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3 minute read

Digital Acceleration Redefines the Future of Work

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that not all digitization efforts are created equal. Enabling remote work was top of mind at the start of the pandemic, but now companies are looking for ways to glean more business value and sharpen their competitive position with their acceleration efforts.

To better understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the speed of digitally enabling work, the workforce, and the workplace, Workday sponsored research by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, and they surveyed leaders in a variety of industries and geographies. As you’ll see in the following report, which includes WWT's Joe Berger, Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that not all digitization efforts are created equal.

 

As corporate and work environments continue to evolve, digital acceleration spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic has only heightened expectations about the speed and effectiveness of that evolution. That pandemic-related digital acceleration was necessary to secure immediate economic survival, but it ended up doing something more—setting a new normal in terms of organizational speed. So, while the original intention was to quickly enable remote work, organizations now see digital acceleration as a more permanent part of the effort to realize business outcomes.

Eighty-six percent of the 326 business executives across different functions surveyed by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in April 2021 say their organization had accelerated its digital transformation during the pandemic. Of those 279 executives who responded that way, 91% plan to maintain the heightened pace of digital transformation post–Covid-19—or to move even faster—speaking to just how permanent they view this shift in speed to be.

That “great acceleration,” however, did not always come with optimal results in terms of productivity, scope, or speed. After all, the survey reveals that not all companies were well-prepared for the digital acceleration necessary during the pandemic. Fewer than half of survey respondents (45%) strongly agree that they were able to accelerate digital initiatives and stay productive at the same time. Only one-quarter of respondents strongly agree that they were able to accelerate the digitization of all the processes that they set out to digitize during the pandemic, and just 28% say they have been able to transform as fast as they needed to over the past year.

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To ensure productivity and efficiency, it is important to keep track of the right metrics, says Joe Berger, senior director, digital workspace practice at World Wide Technology (WWT). Keeping such metrics is not an easy task, considering the amount of data being generated by interactions between employees and everyone they do business with, including customers, partners, and coworkers. Instead of analyzing superficial data about the attendance or frequency of meetings, data analytics should be aimed at measuring business goals, says Berger.

 

Read the full Harvard Business Review report, including more insights from Joe Berger,  here.