Workplace technology: it’s time to make it a strategic investment

By Nicky Hoyland, CEO and founder, Huler.

The pandemic has led to organisations adopting more technology than ever before. With many workforces operating remotely, this technology has enabled teams to communicate and collaborate no matter where they are.

Recent statistics from the ONS found that investment in machinery and information and communication technology rose by more than 7 per cent between the final quarter of 2019 and the second quarter of this year. It is clear that organisations continue to prioritise digital technologies that support new business models and practices.

But how can businesses ensure they are investing in technology that actually improves productivity and gives employees a positive experience?

Improving the employee experience

In the past, the adoption and procurement of workplace technology has been the job of the IT department of an organisation. It would be fair to say that IT departments are traditionally risk-adverse and prone to choosing the “safest” or cheapest option. Think “nobody gets fired for buying IBM”. When it comes to workplace technology, this conservative approach has led to organisations using outdated technology that doesn’t come close to the experience employees have when using personal devices.

With remote working leading to more technology in the workplace than ever before, this problem has been exacerbated and is leaving many employees frustrated. Throw in the fact that we are witnessing the born-digital generation enter the workplace for the first time and it is clear that outdated technology is no longer going to cut the mustard. More and more employees are demanding consumer-grade technology from their employers, and it is time for organisations to view workplace technology as a strategic investment.

Better tech = increased productivity

Improving workplace technology isn’t just a feel-good exercise that provides a better experience for employees, it has tangible benefits for the productivity of an organisation as well. Britain has struggled with weak productivity growth since the 2008 financial crisis and now lags many of its European counterparts. This is an issue that needs to be resolved and workplace technology is a great place to start.

Research shows that the average employee has to access 41 systems on a monthly basis and the average office worker wastes 21 days each year due to slow or outdated technology. This is costing businesses serious money and can be remedied with empowering technology that provides a positive experience. According to Gartner data, employees with high-quality user-experience are at least 1.5 times more likely than others to have high levels of work effectiveness, productivity, intent to stay, and discretionary effort.

It isn’t just employees that benefit from improved workplace technology – it results in serious benefits for the organisations as well. Keeping a distributed workforce engaged and productive can be challenging, but good technology goes a long way to support it.

Getting workplace tech right for everybody

IT departments need to build strategic relationship with their HR counterparts to ensure they get workplace technology right. It needs to be a strategic investment that organisations use to

differentiate from their competition. The workplace of the future, whatever that may ultimately look like, will inevitably be driven by people and fuelled by technology.

It is now time for IT departments work closely with those that actually use workplace technology: the employees. This needs to be a collaborative process and organisations must be brave with their workplace technology investments. The “safe” option is no longer enough and isn’t safe at all. Being brave and implementing safe, effective and personalised workplace technology can help to shape culture and values, whilst enabling organisations to attract and retain the best talent.

By Eric Newcomer, CTO and Ricardo Diniz, VP and General Manager, UK I and Southern Europe, WSO2.
COP26 reinforced the need for society to reduce carbon emissions and be more eco-conscious. If we are to meet the targets set out by governments and organisations, tangible actions must take place. The UK has committed to reaching net zero by 2050, a challenging prospect that requires all levels of society to play their part. Business and industry’s energy consumption is an area that can be vastly improved when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Scott Davidson, managing director at ISN Solutions, a corporate IT managed services provider with more than 20 years’ experience of partnering with energy companies, looks at how harnessing the latest technological innovations and practices can help energy companies navigate the energy transition.
By Lyndon Hedderly, director, customer solutions, Confluent.
By Tytus Kurek, Product Manager, Canonical.
If you could tell employees all over the world back in 2019 that in just two years, expectations and understandings about the way we do our jobs would do a 180 degree turn, they probably wouldn’t believe you. But we now know that to be true, as workers across the globe adapt and learn to live with a new hybrid working model. By Alex Cruz Farmer, Group Product Manager, End-user Experience at Cisco ThousandEyes
By Mark Benson, CTO at Logicalis UK.
By Matt Dando, Director, Strategic Business Value Consulting at Serviceware.
By Jay Alexander, Chief Technology Officer, Keysight Technologies.