Technology has changed the modern workforce. Mobile, social, a sharing economy and the rise of digital natives are all changing the way that today’s businesses operate.
Employees now hold the power – they are connected, empowered and leading a workplace revolution. At the same time, the evolution of tools that are convenient and easy to use, for example Outlook, Twitter, Facebook and Gmail, means that employees expect a simple user interface from any technology that is introduced to aid operational processes. As a result, smart businesses have recognised the need to be agile and engage workers by providing access to new technologies that enable a ‘wherever, whatever, whenever’ approach to work.
However, as worker’s demands increase, the technology currently available is struggling to keep pace with the expectations and requirements of a modern workplace. Workers are currently experiencing a disconnect between what they need in the work environment and what is being delivered. In total, 60% of respondents in the survey admitted that they currently think there are silos between different areas or departments within the business. In addition, 95% of those surveyed wished that they had access to technology that collates and simplifies the vast amount of information they have to work with.
In today’s economy, information is shared across the world in real-time using digital channels and as a result the volume of knowledge available to organisations is quickly expanding. This explosion of data is set to continue growing and IBM currently estimates that we create roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. However, not all businesses are able to take advantage of the boom in Big Data. Many enterprises have fragmented IT systems in place with different business units managing their own system environments, creating silos of data and knowledge across the company.
Today’s organisations must be able to gather vast amounts of data about multiple business teams, product lines, markets and challenges in one simple view to develop sophisticated insight into industry trends. Having a comprehensive overview of the data available provides a complete picture of what’s happening in any given business and reduces the gap between sensing changes in the industry and responding with innovation.
Capturing a single view
To breakdown the ‘siloed’ approach to information management, companies need to focus on creating a joined-up network that has a high level of cross fertilisation that captures knowledge in a way which can then be shared across the business. By adopting a holistic view of information businesses can then identify patterns, or anomalies, in culture, the industry ecosystem and stakeholder relationships. This insight is a valuable tool in helping organisations to anticipate changes in the market and quickly respond to any unexpected behaviour.
In addition, by harnessing the diverse sources and types of information available, organisations can usher in a new approach to information management — one that is dominated by the kind of transparency which businesses need in order to maintain competitive advantage in the market. As the speed and complexity of knowledge grows so will the divide between the highest and lowest performers within the industry. Organisations that can capitalise on emerging information will be able to take advantage of the speed and quality of knowledge to adapt to changes in customer behaviour and make more informed management decisions.
The information management challenge
As digital natives continue to drive new technologies into the workplace, organisations need to use the development of social, mobile and cloud platforms to breakdown barriers within the business and empower a new way of working. Whilst survey respondents listed market demands as the variable that is most likely to influence business development of the business over the next five years, 75% of those surveyed also believe that technology already governs the success or failure of a business. As a result, organisations need to get on the front foot and introduce technologies that provide the knowledge to sense new patterns in the market and introduce new tools or models that counter any changes.
About the author: Steve Edkins is chief executive officer at FusionExperience