Do you have the digital dexterity for new ways of working?

Roger Laing

Monday 3 September 2018

Create a digital workplace to support new ways of working, like virtual collaboration and mobile working, and you have a great platform for growth, say analysts Gartner. Yet, few succeed. How can you improve your digital dexterity and compete more successfully?

Smart technology is driving today’s workforce. The same ease-of-use that consumers want is expected in today’s business technology. Mobile devices – from laptops to smartphones – are designed to keep the workforce performing well, whether they’re simply moving between offices or travelling between locations.

It’s especially important as the workforce grows more mobile. 71% of enterprises across the world have mobility as a top priority1, with the mobile workforce expected to make up to 42.5% of the total global workforce by 20222

There are other disruptions in the digital workplace – with the emergence of new technologies based on artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and the Internet of Things. But this new tech alone won’t boost productivity without new ways of working.

 

Henry Ford guide to tech change

As Cap Gemini points out in their report tech change always has to be matched by organisational change, just as it was back in the 19th century when electricity replaced steam. It was only the realisation that electricity could power individual machines, rather than all of them at once, that led to the introduction of assembly lines. As a result, Henry Ford could reduce the build time of a single car from 12 hours to 2.5 hours.

Similarly, the firms that are most successful in the digital era are those that have rethought the way they do things as well as invest in the technology.

They have transformed themselves. They are no longer merely digitally capable, using new technologies to do things such as provide services on a mobile app, they now have digital dexterity. They can respond quickly to change by re-organising themselves and getting the most value from digital tech.

These digital organisations outperformed the competition in a number of areas and felt better equipped to deal with any future disruption, according to research carried out by Cap Gemini and MIT Center for Digital Business.

 

For these digital organisations, customer satisfaction was 90% (compared with 41% for all firms) Innovation was 80% (compared to 34%), while profitability (90% to 46%) and growth (80% to 35%)

virtually doubled.

Yet such digital organisations, where there is a company-wide, digital-first mindset coupled with significant experience and skills in mobile digital technologies, is rare.

 

Digital dexterity

In fact, only 7-18% of organisations possess the digital dexterity to adopt new ways of work (NWOW) solutions, such as virtual collaboration and mobile work, according to analysts Gartner.

The readiness for digital dexterity also varies between countries. It’s significantly higher in the US (18.2%) Germany (17.6%) and UK (17.1%) than in France, Singapore and Japan.

In the more dexterous companies they are more open to working from anywhere, especially out of the office. Generally, the attitude to work, experience, age and demographic all play into readiness to embrace digital dexterity.

Gartner says it is the youngest (18-24-year-olds) and oldest (55-74-year-olds) in the workforce that are most likely to adopt new ways of working. While older workers are keener on team work than millennials, both groups are keen on using the latest technology in their working life.

Larger organisations also tend to have higher digital dexterity than smaller ones, as digital dexterity doesn’t come cheap. It needs investment in workplace design, mobile devices and software, which says Gartner, is easier for the bigger enterprise.

 

 

1 https://smebusinessacademy.com/enterprise-mobility-trends-infographic/

2 RCR Wireless

Building the next-gen data centre

Where traditional and web-scale apps co-exist