Digital Workplace Insights

Why staff choice is shaping the future of the Digital Workplace

Technology, that fundamental and indispensible layer that enables organizations to function, is being seriously challenged. The voice of the user is growing stronger than IT purchasing preferences, and employees are making technology decisions without the endorsement of management.

This work movement is cyclic as computing evolves from mainframe, to desktop and now to user-centric mobile computing. As the internal server is replaced by the cloud service, so are internal applications which are being disrupted by more nimble, consumer-driven products that can be installed and configured on your phone.

As posted by Gerry McGovern the implications are quickly evolving from Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT). But is the rise of the self-serving employee a surprise, or a natural inflexion point in the future of work?

If improved tools or process present themselves, people will naturally choose the path of least resistance. This is most evident when you present millennial employees with yesterday’s technologies. The concept of client-server technologies that are inherently cumbersome and poorly designed leave employees asking fundamental questions like whether they can even perform their role effectively.

If improved tools or process present themselves, people will naturally choose the path of least resistance.

Email is being disrupted by cloud services like Slack and HipChat that dance their way through corporate firewalls and straight past entrenched security policies, not because IT encourage or advertise it, but because these platforms of choice are chosen by individuals who have no issue adopting them onto their personal mobile devices which have no place inside the corporate domain.

The DNA of many organizations makes them unprepared for the amplification of cloud services that ultimately empower the employee. Simple and intuitive, and in some cases free to use, employees are creating networks of these cloud tools to service their needs in unique ways.

These interconnected apps are often glued together using authentication from personal Gmail or social media accounts, and while this collection of misfit apps could be deemed less elegant by enterprise standards, the facts are they provide resolution in solving complex problems. Increasingly these cloud services are where people are going to get work done.

The challenge remains with integrating these services with internal content and data from aging applications. For most organizations both large and small, significant time has been spent in developing, creating and maintaining what are complex and bespoke systems that keep most organizations running. Is it possible that organizations can simply hit a reset button and move their entire operation to a portfolio of rebel apps? The likelihood is the organization wont have a vote in the matter.

Increasingly cloud services are where people are going to get work done.

For the first time, staff are voting against the IT regime and choosing to snub generational platforms that have powered companies for decades. In the age of digital experimentation users have become app connoisseurs, destined to discover the next best thing that can transform the way they get work done.

As the clock runs down on corporate licensing arrangements for many vendors, employees have already decided what applications matter to them going forward. All you have to do is ask what apps they have installed.

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