Technology is changing how we live and work, the pace of new technology applications continues to accelerate and it is becoming pervasive in everything we do. Yet for some organisations choosing which technologies, where to apply them and how they will co-exist with the existing technologies and practices remains an ongoing challenge, or as is a frequent experience of those that have invested in new technologies, how to realise business benefits and value from their investments?

Most organisations now have a “Digital Agenda” (A plan to leverage technology to transform or improve their performance and/or value). Their Agenda can involve updating their current/legacy IT to complete replacement or some level of integration in between. Whatever their strategy is, it will mean changes for the stakeholders, most importantly their staff but also very importantly their broader stakeholder base and a range of new stakeholders in an expanded stakeholder base as they create new and extended Digital Business Ecosystems.

Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud, Block-Chain, Internet of Things (SMACBIT) are recent and developing technology groups that most organisations are deploying or considering as part of their “Digital Agenda” usually driven by stakeholder value creation and/or performance improvement aims and objectives for the organisation.

The consequence of this is a change for both the organisation, its business and its stakeholders. The nature of this change will vary from organisation to organisation depending on their current business context and digital maturity and the gap between that, and their target business aims and digital maturity. Understanding and managing the change type for both organisations and individuals is a critical success factor in achieving the target business outcomes.

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There are three levels of change:

1.Transformational

2.Transitional

3.Incremental.

“Digital Agenda” may include some or all depending on the change components.

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As we consider change and the three levels above we must understand both the organisation view and the individual view, in that what may be an incremental or transitional change from an organisation perspective could easily be a transformational change for one or more specific individuals. In introducing new technologies to enable performance improvement resulting in change those individuals could be current or new stakeholders who are employees, customers, suppliers, regulatory, community and many more as new or extended Digitally enabled ecosystems evolve. The Digital Workplace is where these stakeholders reside and operate and this paper is focused on the impact of change on them.

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The X & Y axis are used to show the magnitude of change. On X axis is to the products and services offered, on Y axis relates to how the organisation operates and its practices. We can look at this model in the context of the Organisation (Business), or the Individual (Workplace) to try to understand the magnitude of change and potential impact on either or both.

The Digital Workplace & Ecosystem continuum

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  • The box is the boundary of the organisation and ecosystem for the Individual.
  • Digital access to outside ecosystem is quite limited (VPN, Internet, EDI) and not integrated.
  • The workplace tends to be fixed when it comes to access and use of technology. You have to go to the office.
  • Depending on their role the Individual in their workplace has only a few if any software tools to deal with. 

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  • The workplace is now virtual in that the Individual could be fixed, mobile or both. 
  • The availability of technology is pervasive and touches every aspect of the Individuals role. Multiple different systems/software is available to help Individuals carry out their roles, even devices are connected and provide information (IoT).
  • Individuals can access information and resources anywhere, anytime, any device.

So as the organisation plan and execute their Digital Agenda a critical success factor will be understanding the nature of change for individual stakeholders and managing that change so that the individual stakeholders can be part of the change leverage their new and enhanced Digital Workplace so that their evolving role contribution has the target benefits that contribute to the team and organisations target business outcomes.

This paper concentrates on the Individuals in the emerging Digital Workplace, in the context of their organisations Digital transformation or Improvement. It is not intended as a guide to organisation change management but a complimentary set of considerations that strengthen the success potential by considering, planning and managing the change in the Digital Workplace for Individuals.

Now let us consider the change type for individuals.

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The key is to understand the nature of the change for each individual stakeholder (or stakeholder group types) and this will allow a more refined approach to planning their engagement and effectiveness in the evolving Digital Workplace.

So where should I start as regards understanding the Digital Workplace for my stakeholders? One approach could be to collate the information for each Individual/Role using the form below.

As part of a modern change management process engaging the Individuals in this process may strengthen their engagement in the design and execution of the change.

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Conclusions

New and emerging technologies enable organisations transform and improve their performance, whether it be new and improved Products, Services or Business models, or how it manages its operations and resources. A critical success factor for an organisation implementing its Digital Agenda is to also focus on its Digital Workplace for Individuals and roles managing change at the appropriate levels. New technology focused on the individual in the context of teams and the organisations have also contributed significantly to releasing talent such as social collaboration platforms and employee onboarding and engagement solutions such as WISP from CactusSoft. These technologies are often needed to complement some of the core Digital Agenda changes at an organisation level.


Declan

Declan is an International advisor and entrepreneur with over 37 years’ experience in technology related business. He graduated in Engineering in 1979 and worked with several multinational ICT related organisations rising to CEO level and acquiring an ACCA & MBA along the way. He jumped into the entrepreneurial world as a consultant in 2000 and founded his own successful software services company in 2003 which was acquired by Capgemini in 2008. His work today involves advising and supporting technology and technology enabled organisations with strategy development and execution.

Over his career he has had significant experience in change management as it relates to the organisation and individuals, these included, starting, scaling, merging, demerging, rightsizing, turnaround and transformation of organisations and their performance. Much of his current work relates to “Digital Business & Workplace” performance transformation and improvement.

His home base is Dublin, Ireland and his client base spans the globe, he is also author of “Advantage – A Roadmap for entrepreneurs and leaders in the Digital Age”.