating a Unified Digital Workplace

Essential elements of a unified digital workplace platform include:

  • User centricity and an enriched employee experience: Employees need access to required resources wherever they are, with self-support options.
  • Context awareness: IT support should be based on user context (work hours, employment type and location) and device context (ownership and connectivity).
  • Application and platform independence: Employees need to access applications regardless of device platform and form factor.
  • Converged IT: The platform should manage, configure and push policies, as well as provision software and apps to all devices.
  • Scale up and scale out capabilities: Cloud implementations can ramp up or down depending on needs.

Moving away from office-centric to employee-centric service models can help organizations increase efficiency, accelerate innovation and boost revenue. By leveraging platforms like Cognizant WorkNEXT™ UEM and VMware Workspace One, businesses can provide a personalized employee experience, securely and effectively, to drive business success.

Amresh Singh

Amresh Singh

Amresh Singh is Chief Architect and head of the Digital Workplace Services Portfolio in Cognizant Infrastructure Services.  He has more than 16... Read more