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2020: the year of the employee?

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

Workplaces are changing rapidly – often without us even noticing. And now that the first wave of digital disruption has already passed, employees are demanding more sophisticated experiences from the companies they work for. This means that, as businesses, we have a choice: change, or get left behind. One way of ensuring that we move with the times is to listen to the changing expectations of employees as we move towards the next big milestone: 2020.

That’s all very well, but how can we approach this change beyond digital whilst still keeping employees on side? To investigate the shifting digital scene, Infomentum carried out a survey with over 1000 office workers to try and gauge the reality behind employee expectations.

So, what do the employees of 2020 actually want?

The skiver vs. the flexible worker

Right now, 41% of employees want to work from home. But 62% of bosses won’t let this happen. Are these flexible workers skiving, or the people of the future? Who’s right in this situation: the employee or the employer? With the number of workers demanding flexible hours set to rise, the answers are not so straightforward.

Whilst there are fears that out-of-office work may lead to lower productivity, it actually appears that the reverse is true. By adopting cloud document management systems your business can promise better collaboration between departments, and greater flexibility throughout the workforce. Working from home need no longer be a hindrance, but perhaps your greatest asset. Because, let’s face it, the organisations that are agile enough to let their employees work remotely will see the greatest benefits, both physically and technologically. Our previous report into Generation C, the connected generation, illustrates these benefits – exploring why fewer distractions, and less stressful environments lead to happier employees and greater company success.

Have you upgraded?

It’s time to listen to the 91% of employees who believe that their employer will no longer be competitive by 2020. Yes, this might seem like just another scare story. But, guess what: the world has already changed and those non-upgraders are being left behind in the wake of this digital boom.

We’re now looking beyond digital for the workplaces of 2020. Employees want their organisations to harness the flexible working technologies available in order to boost business success. And, there will be merit behind this. Once tasks become increasingly automated, employees will be able to devote more time to strategic thinking and generating new ideas.

The secret success of Gen C employees

In 2020, the employers who embrace the forward looking attitudes of Gen C will be the most successful; it is these members of the ‘connected generation’ that are driving the pace of change. Their hardworking and increasingly flexible mind-sets will be your greatest asset – perhaps not such a secret, but still a truth easily forgotten. Attempts to enforce top-down controls will merely limit workforce motivation and who wants that? So, instead, it is time to listen to the demands of the 2020 workforce.

So there you have it: a snapshot of the changing expectations of your 2020 employees. Want to pinpoint the specific areas that will work for you as we all move beyond digital? We thought as much. Read more in the full report: ‘Beyond Digital: what’s next for businesses in 2020?’.

Digital transformation; the Trending Business Transformation

Author: Infomentum

Author: Leigh Hopwood

Gone are the days of focusing on saving money. Business leaders are now looking at either how to simply keep up with their customers, or how they can profit from digital.

The result requires business transformation. Or is it digital transformation? What is the difference?

To be honest, there should be no difference. Or there certainly won't be as time goes by. Becoming a digital business could be compared to the days of computerising your business back in the 1980s. The installation of a computer to enable you to do your job quicker is no different to implementing a digital strategy in order to operate more efficiently, and deliver a more acceptable customer experience.

Although you might call it digital transformation, what you're actually doing, if you're doing it right, is transforming your business into a modern business ready for the next stage in its life.

Why is this transformation important? What will digital transformation bring to your business?

- Growth and opportunity
- Enable you to take products to market faster
- Exploit the talent in your digital savvy workforce
- Provide a platform for innovation
- Quality customer conversations regardless of channel
- An opportunity to build brand loyalty again
- Huge cost savings - from tech savings, to people

Above all, undergoing digital transformation will enable you to create a sustainable business by remaining competitive.

Sounds great, eh? But where do you start? Check out our Digital Transformation Strategic Assessment and we'll help make sure you've got the right approach to transforming your business.

Why not watch our video on Digital Trends to find out the key technologies disrupting businesses.

6 Things to Consider in Your Digital Strategy

Author: Infomentum

Author: Leigh Hopwood

Until now, your business will have invested in technology solutions to streamline processes and save money. Some of this investment may also have been in improving the customer experience.  From ERP to document management, marketing automation to client and internal portals, so many aspects of a business are now automated.

How joined up are these technologies? Are they meeting the modern users expectations? Are they in line with your digital strategy?

Web services, web 2.0 and cloud changed everything.  They opened the door to digital disruption. Combine the advances in technology with changes in people behaviour and their attitudes towards digital, and your business could quickly become out of date if you don’t respond fast enough.

The first step to tackling the challenge of digital disruption is to build a digital strategy to meet your overall business long term goals. Your marketing department may already claim to have one. If this is a digital marketing strategy then we’re talking cross purposes.

A digital strategy is all encompassing. It is a strategy to change the way you do business. It incorporates people, processes, information, technology and your customers across the entire business.

Here are six things to consider when building a digital strategy:

1. Business vision

Understanding your business direction and how you intend to retain or grow your competitive advantage over the next 3-5 years is fundamental to sustainability. How are you responding to changing employee behaviour to keep and attract great talent? Where will your revenue growth come from?

2. Impact on people

The success of migrating to a ‘digital business’ is driven by your people. For businesses with a young workforce, they expect a digital way of working and are more likely to help and support a transformation project. For organisations employing less tech-savvy people that may not see the benefit, and only see that they have to change the way they do their job, may be less supportive.

3. Customer expectations

Understanding your customer buying behaviour and how they want to interact with you is crucial to getting your digital experiences right. Increasing numbers of consumers now expect to be able to correspond with you online. Of course, if you’re a B2B organisation, your customers are still consumers, and expect the same level of digital capability, if not more.

4. Access to information

The rise of digital resulted in information and data being stored all over the place in a variety of formats. Becoming a digital business means you should be making this content easily accessible in order to streamline processes, and make it easier for your employees to access that information so that they can do their job more effectively. It will save a shed load of time too.

5. Integration of processes

The era of silo departments, operating silo databases and running silo processes is over. That went out with the dark ages. Mapping your processes to a customer or employee journey should be second nature. This should mean that your processes are far more integrated into your business, exploiting the information stored in various pockets to deliver a more streamlined experience.

6. Technology roadmap

The technology is here. Yes, it keeps changing, but the digital business is possible now. The trick is to make sure that you plan for the future, expect the unexpected and be prepared to be agile. Having a clear technology roadmap will give you a base point in which to stay focused, whilst enabling disruption to be embraced.

We have consultants ready to work with you to define your digital strategy. Get in touch if you want to talk about it.

Generation C: Are You Meeting Their Needs?

Author: Infomentum

Author: Leigh Hopwood

Doing nothing is like going backwards.

Surprise, we’ve changed.  Yes, you and I. We text our friends and family, we socialise on Facebook, network through LinkedIn and get the latest news about train delays through Twitter. We spend more time than ever with our faces glued to a screen, in a variety of sizes.

In 2012 you’d see headlines like ‘social media is dead’. It was deemed a fad. But finally the realisation has hit that the digital business is here to stay.  And we’re only now seeing the term ‘digital disruption’ being bandied around. The digital phenomenon has been here for years – its businesses that have been slow to adapt.

So who's in the driving seat?

Have you heard of Gen C? Gen C, or Generation C, is the connected generation. Unlike Generation X, Generation Y and the Millennials, Generation C is defined by its behaviour – not their age. They use devices, apps and web sites to interact with friends, family and companies. They use these approaches to go about their daily business.

According to infoMENTUM's research report, 81% of Generation C consumers shop online, 87.5% use online banking, and 86% use social networking to connect with friends. As employees, 75% of Generation C people value the freedom to be creative, 55% value using their own technology and 73% value flexible working. Unfortunately, 60% of businesses have IT systems that are only ever updated occasionally.

It’s this connected generation that are driving the adoption of digital technology both by the consumer and employees.

What has this got to do with the contact centre?

Oh, so much.  Where shall I start? First, your people.

Whether you like it or not, your people are increasingly becoming tech savvy.  That means that they are using functionality in their home life that they expect to get access to at work. It’s not just about having the latest devices, it’s about having systems and processes in place that take full advantage of the streamlined approaches that can be achieved with digital technology.

From being able to connect with an expert or accurate/up-to-date information seamlessly to help a customer, to being able to access their HR data from home to monitor their own performance, your employees now know that not only can processes be completed more efficiently, but they can probably tell you how to achieve it.

Now let’s take a look at your customers. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, your customer has high expectations in how you might sell to them, and in your customer service.  It’s no longer acceptable to only interact via the phone with FAQ’s on your website aimed at reducing call volumes.

Customer profiling is so important to ensure that you are delivering the right service, at the right time, through the right channel to satisfy your customers. Understanding why your customers are getting in touch, and how they prefer to communicate is crucial.

Integrating the right digital technology into your contact centre processes, and working with your people to enable them to use them effectively, will give you a huge wave of benefit. Your people will be happier working with the latest functionality and having the right tools to do their job well, and your customers will be happy because they can do business with you much easier.

And if everyone is happy, then your profits will rise. Happy days!

What happens if you do nothing?

That’s not an option. Gone are the days of sitting and waiting for technology to settle down. You can no longer wait to see what the next big thing is. If you don’t respond and invest now, you might as well throw the towel in. Expect to make mistakes, expect to have to change course and expect the unexpected. That’s life.

Leigh's post originally appeared on callcentre.co.uk

Emerging from the cocoon: digital transformation

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

Technology has already become a permanent fixture in everyday life, so the need for businesses to have a digital strategy in place is becoming increasingly obligatory. This poses a challenge for businesses, who not only need to update their legacy technologies to keep up, but also their business methodologies.

In order to address this era of digital disruption, businesses need to go through a digital transformation.

But weren’t we just talking about digital disruption?

In our last blog post, we explored what is digital disruption and why businesses need to stand up and start paying attention. Digital transformation is the period of change that businesses need to go through, in order to cope with digital disruption and come out the other side as successful companies, switched-on to both their customers and their employee’s needs.

Digital transformation is a result of businesses seeking to adapt to this onslaught of disruptive technologies affecting the way that customer, employees and even the competition behave.

But why?

People are becoming more and more digitally savvy; they’re always connected to their device, always communicating and always collaborating with their peers. Our Generation C research demonstrated this. We’ve got employees expecting to work wherever they want from the device of their choosing, and collaborate with colleagues in different locations. Customers are demanding multi-channel experiences and hyper-personalisation.

Businesses that are able to respond quickly to customers, offer collaboration and knowledge sharing to employees and provide flexibility are moving ahead of the competition in leaps and bounds.

Now you know what it is, how do you transform digitally?

In short, businesses need a digital strategy. This should feed in to the wider transformation strategy for the business, meeting overall business objectives.

It starts with identifying your digital vision and where you want to be. Then compare to where you are now – this will determine the gaps so you can start to close them. It’s often difficult to gain an unbiased, holistic view of your business from within, and to understand the future technology roadmap which will enable you to get to where you need to be without disrupting business as usual. That’s where companies like infoMENTUM can step in to carry out a strategic assessment for you.

In my next blog post, I’ll be exploring the key trends disrupting businesses and causing digital transformation. Visit our Digital Transformation Strategic Assessment page to read more on how your business can create a digital strategy.

Digital Disruption: the Elephant in the Boardroom

Author: Infomentum

Author: Rachel Edwards

With digital at the forefront of businesses minds, ‘digital disruption’ are the buzzwords on senior business leader’s lips. But what is it, and what does it mean for your business?

What is digital disruption?

Digital technologies are disrupting the established ways that we do business at a rapid pace. Whether it’s consumers expecting a seamless experience through your business, from websites to brick-and-mortar stores, or using social media as a platform to raise customer service queries and complaints.

It’s about more than just social media and mobile phones; it’s about changing consumer demands, technology advances and the fight to be competitive. It’s about the traditional and fundamental ways a business behaves being transformed.

Instead of treating it as a separate discipline, digital needs to be integrated into the very way we work.

It’s not just your customers

As our Generation C research illustrated, it’s not just customers who are driving digital disruption; it’s your employees too.

The work/life balance has been disrupted by digital technologies, and employees are bringing that disruption to the office too.

Used to having the latest gadgets and information at their fingertips, digital-savvy Generation C are frustrated at work when they can’t find documents, can’t access information on the go, and can’t effectively collaborate and share knowledge.

With their rapid uptake of technology, using it in ways it wasn’t originally intended and the trend for using personal devices in the office, digital is disrupting your business whether you like it or not.

Can you execute your digital strategy?

In recent research, Forrester found that although 73% of executives believe that their company has a digital strategy in place, only 19% believe they have the right technology to execute it, only 15% believing they have the skills and capabilities. This makes for worrying reading for the future of existing business. With agile, fast-moving start-ups flooding the market, how can traditional, big business keep up?

The answer…? Digital transformation.

In order to cope with digital disruption, businesses need to go through a rapid period of digital transformation, or risk being left behind.

We only have to look at companies such as Blockbuster to see the devastating effects of ignoring digital disruption. They didn’t respond quickly enough to the changing ways that their customers were consuming film and in steps Netflix, the online streaming service allowing users to view as many films and TV shows as they like for a fixed monthly fee, without ever having to leave their sofa. Blockbuster was left out in the cold and went under as a result.

In my upcoming series of blogs, I’ll be looking at digital transformation in greater depth. In the meantime, visit our Digital Transformation Strategic Assessment page for more information on creating a digital strategy.

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