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The Digital Workplace: Why now?

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The digital workplace is not just a challenge for HR and IT to sort out in the next few years—it will require the entire company to adapt and shift.
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There’s a reason you’ve been hearing a lot about the digital workplace lately. Researchers forecast that companies will spend nearly $35 – $80 billion on digital workplace technologies in the next few years. From our own research here at SocialChorus, we know 75 percent of organizations plan to increase spending specifically on workforce communications. 

The digital workplace is not just a challenge for HR and IT to sort out in the next few years—it will require the entire company to adapt and shift. 

Why Is the Digital Workplace a Thing? 

What’s driving the growth of the digital workplace, and why now? You can trace it back to three core ways digital tools have transformed the way we live and work. 

  1. Technology innovation: From mobile to machine learning to robots, digital tools, and platforms eliminate mundane tasks and increase the speed that work gets done
  2. Societal expectations: The way we communicate in our daily lives—from text to video— have given rise to a new category for employee communications applications which help companies connect to frontline and remote workers and improve the quality and speed of communications among teams
  3. War for talent: Unemployment in the US has never been lower, and it’s harder than ever to hire and retain talent. And thanks to digital tools that let us work from almost anywhere, at almost anytime, the workforce is now made up of gig workers, remote consultants or seasonal workers of diverse backgrounds

Driving enterprise-level alignment is a complex undertaking. That’s why we think Gartner recently published its first Market Guide for Employee Communications Applications (report available to Gartner subscribers). 

SocialChorus is honored to be included as a Representative Vendor in the Market Guide. According to the report, “The market for employee communications applications is set for growth and innovation as vendors enter the space from multiple adjacencies, creating a hypercompetitive environment. Application leaders of digital workplaces can use this guide to plan their investments in this rapidly evolving market.” 

(Gartner, Market Guide for Employee Communications Applications, Mike Gotta and Adam Preset, 28 May 2019) 

These SocialChorus Customers Are Leading the Way

SocialChorus has two customer case studies to demonstrate how a workforce communications platform can be used to reach every worker and drive engagement and alignment. As a mobile company, Vodafone needed a mobile offering to provide speedy updates and information for its employees, at just the right time. Their executive team decided to do away with communications tools like the intranet and email newsletters (tools which were not being widely used by employees). Vodafone now uses the SocialChorus workforce communications platform to connect its workforce in 23 different companies, publishing and distributing content in local languages. The net effect is that the workforce is more engaged. 

PVH Corp. had a different challenge. Its 38,000 retail associates in 40 different countries had the most direct interaction with customers and the public but had no way to get PVH company news and information. After adopting the SocialChorus workforce communications platform, 98% of retail store managers in North America (the largest group of non-wired workers) downloaded the PVH Insider app. 

At the Gartner Digital Workplace Summit 2019, May 29-30 in Orlando, Florida, during the Presentation hosted by Mike Gotta “Improving Communication and Collaboration Options for Frontline Workers” our case study with PHV Corp. was included as an example. From our perspective, this was one of the most well-attended sessions, and we were honored that the PVH Corp. team members were recognized for their work. 

What Will the Digital Workforce Look Like? 

We know the digital workplace is a growing market, which means there’s also a real need for companies to explore workforce communications tools. But there is still much work to do to educate companies on how such tools can help them. 

Here at CMS Wire’s Digital Workplace Experience, the editorial team has just released its State of the Digital Workplace Report. This comprehensive report represents data from 500 executives (roughly 75 percent are technology decision makers) of which 50 percent were from companies larger than 500 employees. 

The findings show: 

  1. 65 percent of the companies report having an “established digital workplace strategy.” 
  2. Only 11.3 percent of respondents reported having fully implemented the technology platforms need to support the initiative. Many are building a business case, researching vendors, or developing requirements.
  3. Digital workplace technology purchases are led primarily by C-suite leadership (70.9 percent), IT (66.9 percent), and HR (22.5 percent). Line-of-business, corporate communications, digital groups, and others represent a less significant number of decision makers. But the ranking changed when survey respondents reported who was responsible as well for “employee experience”—HR teams took second place. 
  4. Top technologies that respondents thought were most important include enterprise search, mobile, employee portals, and community/social platforms. 

Finally, survey takers reported that the number one metric used to measure the success of digital workplace initiatives was employee engagement. (Though editors also reported that “measuring the digital workplace is at a nascent stage.”)  

It’s exciting for SocialChorus to be a part of the growth of this market. We’ll continue our work helping our customers meet their technology needs, improve the employee experience, and measure workforce engagement and alignment.  

Gartner Disclaimer: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Related Stories:

SocialChorus’ 2019 Internal Communicator Report

Leveraging the Digital Workplace to Improve Employee Experience: Five Pillars for Success

Why Internal Communications Is at the Center Of Digital Transformation

The Truth about Digital Workflows: Are They Really the Answer?

Why Successful Distributed Teams Need These 5 Things

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Alison Murdock

Alison Murdock

As CMO of SocialChorus, Alison is committed to driving growth and awareness of SocialChorus' workforce communications platform. She has 25 years of experience in media, marketing, and research, including an 8-year stint as an entrepreneur. Before joining SocialChorus, Alison was global SVP of marketing at Verto Analytics, a behavioral market research company and was VP at 6sense, a predictive intelligence platform.

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