Digital Workplace Insights

Creating digital workplace tools for the mobile employee

The process of work is changing forever. If you travel by train, bus or tram to work in the morning, the most obvious sign of mobile first engagement is looking around at your fellow passengers and seeing the majority of people giving their personal devices their undivided attention. This is the mobile first audience. Professionals like you who work in knowledge creation, sharing and management related roles, in all parts of the world. 

When you look at the process of work, you still see people working at desktops and laptops. These same people stare at their mobile devices while at lunch, travelling, waiting to see the doctor and when they first wake up in the morning, but the process of performing work is still anchored to a thirty year old computing paradigm.

The mobile device provides a new level of intimacy that the desktop or laptop isn’t able to compete with. This habitual behavior between the user and their device will eventually permeate entirely through to how we perform work. The biggest hurdle facing this tipping point is the software. Key organizations are invested in ensuring we continue to work the way we do today, but the behavior of the mobile user confidently derides this investment and paves the way for new models in the race for the future of work. So what does the digital workplace of the future look like? There are some key ingredients that are omnipresent and in various different forms.

Mobile

The device will become the maker platform. As mobile software improves, screen resolutions increase and an interface for making content evolves, we’ll soon be undertaking more sophisticated methods of performing work while on the go than just reading emails and checking Facebook. In many cases our phone is now more powerful than the desktop we are relegated to use at work, and it provides new interfaces that our PC doesn't provide such as a high-resolution camera that shoots video and sports a GPS. The opportunity for creating new digital workplace tools for the mobile employee has yet to be fully realized.

The mobile device provides a new level of intimacy that the desktop or laptop isn’t able to compete with. This habitual behavior between the user and their device will eventually permeate entirely through to how we perform work. 

Cloud

The race to become the world’s most dominant cloud provider is being fought out by a select few behemoths and the value of this fight is further commoditization of infrastructure as a service. As the race continues, its conceivable to view that we’ll reach a tipping point where the cloud becomes free for delivering enterprise data and services. This opportunity will see a new wave of cloud delivered work solutions that are solely designed for mobile only consumption. Cloud only solutions also remove barriers to entry for a class of organization who historically haven’t leveraged what digital technology provides.

Social

Many have tried social in the context of work, yet there still isn’t a globally recognized version of Facebook for work. Indeed Facebook have been working on their own version for use within the enterprise, but the concept of Facebook at work for many CIO’s is still perhaps a difficult sales pitch. The opportunity of adding social context to the way work is performed offers exciting new possibilities of removing the drudgery from the process of work and realizing some aspects of work creation being achieved through social sharing and discussion. Socially aware organizations are more likely to achieve greater efficiencies in the work they perform than their introverted desktop driven competitors.

Voice

‘Siri, please create a new post and draft me five hundred words on how we’ll perform work in the future as mobile first employees’. Job done. Voice offers the most significant opportunity to marry mobile workers with the art of performing work. Commanding our devices to create, copy, post and publish is largely an unfulfilled opportunity to cross the chasm from desktop operator to mobile creator. Coupled with social and cloud, voice is the realtime layer than accelerates our prospects of allowing the process of work to occur as easily as we hold a conversation with each another.

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