When I joined our consulting workforce more than 20 years ago, I started as a customer information systems developer in the Utilities industry. It wasn’t what you’d call in today’s digital climate a “high-tech” job, but it did kick start a career of learning to love what technology can do for companies—especially when closely tied to human creativity and talent.

In fact, today’s business outcomes rely on making the best of this human-plus-machine combination. Whether we’re seeking productivity or efficiency, talent retention, or innovation or growth, success depends on having the right employees in the right working environment. Yet, as Accenture’s 2019 Technology Vision has shown, 71 percent of executives believe that their employees are more digitally mature than their organizations, resulting in workforces “waiting” for their organizations to catch up.

Such imbalance matters. According to our insights on the workplace experience, Gartner[1] has noted that "…by 2020, the greatest source of competitive advantage for 30 percent of organizations will come from the workforce's ability to creatively exploit digital technologies." I would go further to suggest that digital workplaces not only provide more capabilities for getting work done, but also knit together the physical with the virtual to amplify the workplace experience and drive innovation.

Transforming the workplace

This kind of transformation is a result we’re working hard to achieve here at Accenture. We want to blend the traditional office with digital environments so our internal IT and global workplace organizations can collaborate better to drive workplace transformation. How? Three elements are helping us to shape a new digital workplace experience where technology is woven into the fabric of the space design.

  • Vision and strategy: We want Accenture people to be their best selves, professionally and personally, and we’re using digital to provide a unified employee experience across workplace services. This means the spaces must be consistent, wherever our employees are located, efficient and flexible to support different ways of working, and, of course, the spaces must be safe and secure, without being intrusive.
  • Technology: We’ve made some significant investments in social, mobile, pervasive video, broadcasting, and in establishing a secure network, along with embracing leading immersive and collaborative technology solutions. And we’re known for developing diverse spaces—for example, there are more than 100 Accenture Innovation Centers around the world, each with its own industrial, technological, and strategic focus. We use collaborative solutions such as Microsoft Teams to bring together our virtual workforces, while a primary employee experience application called Places enables our people to use their mobile devices as digital badges to enter an office, reserve meeting rooms, and submit service requests—or track down colleagues based in their offices.
  • Intelligent operations: When employees are busy, it’s always good to see everything at a glance, which is why we’ve developed two dashboards. First is a Technical Device Utilization reporting dashboard that displays the status of video technology solutions globally and provides essential analytics. Second is a Space Utilization dashboard that advises on seats, meeting rooms, and real estate globally.

We’re living in a world where being agile—what we call “working in the New”—is beyond a “nice to have.” Our teams need to ideate, rapidly prototype, and co-create products and services with clients to bring solutions to the market faster. I believe providing the right environment will help us all to deliver on that goal. Read more about our digital workplaces journey here.

[1] "How to Market and Sell Digital Workplace Solutions," Gartner, Craig Roth, Feb. 23, 2018

Jason Warnke

Managing Director – Digital Enterprise Services

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