Companies need to recognise employees can develop own Personal Digital Advantage
These are the digital tools, hardware and software that enable them to work better
ACCORDING to Nielsen’s smartphone penetration report, Malaysia ranks second highest in Asia Pacific at 80%.
Individuals are now connected on-the-go, equipped with multiple mobile devices and software tools readily available to enhance, automate, and assist them with work. With the younger tech-savvy generation leveraging the latest apps to improve work efficiency, companies need to keep up with the growing demands of an increasingly mobile workforce.
The combination of trends – brings your own (BYO) devices and applications (apps), shared economy and the consumerisation of IT – have led to the ‘near-death’ of the ‘traditional office.’
The workforce now craves for a flexible and mobile workspace, where they are able to work when, where and how they want – and collaboratively.
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With the increasing role of technology in today’s workspace, companies need to recognise the ability of employees to develop their own ‘Personal Digital Advantage,’ which is made up of all the digital tools, hardware and software that enable them to work and live faster and better.
As the convergence of business and technology continues to accelerate, organisations and businesses need to relook the delivery of this ‘workspace of tomorrow.’
How they deliver apps, desktops and services to cater to employees is an integral part of effective talent recruitment and retention strategies to bring about business growth.
There are an overwhelming number of devices and software tools available today to enhance and automate work processes, as well as assist people with work.
By mastering the various tools technology surrounds them with, employees are able to work more efficiently through digital means. Each individual may utilise a myriad of technological tools to help them work better. This is viewed as developing their ‘Personal Digital Advantage.’
Here are five key practices to achieving the ‘Personal Digital Advantage’:
1) Seamless multi-device experiences
With the prevalence of BYOD, an employee most likely utilises more than one device to access emails, edit documents and more, at any one time. Coming into the workplace with pre-integrated technology gives the employee an advantage in the digital world.
Enterprises need to recognise the benefits to efficiency these tools are giving employees, and securely deliver the necessary corporate services/ apps required for work through these devices, instead of trying to supplant them.
This not only saves on cost of devices for enterprises, but gives employees the freedom to work efficiently on their device of choice.
2) Attention and information management
There is just so much information out there to be digested. The amount of information coming to us doubles every 1.5 years. There is no use in information that we do not understand. Tools that help streamline and organise information and data to ease its consumption is prized by many individuals.
Apps like Google Alerts help filter through required information. Tools such as Evernote help individuals visualise this information.
Enterprises need to recognise that such tools increase an employee’s productivity. The management of information is not only important at the corporate level, but also at the individual employee level.
3) Speed learning
Work springs new obstacles along the way that many may not be trained for. Just-in-time learning tools, e.g. Code Academy and Lynda.com, allow individuals to learn quickly in small chunks anywhere, thus growing their knowledge and increasing their ‘Personal Digital Advantage’ as individuals and valuable employees.
4) Real-time digital assistance
Siri, Google Now and Microsoft Cortana are forms of hybrid intelligence that are further providing employees with real-time assistance.
Digital virtual assistance serves as an employee’s personal assistant, helping them keep to schedules with reminders, directing the employee to a meeting location just by entering an address.
This extends one’s ability to get things done and creates a hybrid of human and computer intelligence to enhance digital advantage.
5) Time warping through automation
Automation gives us the gift of time – allowing us to do other things. Many employees are already using personal automation tools, e.g. IFTTT and Zapier, to automate tasks, such as automatically transcribing a voicemail to Evernote, invoicing reminders, automatically switching lights off when the user shuts his laptop.
The possibilities are endless and employees are leveraging them to work smarter.
Companies need to identify such automated applications that employees use, and integrate them with corporate requirements to enable the whole company to work smarter and achieve better growth.
Enabling the creative revolution
An abundance of technology gives individuals more freedom to create and make unique contributions to society.
The above-mentioned key practices are becoming increasingly necessary in order to be successful in a world that is information-loaded, constantly changing, and overwhelming with priorities that absorb time.
Enterprises should aim to deliver corporate apps to employees’ realm of digital devices and help each of them hone their own ‘Personal Digital Advantages.’ In turn, by leveraging these tools, employees will be able to collaborate better and work faster – enabling enterprises to realise returns on investments.
IT and employers have to move away from the model of deploying hardware and software. Instead, organisations need to consider building value-added services and managing operations towards a model where IT helps integrate and aggregate a vast array of services catered to the employee.
This will help employers meet the changing demands of a workforce that is increasingly digitally savvy – retaining a pool of the best available talents, and gaining access to even more from anywhere in the world.
For more information, you can download the complete 2019 Technology Landscape report here.
Mark Micallef is area vice president of Citrix Asean.
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