There’s no denying that the consumerisation of IT is having a huge impact on businesses across the UK. For the last ten years consumers have collectively owned more computers than businesses, and while this technology shift is by no means a recent phenomenon, we’re now seeing it manifest itself in a new way.
Whether it’s paying bills via a banking app or checking in for a journey online, access to seamless digital services in our everyday lives inevitably continues to impact our expectations of technology in the workplace. This is putting businesses under increasing pressure to ensure that the digital applications they offer employees are as plentiful, simple, useful and engaging as those their staff are using outside of work.
This sentiment is reinforced by the findings of Fujitsu’s latest research report, Digital Inside Out, where we asked 1,400 UK employees what they thought of the digital services they use at work.
The findings illustrated a widely digital-savvy workforce, and one with a clear understanding of the benefits of digital in the workplace. The three most common advantages – the ability to work flexibly and remotely (57%), access to real-time information (50%) and saving time (46%) being three firm cases in point.
Yet this digital enthusiasm also runs the risk of turning into disappointment – only 55% of respondents feel that they are getting the most value from the technology applications available to them, and 48% are neutral when asked how satisfied they are with the current digital services at their place of work. Not all businesses, then, are managing to meet employees’ ever-growing expectations around digital.
The pain points when it comes to digital in the workplace are clear – lack of adequate training is cited by half UK workers as the biggest barrier to making effective use of digital service, whilst 42% say they simply lack awareness of the options digital available to them. Just over a third, meanwhile, say it’s often quicker to bypass technology altogether in the workplace.
More alarming for organisations, however, is that over 1 in 10 (12%) of employees say the digital offerings in their workplace actually make their job harder to do – a clear signal that not all organisations are complementing valuable customer-facing services with useful, intuitive applications at the back end.
What these findings highlight is that businesses can’t afford to focus their digital efforts solely on the customer – now is the time to ensure that technology applications are services are consistent internally and externally. After all, there’s little use in having a shiny customer-facing offering if the infrastructure at the back end isn’t able to support it adequately.
Empowering employees when it comes to digital is an essential first step in ensuring that customers are on board when it comes to digital, and it’s only by ensuring that the workforce has the right tools at its disposal, in the right places, that the customer will feel the added value of quality digital services.