Ricoh Workstyle is no longer active. You can keep up to date with the latest thinking from Ricoh UK on our new blog, Ricoh Insights.

When senior leaders talk about transforming their business they often describe the answer as needing a digital strategy. To them it can be quite an easy statement to make. After all – who doesn’t understand the impact that a digital experience can have? Facebook, iPhone, Netflix, Siri and so on.

But to the IT and business management groups understanding, developing and executing a digital strategy can be an uncomfortable road if a core fundamental approach is not defined.

Events happen faster than ever before, and ‘going digital’, whether it is through omni-channel marketing, business process optimisation or workforce productivity, can be a rocky road of mistake after mistake before results are proven to the business. Sometimes going fast isn’t always the best advice.

And chances are that like many CIOs and IT directors, you have as yet to come up with a detailed and cost-effective plan to deliver a vision of a digitally optimised organisation that successfully incorporates the mobile and flexible working requirements of your people, their expectation to collaborate and share knowledge freely and easily, as well as enjoy the same highly personalised, information-rich experience on any device and from any location.

But of course dialogue with senior management doesn’t have to end up like this. Both you, as the head of the IT department, and the senior management team should know that creating and implementing a digital strategy for the workplace that supports collaboration, knowledge sharing and effective information management is likely to be crucial to the future growth of your organisation.

One obvious factor in the creation of a digital strategy – not the only one of course – is the impact on your people – your workers or digital workers to be more accurate.

You will realise that the digital dividend of enhanced productivity, employee satisfaction and the creation of an agile organisation that can react quickly and effectively to opportunities and challenges as they arise are attainable goals.

So the real point is where to start, and how best to go about creating and implementing such a digital strategy for the workplace that can prove to be a significant challenge for some.

As I suggested in a previous blog article, a good starting point could be to ask some basic questions about your organisation’s digital maturity.

For the first time in our working lives and technological journey, we are now faced with a multi-faceted decision process to consider. No longer is this the domain of the IT department, or HR or marketing. To build a digital strategy requires collaborative input and ideas generation from all the domains in a business.

I liken this to trying to solve a Rubik Cube puzzle. Without an understanding of the algorithm to solve the puzzle, it can be a long and frustrating experience with a negative outcome.

I envisage each side of this virtual cube having some high-level, searching questions that a senior management team should consider.

  • Business Vision – What are the business imperatives for success and how does a digitally optimised workforce directly influence growth and further success?
  • People – What impact would smarter use of collaboration tools have on the daily productivity of your business? A lot? Some? None at all?
  • Technology – Will your IT service be a bottleneck in the future in terms of providing interactive solutions for collaboration , knowledge capture and workforce mobility?
  • Customers – Would using digital services to gain better insight into your customers and supply chain drive more value and loyalty?
  • Business Processes – Would optimising core business processes, from mailroom through to customer transaction experience materially impact the bottom line?
  • Workplace – Does an improved workplace environment with features like digitised meeting rooms, interactive information screens, contemplation zones, self-service bars etc increase individual worker productivity that drives more output and greater customer service

The answers that are likely to emerge from these questions should highlight the gap between what was good enough for the traditional, analogue workplace, and what is required to create a digitally optimised environment that cultivates and prioritises collaboration, knowledge sharing and insight-based information management.

How you and the rest of the management team choose to follow up these issues may well determine the effectiveness of any digital strategy that you decide to develop for your workplace.

For more information about implementing a digital strategy why not speak to one of our ITS team. Learn more about Ricoh’s ITS solutions here.

Ricoh Workstyle is no longer active. You can keep up to date with the latest thinking from Ricoh UK on our new blog, Ricoh Insights.

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