In early 2020, 40% of the global workforce moved out of the office and became remote in a matter of weeks. That rapid shift created a number of opportunities—and highlighted a number of challenges—for organizations around the world and across multiple industries.
Global market intelligence firm IDC lays out some of these challenges in its white paper “Challenges of the New Work Experience,” which is well worth a read. The four key issues they identify are:
- Inflexible work environments. The traditional workplace was organized around desks and departments, making it static and fragmented. Collaborative processes and productivity were far more stifled than many organizations realized.
- Limitations to talent. Employers that were bound by geography likewise restricted their available talent pool. At the same time, existing employees needed new training that would capitalize on their innate skills as well as new technologies.
- Organizational rigidity. Classic vertical hierarchies were reinforcing siloed thinking that focused on functions rather than outcomes. Flattened structures would be far more conducive to innovation and morale.
- Outdated approaches to security. The security protocols that might have been serviceable in a consolidated office environment proved cumbersome and even risky once the workforce was distributed.
As a response to these challenges that have become so acute in hybrid work environments, IDC recommends the adoption of an intelligent digital workspace.
The intelligent digital workspace is where people, data, content, community, and context meet with the technological solutions workers need to do their jobs. […] In the new work experience, the workspace is personalized for the user and proactively provides the specific resources that worker needs for the task at hand.
The intelligent digital workspace has several key advantages. They include:
- Fluid, efficient workflows that employees can rely on.
- Going beyond simple task execution to support knowledge sharing and real-world behaviors.
- Ubiquitous, comprehensive access to resources that transcends time and place.
IDC lays this out in more detail in its related white paper titled, appropriately enough, “Embracing the Hybrid Workforce with an Intelligent Digital Workspace.” That’s worth a read too.
So, while trusted analysts agree on the need for dynamic, hybrid workplace models and the role of the digital workspace in adopting them, that still leaves one important unknown: How do you choose the right one for your organization?
The Digital Workspace Ecosystem Alliance (DWEA) was organized and launched earlier this year to provide a clear, vendor-neutral answer to that question.
The DWEA is an independent consortium of 10 (and counting) technology leaders that recognize the value of the hybrid work environment. Because many organizations are trying to navigate this unfamiliar terrain as quickly, optimally and cost-effectively as possible, the DWEA is dedicated to helping them do just that. The ultimate goal of the DWEA is to enable secure, seamless productivity for everyone, whether they’re remote, in-office, or a hybrid workforce.
Although there are many solutions that bill themselves as “digital workspaces,” the fact is that no singular digital workspace solution exists in the market today. Rather, there’s an expanding ecosystem of digital workspace solutions. Up to now, many organizations have been stuck trying to research and evaluate each of these solutions on their own to see if they make sense for their particular use case. And, of course, their budget.
The DWEA aims to demystify that process by providing organizations with informed education and unbiased resources on digital workspaces. Through its network of members and partners and their collective expertise, the DWEA will support organizations in determining which solutions in this growing ecosystem are right for their particular use case. At the same time, it will help them avoid the cost and complexity of products and capabilities they don’t need. And as the hybrid workplace continues to evolve, the DWEA will help you stay abreast of those changes through surveys, reports and analysis
To find out more about the DWEA and the digital workspace technology ecosystem, check out this Digital Workspace Ecosystem Alliance white paper offering background as well as tips for evaluating solutions. That same page has more information on current members of the DWEA as well as an inquiry form if you’d like to join.