Workplace experience: Why evergreen is everything
Right now, the organizations that offer the most efficient, connected ways of working are attracting the best talent, helping people collaborate and innovate and building significant competitive advantage. These organizations are shifting to a new, holistic approach to managing people, processes and technology – they’re focusing on workplace experience (WX).
Because technology plays such a vital role in how people work together, modern, connected platforms must be the foundation of any workplace experience initiative. And for IT leaders under pressure, modernized platforms offer three important benefits:
- A responsive environment to partner with the business in new ways
- Cost-efficiency from reduced management burdens
- Security baked-in, ensuring compliance and maintaining customer trust
From big-bang upgrades to evergreen IT
Traditional “boom to bust” upgrades and refresh cycles have always been disruptive and expensive. Realizing a workplace experience requires evergreen platforms that can:
- Offer new features and functionality to meet user expectations
- Accelerate provisioning and empower rapid innovation
- Provide up-to-date, best-in-class security
- Deliver business outcomes faster and sustainably
Cloud-based, evergreen services provide a stable, extensible platform that’s less susceptible to outages and more responsive to changes. This allows IT leaders to switch focus away from day-to-day management, to driving innovation and improving the employee and customer experience.
But, like every big technological change, evergreen isn’t just a new approach to technology – it’s a new mindset.
Everything changes with evergreen
Evergreen isn’t just about switching on a new cloud service, sitting back and waiting for the ROI to roll in. For IT leaders and their teams, it requires entirely new ways of working:
- A web of interdependencies will require changes to existing systems, applications, architectures and policies
- Evergreen demands faster, more agile capabilities and processes for management operations
- And it changes the way IT organizations work with the business to become a partner for value creation, not just a cost center
Of course, it’s not just the IT organization that will feel the impact of evergreen. This is a transformation of how people work and collaborate. And that makes user adoption more important than ever.
Solving the end-user adoption puzzle
A wave of new tech – and constant additions of new features – can be overwhelming for end-users. The IT organization must concentrate on the relevant features that have the most impact on users. And to maximize adoption, a well-planned change enablement program is essential, providing the communications and training people need to ensure they take advantage of new capabilities.
A good place to start is by identifying tech evangelists within the business – the digitally-savvy early adopters who are eager to try out new tech. They can explain the everyday benefits and productivity gains to their colleagues, so people can see beyond their instinctive fear of change.
Traditional adoption programs have to evolve at the same pace as technology. Tactical change programs alone will not be enough to achieve the long-term benefits of workplace experience. “Change fatigue” is real, and the employee experience is at risk if we don’t improve the digital literacy of end-users over time.
At Avanade, we’re developing new and innovative approaches to help our clients increase user adoption in a constantly changing world, including:
- Chatbots to give end-users a fast, simple way to get help with using new technology, and deflect helpdesk calls for routine questions
- An interactive quiz that connects users to focused training and communications, based on how they prefer to work and collaborate
- Analytics tools to understand user collaboration, providing insights into what’s working (and what’s not) and the impact on productivity and motivation
A holistic approach to workplace experience
While a modernized, evergreen platform is an important foundation, redefining the workplace experience also relies on addressing two other areas:
- Reimagining culture and employee experience: Within IT, that means adopting modern engineering approaches like Agile and DevOps to manage evergreen platforms. And in the broader business, it means enhancing employee experiences that empower them to perform better.
- Optimizing operations: AI and automation empower people to continuously (and quickly) improve the customer experience. The CIO must help business leaders understand which technology investments will support the rewiring of their operations, while maintaining a platform that’s efficient, responsive and secure.