By Rajesh Varrier, SVP, Head of Digital Experience & Microsoft Business, Infosys
While the corporate world has pulled together resources and tech stack to make remote working productive for 2021, there are new practices that are constantly evolving under the banner of digital or hybrid workplaces. As industries adopt digital workplace solutions such as smart spaces, upskilling the workforce will become equally important.
Technology-driven workplaces and the changing relationship between humans and machines means that a newer set of skills and jobs are becoming a reality. Although digital tools and online working practices will be crucial elements in a hybrid future, it is important to understand that the focus has shifted towards digital adoption rather than evolution while stepping into the new world of work.
The digital workplace is at a point of inflection due to the changing composition of the workforce, emphasis on employee experience, and the rising need to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO). Generational shift has witnessed millennials become the largest part of the workforce with the continuous growth of the gig economy and the entry of post-millennials. While the emergence of BYOD policies, as-a-service models for hardware, and the accelerated migration to the cloud have greatly shaped the new world of work, employee experience remains a key digital transformation goal in modernizing the workplace for efficient operations.
There are multiple aspects to delivering the desired Employee Experience:
• Business resilience: Workforce disruption is all around us and businesses are having to pivot to remote working models. Keeping in mind the priority is on improving productivity and supporting employee well-being.
• Distributed collaboration: Digital workplace use cases are increasingly leaning toward workflow orchestration across distributed teams. Driving workplace transformation using cloud-based tools and helping organizations achieve better employee productivity, enhancing the employee experience, and driving employee well-being in the process of unified endpoint management.
• Economic Uncertainty: With the looming economic uncertainty a few customers are looking to monetize existing assets by transitioning them to system integrators, infusing one-off capital, moving to consumption-driven models, and overall reducing TCO.
However, there is a fourth element in addition to the above. In a dilemma over ‘build versus buy,’ enterprises are actively looking to improve their adoption of digital capabilities to not just cost-effectively service their clients but also enable them in onboarding processes through the new-age platforms and broaden the services to their employees. Microsoft has introduced good tooling of enterprise packages, a power platform and a low code – no code platform, which organizations can leverage to accomplish just that.
‘Smart spaces,’ an effective combination of IoT, 5G, and Infosys Field Services solution as an application is another notable push towards the development and implementation of efficient building management and energy optimization. Digital technology has become a significant component that helps collate powerful intelligence to enhance a building’s green credentials, promote sustainability, and create a healthier workspace for the modern-day workforce. That said, a successful workplace transformation requires absolute protection of enterprise information against the security risks that come with remote working. There will be a shift in focus toward unified end-point management as the zero-trust security model is fast becoming mainstream.
The new world of work is seeing increased traction around virtual desktops and cloud-managed workplace through intelligent applications, mobile facilitation, and implementation of cloud-based tools. With 5G in our grasp, the next wave of disruptions will serve as a sneak peek into the endless possibilities of workplace transformation.
While a vast majority of corporates are still working from a predominantly remote setup, there will be a renewed focus on connected workplaces, user experience management, and real-time workplace analytics and insights. Technology aside, it all boils down to maintaining the human element of an enterprise—employee productivity, experience, and well-being—in the process of establishing the ideal digital workplace we have been striving for.