The Digital Workplace Gains Currency

Technologies and strategies that enable financial services’ digital workplace.

The Digital Workplace
American millennials now surpass baby boomers at 75.4 million,1 90 percent of whom say they have a relationship with a traditional bank.2 So it’s no surprise that financial services companies are tailoring their external technologies and processes to these digital-native denizens.

But what about their internal technologies and processes? After all, millennials now make up 34 percent of the U.S. workforce.3 And they’re leading the ranks of employees who increasingly expect consumer-grade ease of access, use and support in enterprise IT.

In response, smart financial services companies are pursuing the technologies and strategies that contribute to a digital workplace.

Happy Worker, Happy Customer

What makes a workplace digital? It’s not simply the use of IT. Rather, it’s the application of technologies and strategies that actually transform how work is done.

Three-quarters of financial services employees say it’s important to work for a digitally enabled company. But less than half say their company helps them thrive in a digital environment. Perhaps it’s no coincidence — though it should be a concern — that a similar number say they plan to work for their company for less than three years.4 (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1: Financial Services Employee Experience

A digital workplace can result in more satisfied and engaged employees. And the advantages of engaged employees are clear: lower workplace costs, greater worker productivity and higher revenue and profitability. Disengaged workers have resulted in:6

  • 60 percent more errors
  • 37 percent higher absenteeism
  • 18 percent lower productivity
  • 16 percent lower profitability
  • 65 percent lower share price

For financial services companies, the goal of a digital workplace is to leverage better employee engagement toward better customer service. To that end, a digital workplace should be part of an overall digital strategy. In fact, for financial services companies with a digital strategy, 93 percent agree or strongly agree that the objective is to improve customer experience and engagement.7

Steps to Satisfaction

Technologies that contribute to a digital workplace can be grouped by key categories:

Mobile — From the back office to bank branch, employees need mobile technology that lets them access the data and functionality they need, when, where and how they need it. That starts with providing the right mobile devices to the right people. While employees prefer a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach, companies must make sure sensitive data remains protected on mobile endpoints.

It continues with apps that let employees access corporate data and productivity tools. As with BYOD, employees increasingly seek to incorporate their own apps into their work lives. Mobile strategy should provide workers with the apps they need while offering guidelines for personal apps they can use.

Communication and collaboration — Employee communication now extends beyond email and intranets to instant messaging, collaboration tools and enterprise social media. In fact, nearly half of companies say they need to rethink digital workplace communication.8

Collaboration and social media software allow employees to find internal expertise, create and share content, quickly assemble virtual project teams and contribute to a more agile organization. What’s important is to select the tools that integrate with existing technology and processes, protect sensitive information and support compliance with financial services regulations.

Personal productivity — Personal productivity software increasingly resides in the cloud in the form of Google® G Suite® or Microsoft® Office 365TM. Combined with cloud-based data storage, this allows people to access and share content wherever they need it. When migrating to cloud-based productivity software, companies should work with an IT services provider that can:

  • Recommend the most cost-effective licensing levels.
  • Deliver integration with other cloud-based and on-premises hardware and software.
  • Avoid unplanned downtime.
  • Provide end-user training and ongoing support to achieve optimum return on investment.

Digital workplace hubs — As workplace tools proliferate, workers have more data and functionality in more places, with little direct integration or shared intelligence. Digital workplace hubs try to bring these tools together in a single wrapper. The goal is to achieve contextual integration of apps to provide a consistent and integrated end-user experience. Common features include single sign-on, centralized notifications, federated search and the ability to manage work while moving from app to app and from device to device.

From Software to Strategy

The digital workplace isn’t just about technology. Financial services companies need an end-to-end approach to fully leverage digital tools. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2: Seven Aspects of a Digital Workplace Strategy

Three strategies can help optimize digital workplace investments:

End-user personasPersonas describe groups of end users with similar IT needs based on their roles, workstyles and workspaces. They let companies achieve an effective balance between end-user enablement and IT control. They can significantly reduce costs for software licensing and IT support. And they give employees the right hardware, software, data access and IT support at the right time.

Service desk and walk-up IT service centers — Employees need a service desk that can support the many types of devices and apps they now use to do their jobs. A growing number of banks and insurers are augmenting the traditional service desk with walk-up IT service centers. These on-campus, in-person facilities allow employees to stop by to get help with issues like hardware repairs, technology refreshes or software upgrades. Companies that have deployed CompuCom® Solution Café® report measurable benefits such as 25 percent fewer service desk calls, 10 percent higher user satisfaction levels and technicians able to handle twice the volume of support tickets.

End-user analytics — Banks, insurers and advisory firms rely on big data every day, but they often overlook the valuable insights contained in their end-user persona and IT service management (ITSM) data. By applying actionable analytics to these data sources, companies can better understand end-user behaviors and IT consumption to make smarter choices for their digital workplace.

As millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers alike demand the mobile, social and cloud technology that helps them do their jobs, financial services companies will need to respond. Those that do can increase their employee engagement, which can lead to better customer experience and, ultimately, business growth.

1 “Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation,” Pew Research, April 2016
2 “What Do Millennials Want From Banks?” American Banker, March 2016
3 “The Future of Banking: Growth of Innovative Banking Fintech Services,” Business Insider, December 2016
4,5 “Digital Transformation in Financial Services,” Deloitte University Press, November 2016
6 “Proof That Positive Work Cultures Are More Productive,” Harvard Business Review, December 2015
7 “Digital Transformation in Financial Services,” Deloitte University Press, November 2016
8 “2016 Digital Communications Workplace Survey,” PRSA, May 2016
9 Adapted from “Creating a Digital Workplace: The Recipe to Success,” Gartner, 2016

CompuCom® and Solution Café® are registered trademarks of CompuCom Systems, Inc.Business Insider® is a registered trademark of Business Insider, Inc. Deloitte® is a registered trademark of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Gallup® is a registered trademark of Gallup, Inc. Gartner® is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. Google® and G Suite® are registered trademarks of Google, Inc. Harvard Business Review® is a registered trademark of the President and Fellows of Harvard College Charitable and Educational Corporation. Microsoft® is a registered trademark and Office 365TM is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Pew Research Center® is a registered trademark of The Pew Research Center. PRSA® is a registered trademark of the Public Relations Society of America, Inc.

All data cited in this article is used by permission.

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