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Digital Revolution: companies that accommodate emerging issues have a competitive advantage

Nathalie Wright, Director of the Large Enterprise Division & Alliances of Microsoft France


Only ten years ago, it was inconceivable to imagine the extent to which the digital world and new technologies of information would expand and were to deeply transform our ways of working. In fact, technologies change the world and incite companies to review their ways of organizing to benefit performance and innovation. The Cloud reinvents, for example, the reality of the work environment and stimulates the emergence of a “Digital Workplace.” This new conception of the workplace erases the constraints of time and location and improves company performance, along with employee wellbeing. But what is the impact of these new modes of working on the company?



Nathalie Wright, Director of the Large Enterprise Division & Alliances of Microsoft France - DR
Nathalie Wright, Director of the Large Enterprise Division & Alliances of Microsoft France - DR
The Cloud and new technologies of information have redefined the notion of workplace, by getting out of the physical location of the company to provide more flexibility, efficiency and comfort to workers.

This “digital office” relies on three pillars: mobile support, socializing, and workers’ technological fluency.

The first pillar concerns mobile support.

A study published by Technologia in October 2013 states that 1 out of 3 French workers finds the daily commute between home and work to be intensely stressful.

Being able to work on a mobile support is an advantage to utilize this precious time and improve the balance between private and professional life.

Used by numerous companies who won the prize of “Great Place to Work”, this new manner of working leads to more efficiency and flexibility for workers.

It reduces situations of stress tied to commute and the obligations of private life while offering more free time for commuting workers.

This observation put forth by large companies is also applied by smaller businesses.

The BostonConsulting Group (BCG) has led a study for Microsoft and revealed that 88% of the surveyed SMEs believed that new technologies, such as the mobile phone, were an advantage to their activities.

The social and collaborative dimension

The second pillar concerns the social dimension that is expanding within the company.

The spread of social networks has enabled to satisfy two of human nature’s main necessities: visibility and recognition.

This social and collaborative dimension, dreamt by companies for years, has expanded to private life in the last few years.

The professional sector is reinserting these uses today: it develops services within to facilitate the sharing of information and encourage collaborating.

The goal: stimulate efficiency, innovation and performance while reinforcing the social link beyond just one service, division, or website.

A company’s social network and new collaboration tools also impact management while offering a social and human interactive tool inside the company.

The emergence of new jobs

Finally, the last pillar concerns workers’ technological fluency.

Just a few year ago, technology was a field reserved to DSI, that managed the evolutions of the work place according to technological innovation.

Today, the adoption of new technologies by a larger audience is almost immediate and precedes largely their use in companies: mobile use, social networks, multi-screen displays, constant connection and remote access.

Various trends that have entered the private space and that employees wish to find in the workplace.

In the Silicon Valley, the tools offered have become a recruitment pitch in the competition between companies to hire the best talent via a CYOD (Choose Your Own Device) logic.

This creates an impact on the relations that digital management has with business departments. It also redefines the role of digital tools and enables the emergence of new jobs.

Thus, according to a study made by IDC for Microsoft, 57% of business departments believe that the adoption of new technologies translates into the creation or evolution of new jobs with the company such as Chief Data Officer, Data Protection Officer or even Community Manager.

Today, the digital transformation of companies is a reality that sparks the redefinition of the work environment of workers towards a notion of a “digital workplace” integrating new tools and digital services such as mobile support, company social networks, collaborative tools…

By redefining work conditions towards more flexibility and adaptability to match workers' constraints and habits, these evolutions are also synonymous with efficiency and, in fine, a source of growth for the company.

In the current economic context, companies that have understood these challenges and started their mutation have a comparative advantage.

Written by Nathalie Wright translated by Joséphine Foucher the 04/11/2014
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