How can digital transformation optimize work environments?
Notions such as the Cloud, social media, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) are just a part of the technological breakthroughs spearheading the fourth industrial revolution, which is certainly going to transform the world dramatically by means of its huge impact on the economy. In this sense, the so-called digital transformation will play the same role the steam machine, electricity, the internal combustion engine and computer science played during past centuries.
In business environments, this digital transformation is introducing more advantageous customer, supplier and societal relation models. But the benefits of this new technological era also reach the internal structure of companies, and particularly their human capital.
“Organizations are facing a radical change with regard to labour force, the workplace and the working world”, as pointed out by Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report, which also remarks that HR departments play a key role in this companies technological transition, to the point of leading the way to implementation of new digital organization models.
From this standpoint, the advantages of the fourth industrial revolution not only entail the digitalization of people management platforms, but also the development of new working environments with substantial changes in the way professionals carry out their duties and their rapport with the rest of the staff.
Benefits of digital transformation
One of the most evident consequences of digital transformation in business is the existence of a hyperconnected work environment. Almost every big corporation with a business model based on innovation already uses communication platforms, merging email and instant messaging, that allow the creation of virtual groups for particular projects and management of common documentation. This way, as pointed out by Isaac Bosch, CEO of the online business consultancy firm eComm360, email will be relegated exclusively for communication with customers or suppliers.
He also adds another benefit into the mix of the digital era: the possibility of obtaining internal metric analytics with just a click, thanks to, for instance, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which save time so that professionals can “focus on what really provides value to the company”.
Other advantages of digital transformation in work environments have to do with the physical location where individuals develop their professional career. Co-working spaces, which have been in operation for several years in Spain, have been joined by other models such as the open-house concept. It consists in making facilities and innovative technological equipment available to professionals foreign to the organization, which offers the possibility of attracting new talent and generate multidisciplinary synergies between people inside and outside the company. In this vein, the cohabit concept deliberately creates a hub of diverse companies in order to combine and share information.
Other experts are convinced that digital transformation will increase the productivity of staff members thanks to shorter amount of time needed to make decisions; reduction of time frames, mistakes and costs; simplification of operations and human capital’s creativity enhancement.
In short, as Deloitte Digital’s managing partner Flor Esteban claims, “digitalization implies a complete transformation, a step forward in business strategy which concerns people, processes and technology”.