Expansion to the Deskless Workforce – Andrew Hewitt (Analyst, Forrester)
In 2020, the focus of the digital workplace will expand beyond the traditional knowledge worker to the deskless workforce. This will include both customer-facing and non-customer facing roles in industries such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and hospitality. Companies will increasingly realize that creating engaging digital experiences for these groups is critical to unlocking higher retention in these attrition-prone industries.
Forrester sees investment coming from multiple avenues, but they mostly center around providing better communications and collaboration tools for employees, enhancing access to customer information, and automating key mobile workflows to enable higher productivity while on the go. While companies will likely eventually look at measuring the experience of these workers, phase one will be focused primarily on tech enablement, with EX measurement maturation to follow in the coming years.
The ‘Experience Generation’ comes of age – Yassine Zaied (Chief Strategy Officer, Nexthink)
A whole generation has grown up thinking of everything – from movies to restaurants to cab rides – in terms of the ‘experience’ they provide, as well as being able to rank, rate and offer feedback on the quality of these experiences. This ‘Experience Generation’ has been joining the workforce in droves for years.
However, when it comes to its experience of IT in the workplace (or, digital employee experience), its expectations remain rarely met, its feedback almost never sought, and they have by and large – as the most junior part of that workforce – been expected to accept this as the way things are, even when this has been at the expense of its own products and standards.
In 2020, we will start to see a significant qualitative shift: having got the first few years of their careers under their belts, this Experience Generation is beginning to assume greater influence, importance, and seniority in the workplace.
One of the biggest impacts of this demographic shift will be on a growing intolerance for bad technological experiences at work, along with a will to influence them for the better. At best this will mean giving feedback here as they do in every other part of their lives. At worst it will mean them simply voting with their feet. Now is the time for organizations to start getting ready for what this means.
Digital Employee Experience Gets Real – James McMahon (Head of Atos Digital Workplace, Atos)
2019 could be characterised for many as a year spent repaying technical debt – going from Windows 7 to Windows 10 being one conspicuous example. By and large, this has had a negative impact on progress.
2020 will see IT and businesses get the breathing space required to plan and implement future steps, rather than simply rush to get off the burning platform. This will mean a proper focus on modern workplace delivery, a focus on cloud-managed workplace services, and greater implementation of XLAs. In other words, I think 2020 will see all the talk about Digital Employee Experience and digital transformation become real, with tangible changes both in terms of technologies and services.
In the midst of all this innovation, one of these emergent technologies will surprise us. Perhaps it will be intelligent automation, modern security management or workplace AI? Time will tell. But it’s going to be a year of innovative, without a doubt.
The Birth of Business-Led Technology Investment – Tim Flower (Director of Business Transformation, Nexthink)
IT has spent decades focussed on provisioning new services, but up to now has lacked the ability to accurately assess adoption, consumption, and sentiment from its own business users. This has meant that IT has had no meaningful way to calculate the true impact, positive or negative, of these new services.
2020 will see CIOs start to look at technology investments in a completely different way. What is starting to shift is the concept of funding technology based on the benefit (or disruption) it brings to those very business users it is deployed to, rather than the benefit to the IT shop. IT costs absolutely need to be controlled, but the concept of “self-funding” – that is, of IT projects that need equal savings within the technology budget – is slowly starting to change as businesses begin at last to measure the real impact of new technologies on users, and on their productivity.
Take for instance a large 150,000 audit and consulting firm in the US who recently made a business case based on the anticipated outcomes of improving the End-user Experience. In the end, the global CIOs agreed that the initiative deserved to be funded because it was good for business, not because it was good for IT. We expect this to become a significant new trend in both the next year and the next decade.