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Special Section | The 4th Pillar: The Digital Workplace

After the Team Messaging, the Intranet and the Enterprise Social Network, let’s end this section with our 4th and last pillar: The Digital Workplace. A solution that is more of a concept than a tool in its final form, but which is still attractive in many ways. Centralization, time saving and a multitude of applications: let's take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of our last pillar!


We started by looking at Team Messaging. After that, we took a look at the Intranet and finally the famous Enterprise Social Network. It is now time to close our section with the 4th and last pillar of our special section dedicated to collaborative tools: The Digital Workplace! This is the youngest of the 4 tools since its name really starts to circulate in 2015. Several years later, the functioning and purpose of the tool are as unclear as its promises of collaboration are attractive to organizations.


Let's analyze this intriguing and exciting tool together!

Ready for a final run? So, let's go! 🏁





The Advantages of the Fourth Pillar


Centralization and Freedom


What exactly is a Digital Workplace? If the term does not yet speak to most people, the principle of the tool is quite simple: to centralize all the tools and the collaborators of an organization in an extended workspace. The purpose of this workspace is to facilitate the circulation and sharing of information while allowing employees to access the resources they need, whether it is a tool or a business element (file, document, media content, etc.).


However, the main principle of the Digital Workplace is that employees do not need to leave and re-enter the space created to access another tool. Once they have entered the space, employees should have access to everything without ever having to log in again.


A tool that stands out for its ambition and whose first benefit is easy to guess: productivity. Creating a single workspace in which everything is centralized saves an unprecedented amount of time for an entire organization. Giving your employees a single access to the tools and resources of their choice will allow them to be agile in their missions without being bothered by technical boundaries. Centralization and individual freedom are undoubtedly the words that best define the Digital Workplace.


The Pursuit of Innovation


As you may have already realized, such a model is essentially based on integrations. Team messaging and enterprise social networking also offer you to integrate your own tools, but the Digital Workplace is built entirely on this idea. That makes it a paradise for innovation. The Digital Workplace is based on all the tools you have at your disposal: a great way for your employees to think about how they can optimize their own use and make the Digital Workplace even better.


Commitment


Last but not least: employee commitment! Indeed, offering such a wide range of applications to your employees will allow you to encourage them to use the tool and to appropriate it as no other solution is able to do. With all the digitized documents and business applications at their fingertips, your employees will be less tempted to look at the uses offered by other tools. Less Shadow IT for more commitment, collaboration and cohesion on a daily basis!





The Disadvantages of the Fourth Pillar


Financial and Technical Accessibility


Here we find a disadvantage that we have already seen with the Enterprise Social Network, the financial accessibility of the tool. And the same struggle applies to our 4th pillar: acquiring a Digital Workplace requires a higher budget than for other tools. The richness of the application is main factor: offering teams something to satisfy all their business needs has a cost. But the problem is somewhat different then with the enterprise social network.


With an Enterprise Social Network, you pay for the tool and its basic structure to which other solutions will be added. In the case of the Digital Workplace, you pay first for all the tools you have acquired (it is not a single tool) and second for the technical structure that will allow all these tools to coexist. A different model, therefore, which has the disadvantage of increasing the bill.💰


Creating a single workspace in which everything is centralized saves an unprecedented amount of time for an entire organization.

The financial cost is high, but it's not the only one. Where team messaging made your IT department smile with its ease of use, deployment and integration, the Digital Workplace is likely to give them a headache! Indeed, linking several tools and making them cohabit within a single digital space is a technical challenge that not all organizations will have the luxury of meeting.


Be Careful With Cohesion


Offering all the necessary applications and resources to your employees is great from a productivity point of view, but beware of the overall cohesion of your digital space. Whatever the tool in question, the user journey is an important factor to consider. It is nothing more or less than the process that your user will go through in the tool in order to perform a specific action. Very basic in team messaging (I send and receive messages via different channels), the Digital Workplace is of the 4 pillars the one whose user path is the most at risk, due to the mountain of uses and possibilities offered by the tool.


Be careful with the number of tools you integrated into the Digital Workplace: if there are too many, your employees will have a hard time finding their way around, which will have a negative impact on their productivity and therefore on the tool's main purpose.





To Conclude


The Digital Workplace is clearly a tool turned towards the future, and its ambition is the main reason for its success. Centralizing tools, applications and documents in a single space to boost employee productivity: it's a dream come true! 🤩 But if the dream is to become reality, the budget and technical resources required to deploy it will clearly be an obstacle for many organizations. A tool that is more of a concept than an actual product, but whose benefits give hope for the future of collaborative tools!


And as we could not finish this section like that, we save you a small surprise... To be continued in a few days!

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