Delivering a Collaborative Digital Workplace



Hybrid work models have created the need to pull together a holistic employee experience, one that provides seamless and secure access as well as support from anywhere with any device to help fuel collaboration, productivity, and employee engagement. To better understand how CIOs can build this employee experience, we spoke with Ivan Dopplé, General Manager, Global Practice Lead, Kyndryl Digital Workplace Services.

Q. Why should CIOs and IT leaders reimagine the employee experience?

A: COVID has forced organizations to figure out how to continue work when we couldn’t all be centralized in company locations. Working remotely, employees have realized that they can still get the job done and enjoy greater flexibility in their lives to better manage personal and family commitments. Individuals now have an expectation for choice regarding remote work. Meanwhile, hiring and retaining employees has become a challenge. IT and business leaders need to consider how they deliver a modern, measurable, and continuously improving digital experience to their workforce — one that can help them attract, retain, and engage employees.

COVID has also forced many enterprises into rushed implementations of multiple collaboration tools to ensure ongoing productivity. That has left organizations with cost sprawl, a lack of integration among solutions, and new security risks from overall disjointedness. It’s time to sort out this disarray and turn it into a digital workplace that’s easily managed while still frictionless and productive for users.

Q. How does collaboration fit with productivity?

A: It’s about understanding the tools we’re giving users. Putting a group of people together to collaborate by using a set of tools they are not familiar with will not lead to a productive environment. For example, users might send file attachments over email, perform manual version iteration, and then face multiple-file-version consolidation instead of using a shared space where everyone on the team can access and edit a single version of a document. They’re not leveraging the functionality within tools for efficiency and productivity. Collaboration must span both the tooling and the adoption of those tools to ensure that the organization is working together more seamlessly and securely and realizing the value of their investment.

Q. How can enterprises leverage existing tools such as Microsoft 365 and Teams to reimagine collaboration?

A: Many organizations have invested in the Microsoft suite, and since the onset of the COVID pandemic, they have given employees the option to use Teams. But there wasn’t a great deal of thought given to configuration or rolling it out so that employees could get the most from it. Now it’s time to leverage these tools and their functionality to foster collaboration and productivity and tie them together for a cohesive, holistic digital workplace experience.

One part of that is education. For example, we should demonstrate for individuals what belongs in SharePoint or in OneDrive. Corporate-wide announcements shouldn’t go in one massive Teams channel; they should be moved over to the Yammer platform. Show them how to use the Power Platform for improved problem solving and business insights through data democratization. Education is critical for tool adoption and the evolution of the platform configuration to meet the needs of employees and business outcomes.

The other significant piece is having the ability to tailor the digital workplace experience. That involves building or providing capabilities for different user personas to ensure that the collaborative hub resonates with employees’ work. This is where Kyndryl’s partnership with Microsoft really helps our customers. We’re able to tailor those experiences with our market-leading data-driven approach, paired with the continuously improving Microsoft 365 platform. Also, with our analytics platform and integrations, we can measure if and how individuals are using these tools and offer intelligent actions that reach out to users within their hub for work to reinforce modern collaborative habits. For example, if an employee in Teams is sharing the PowerPoint application or sharing the screen PowerPoint is on instead of using the “Present in Teams” capability, that would surface learning in Viva Learning or an alert in a message from an intelligent virtual agent to check out a quick refresher on presenting in Teams.

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