I recently received a review copy of Digital Workplace Trends 2013 by Jane McConnell. I have seen prior reports and was very impressed so I was pleased to get this latest version. I am going to review it in several posts since the 150+ page report deserves this type of coverage. I met Jane at KM World. She has 14 years of extensive hands-on consulting experience with intranet and digital workplace strategy in large, global organizations. Jane has conducted the annual surveys since 2006 and published reports every year since 2007. Data for this report was collected in the fourth quarter of 2012. The findings are based on an online survey of over 100 questions with participants from 362 organizations around the world, from a wide range of industries.
The report indicates that, “the top two goals of the digital workplace - rated equally important - are “organizational intelligence” and “efficiency and cost savings.” This corresponds to McKinsey’s 2012 Projected Business Value of Social Business at a Trillion Annually. In 2010 they reported, Enterprise 2.0 finds Its Payday where they found significant quantified benefits from the business use of social media. Similar results were found in 2011.
Jane writes that the digital workplace is a work in progress with different dimensions, not all equally mature. They include managed information and processes, structured collaboration, social collaboration and a mobile dimension. She adds that it is transformative and I would certainly agree.
Jane makes several predictions. First, 2013 is the year where mobile takes off. She found that 60% of organizations consider mobile to be important and have already made “significant” or “some” investment. Last year the figure was just under 40%. There is still much to be done here as Jane found that 45% of organizations offer either no mobile or simply access to email. Only a third offer “basic services,” such as calendar, directory and news. An even smaller number, 20%, have provided mobile access to work tools for collaborative, HR and other task-related needs. This is where the real value that McKinsey talks about will occur.
Jane also found that, “adoption lags far behind deployment for the social capabilities that empower individuals and self-organizing communities and challenge traditional hierarchies and roles within organizations.” She adds that enterprise social networking is deployed in 70% of the early adopters and 35% of the majority. However, it has not reached a critical mass of usage even for many of the early adopters. I think realize that the change to social business is going to happen. As I saw recently at IBM Connect 2013, IBM is betting the company on it and I think that is a wise move. But most organizations still do not really know how to do it.
Leading the resistance to change are the middle managers, not the senior officials but that has probably been the case since the Roman army. Jane found that the most effective change driver is “colleague and peer” behavior. At the same time many senior managers have embraced the reality of the digital workplace. I think one of the threatening aspects of the digital workplace to middle managers is that it shortens the distance between employees and senior management, taking out the gate keeper and filtering role that many middle managers play. However, companies are going to have to deal with this as middle managers are the backbone of the organization and change will generally not happen without their engagement.
The report is organized into eight sections: transformation, mobile, social collaboration, process, experience, investment, change, and finding your direction. I will cover some of the details in my next post, Review of Digital Workplace Trends 2013 – Selected Details. You can purchase the report through its web site, www.digital-workplace-trends.com. If you are serious about making the digital workplace happen in your organization, it is a good move to obtain a copy.