The Workplace of the Future: Catering for the App Generation

Tuesday 04 April 2017

The smart and efficient workplace of the future must benefit and adapt to the needs of the ‘App Generation’, those post-millenials that have grown up surrounded by smartphones and always-on connections.

This is exactly why now is the time for forward-thinking CIOs to start planning for the many challenges and opportunities that will open up as the next generation starts to enter the workforce.

“Catering to the expectations of the App Generation will not only benefit the latest employees, but will also provide a springboard upon which businesses can launch their wider digital transformation strategies,” is the conclusion of Fuze’s recent CIO Outlook report Driving digital transformation in 2017.

“By taking control of their domain and driving innovation, CIOs can be the positive catalyst for change within their businesses, helping to move the companies forward.”

 

How can CIOs innovate?

But what does all of this mean in practice? When pressed, most CIOs will tell you that they want to be ‘innovative’. So how do they adapt to the rapid technological changes and employee demands of today, whilst laying the foundation for the needs of the future workforce?

Gartner’s recent report on New CIO Responsibilities in a Digital Business Worldoffers a few welcome words of inspiration, noting, “thanks to digital, CIOs have an unprecedented opportunity to transform themselves and their departments,and become a key voice at the executive table and boardroom.”

One trend that is clear to most CIOs is that the workplace of the future will need to respond to the continuing ‘flattening’ of organisational structures and hierarchies in the digital age, which means that a collaborative and flexible working environment is a must.

The App Generation will continue to develop and transfer skills in a far more fluid and networked fashion than their forebears, which means they will demand and expect to work in far more entrepreneurial environments, with more freedom to operate individually and across different teams.

 

From cost reduction to revenue generation

To properly prepare for the technologies that will drive this era of increased employee autonomy, CIOs really need to be freed up to focus more on planning future innovation and spend far less of their time on cost-cutting measures.

IT departments are currently hampered in this regard, spending 83 per cent of their time managing and maintaining current IT and comms systems and resolving user issues, according to Fuze’s latest research, which leaves them only 11 per cent of their time to set aside to plan for the future.

Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming majority (80 per cent) of CIOs recognise that IT’s ability to innovate is critical to driving the future success of their businesses. Furthermore, over 90 per cent want to lead and champion innovation whilst driving business growth.

One clear current trend is the shift to the cloud, with an overwhelming 96 per cent of CIOs set to have a formal cloud strategy in place by the end of 2017, with 22 per cent set to have implemented a formal cloud strategy across the whole organisation.

 

Beyond The Cloud

Working in the cloud is soon set to be the new normal, but one major

The smart and efficient workplace of the future must benefit and adapt to the needs of the ‘App Generation’, those post-millenials that have grown up surrounded by smartphones and always-on connections.

This is exactly why now is the time for forward-thinking CIOs to start planning for the many challenges and opportunities that will open up as the next generation starts to enter the workforce.

“Catering to the expectations of the App Generation will not only benefit the latest employees, but will also provide a springboard upon which businesses can launch their wider digital transformation strategies,” is the conclusion of Fuze’s recent CIO Outlook report Driving digital transformation in 2017.

“By taking control of their domain and driving innovation, CIOs can be the positive catalyst for change within their businesses, helping to move the companies forward.”

 

How can CIOs innovate?

But what does all of this mean in practice? When pressed, most CIOs will tell you that they want to be ‘innovative’. So how do they adapt to the rapid technological changes and employee demands of today, whilst laying the foundation for the needs of the future workforce?

Gartner’s recent report on New CIO Responsibilities in a Digital Business Worldoffers a few welcome words of inspiration, noting, “thanks to digital, CIOs have an unprecedented opportunity to transform themselves and their departments,and become a key voice at the executive table and boardroom.”

One trend that is clear to most CIOs is that the workplace of the future will need to respond to the continuing ‘flattening’ of organisational structures and hierarchies in the digital age, which means that a collaborative and flexible working environment is a must.

The App Generation will continue to develop and transfer skills in a far more fluid and networked fashion than their forebears, which means they will demand and expect to work in far more entrepreneurial environments, with more freedom to operate individually and across different teams.

 

From cost reduction to revenue generation

To properly prepare for the technologies that will drive this era of increased employee autonomy, CIOs really need to be freed up to focus more on planning future innovation and spend far less of their time on cost-cutting measures.

IT departments are currently hampered in this regard, spending 83 per cent of their time managing and maintaining current IT and comms systems and resolving user issues, according to Fuze’s latest research, which leaves them only 11 per cent of their time to set aside to plan for the future.

Unsurprisingly, an overwhelming majority (80 per cent) of CIOs recognise that IT’s ability to innovate is critical to driving the future success of their businesses. Furthermore, over 90 per cent want to lead and champion innovation whilst driving business growth.

One clear current trend is the shift to the cloud, with an overwhelming 96 per cent of CIOs set to have a formal cloud strategy in place by the end of 2017, with 22 per cent set to have implemented a formal cloud strategy across the whole organisation.

 

Beyond The Cloud

Working in the cloud is soon set to be the new normal, but one major challenge that still needs to be addressed in the flexible, collaborative future workplace will be the communications chaos and complexities that originate from what is called ‘application sprawl’.

CIOs will be used to the rapidly increasing use of multiple different apps amongst employees for voice and video messaging, collaborative conferencing, screen sharing and many more everyday comms-based tasks. 

This is why reducing the number of comms apps within the organisation has quickly become one of the most important and urgent jobs for forward-thinking CIOs (67 per cent), in addition to 60 per cent also noting that investing in new comms technologies is a priority.

Improving the overall communication experience is key, with 54 per cent of CIOs citing this as the top driver for adopting new comms technologies. After all, if your business or organisation is ill-prepared for the challenges of the App Generation, you’re ill-prepared for the future!

challenge that still needs to be addressed in the flexible, collaborative future workplace will be the communications chaos and complexities that originate from what is called ‘application sprawl’.

CIOs will be used to the rapidly increasing use of multiple different apps amongst employees for voice and video messaging, collaborative conferencing, screen sharing and many more everyday comms-based tasks. 

This is why reducing the number of comms apps within the organisation has quickly become one of the most important and urgent jobs for forward-thinking CIOs (67 per cent), in addition to 60 per cent also noting that investing in new comms technologies is a priority.

Improving the overall communication experience is key, with 54 per cent of CIOs citing this as the top driver for adopting new comms technologies. After all, if your business or organisation is ill-prepared for the challenges of the App Generation, you’re ill-prepared for the future!

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