Why the End User Should Come First When Evaluating New Workplace Technology

WWT was a proud gold sponsor at the recent 2018 Dell Technologies Forum in London which featured the overarching theme of digital transformation. I was inspired by a presentation at the conference on workforce transformation and the evolution of workplace technologies by Dr. Dan Homolka (UKI Services Delivery Director, Dell EMC), and this article explores some of the key drivers causing technology leaders to focus on workplace technologies and their effects on end users. I also review how Dell EMC’s shift from a “technology-focused” product set to an “experience-focused” one is aimed at enabling workers, and I touch on how WWT’s Digital Strategy focus area and other offerings can promote transformational digital experiences by helping organizations identify and implement the right workplace technologies.

Experience is Everything

The end-users’ experience of workplace technologies is fast becoming a key performance indicator for C-suite technology executives. Perhaps more than ever, delivering responsive, productive and collaborative workplace technology is a rising issue on boardroom agendas.

But what is driving this trend?

Attracting Future Talent

According to Forbes, 75 percent of the global workforce will consist of millennials by the year 2025. Commonly labelled tech savvy, millennials increasingly expect and demand cutting-edge technologies that empower them to work anywhere at any time. This evolution in expectations is pushing CTOs and CIOs to prioritize technology as a means to attract the best talent.

Retaining Current Talent

Not only is workplace technology increasingly crucial to talent attraction, it’s also viewed as a key driver for employee retention. Statistics show that employees at organizations lagging in technology updates are 450 percent more likely to leave. Furthermore, workers expect technology to enable flexible working. A recent Gallup Survey indicated that 43 percent of employees worked remotely within the last year, while research from Timewise stated that 87 percent of employees either now work or would like to work flexibly. The threat of attrition combined with growing demands for flexibility is driving leaders to increase investment in emerging end-user technology.

Enabling Your Workforce

Beyond attracting and retaining talent, leadership is tasked with delivering best-in-class IT services to maximize productivity. This is happening despite a trend in declining productivity growth this past decade, with slow and inefficient technology costing some global companies at least 21 days in productivity each year. Given how critical productivity is to an organization’s success, it’s no surprise that C-suite executives are increasingly seeking out technology, tools and processes that prioritize performance, stability and accessibility to help employees be more productive and focus on what really matters.

Dell EMC’s Three-Pronged Approach to the User Experience Trend

Always Ready

The widespread consumerization of technology in our everyday lives has driven a corresponding increase in the expectations employees place upon technology in the workplace. As savvy consumers, employees expect a real-time culture in the workplace where multiple services are experienced instantaneously, repetition is despised, and routine tasks and operations “just work.” Dell EMC has anticipated this cultural shift and aligned its solution offerings by focusing on what it calls an “Always Ready” vision for its products, which they design to be:

  • Ubiquitously Available: Quick start-up times and rapid charging speeds remove the need for users to sit and wait for technology to catch-up with their productive ambitions.
  • Persistently Connected: Through integration with modern operating systems, Dell EMC’s hardware enables robust and secure access to its applications. This ensures that users don’t waste cycles logging in to system after system.
  • Naturally Proactive: The latest hardware solutions can sense their surroundings and operate seamlessly, extending displays to external monitors when near a dock rather than forcing users to fumble with cables and adapters.

Immersive Productivity

In addition to responsiveness, productivity and performance are also important to your workforce. Employees want to focus on their day-to-day tasks without distraction (i.e., without having to worry whether opening that spreadsheet will send their devices into meltdown). Users wish to interact with their devices in a way that suits them—whether that be via traditional keyboard and mouse or soon, as trends indicate, via augmented or virtual reality. Dell EMC labels this area its “Immersive Productivity” vision, which breaks down into the following areas:

  • Focus Me: Uses artificial intelligence to block out unwanted system notifications and distractions while empowering users to customize and configure devices to their hearts’ content.
  • Multiply Me: Optimizes available hardware based on what the user is trying to achieve. For instance, maximizing graphical processing when streaming video content then, without manual intervention, switching to battery conservation mode when excess processing power is no longer required.
  • Extend Me: Provides a seamless device experience irrespective of the interaction method (e.g., touchscreen, traditional keyboard and mouse).

Working Together

Finally, as collaboration continues to be a key priority for technology leadership, employees are increasingly being asked to collaborate and co-create to deliver business outcomes. Such collaboration should be effortless and simplistic. Dell EMC supports such demands through its “Working Together” vision, which encompasses:

  • Transitions: Being able to transition seamlessly between devices and workspace set ups without having to spin up slow or clunky screen-sharing sessions via teleconferencing tools.
  • Spaces: Leveraging the latest in large-format displays and other meeting room technologies to save time and effort in “sharing.” These intelligent environments or spaces intuitively understand personalized devices and user intentions.
  • Co-creation: Building a technical capability to encourage real-time cross-collaboration that allows users to collectively connect to, view and edit work without bouncing files back and forth through email.

The above visions from Dell EMC, as presented by Dr. Homolka, demonstrate how a vendor can successfully anticipate the needs of its client base by paying close attention to changing trends in technology as well monitoring user behavior.

WWT also excels at anticipating and delivering technology solutions that meet the changing needs of our customers (and their customers).

WWT and Workplace Transformation

With organizations looking to invest significantly in emerging workplace technology in the next three years, it is key that vendors (like Dell EMC) ensure that end users and their experiences remain top of mind when new technology is discussed by leadership.

WWT can help organizations interested in developing a workplace transformation strategy keep the end-user experience in perspective through a diverse range of capabilities and offerings designed to make your digital transformation seamless:

  • Customers can use WWT’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to benefit from demonstrations of multi-vendor workplace architectures, labs for mission-critical technology designs, and tech briefings on emerging and competing workplace technologies.
  • WWT can be a strategic partner on your digital transformation journey by helping develop a Digital Strategy that merges the needs of both IT (e.g., modernization, automation, accelerated delivery) and business leadership (new revenue channels, workforce attraction and retention, increased customer satisfaction).
  • Finally, WWT’s Adoption Services can help you get the most out of existing and newly implemented technologies and optimize productivity.

We invite you to contact us here or reach out to your WWT account executive to discuss how best we can be of service on your journeys of workforce and digital transformation.