Changing employee experience in digital workplaces

Digital workplaces are gaining traction among enterprises (image: Vasyl Dolmatov/iStockPhoto)

Employees who work in digital workplaces are productive, motivated, have higher job satisfaction, and report an overall better sense of well-being, according to a global digital workplace study from Aruba.

The study, Digital Revolutionaries Unlock the Potential of the Digital Workplace, surveyed 7,000 employees from companies of all sizes and in different industries across 15 countries. 

Digital workplace tech adoption in APAC                                                                                                                          Asia Pacific countries were covered in the survey. They include Australia, China, India, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.

Most respondents in Asia Pacific thought digital technology would result in a more efficient (63%), more collaborative (53%) and more appealing (52%) work environment.

In addition, 70% of the respondents said their companies will fall behind the competition if new workplace technology isn’t implemented. 67% of the respondents believe the traditional office will become obsolete due to advances in technology.

The use of digital workplace technologies is growing popular in Asia Pacific. 75% of companies in the region invested in digital workplace tools last year. They have a growing interest in a new generation of IoT-driven technologies including smart building tools for automating temperature controls and lighting (14%), voice-activated and wireless AV technology (16%), and custom corporate mobile apps (11%).

However, digitally-connected companies are more open to security breaches. 71% of the respondents admitted to some kind of risky online behaviors last year. 

Experience-first platform                                                                                                                                                “Network becomes a platform for digital workplaces. Digital experience becomes an application on the platform,” said Keerti Melkote, co-founder and president of Aruba at the Aruba APAC Atmosphere 2018. 

Aruba's Keerti Melkote 

Held in Thailand last month, Aruba APAC Atmosphere was attended by almost 2,000 engineers, developers, partners, and IT executives.

In his opening keynote, Melkote discussed the shift from a mobile-first architecture to an experience-first architecture—an experience platform. 

“The experience platform is an open, software platform that you can consume from the cloud,” said Melkote. “The platform creates secure, simple, and smart experiences to businesses.”

Melkote pointed out that network, data, and ecosystem partners are keys to an experience platform. At the heart of the platform is the network with a bunch of tools like Wi-Fi, switches, and access points. To deliver unique experiences to users, the platform not only has to be digital but also smart. This can be powered by the data collected from IoT devices in various physical locations, which feed data into the experience platform. With more and more data coming into the platform, users can create insights and take intelligent actions. 

“Cloud and mobile were the two big trends and disruptors in the last decade. IoT is going to be the next big disruptor,” said Melkote. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) becomes an important piece of the experience platform. “Smart plus digital allow us to build amazing new experiences,” said Melkote. “We create IT experiences with AI-powered automation.” 

He said AI-powered automation helps companies to define their network policies, carry out provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting. AI-powered analytics and assurance supports companies to monitor their networks, deliver insights in the event of anomalies, and optimize network performance. 

Partners are integral to the experience platform. Aruba has formed an ecosystem of smart digital workplace partners not only from technology companies but also commercial real estate companies and furniture manufacturers. The most recent partnership was with CBRE in March this year. The commercial real estate services company provides tenants with transformative workplace environments by integrating property services and amenities with digital technologies. Other smart digital workplace partners include Deloitte, Herman Miller, and Zoom, to name a few. 

These workplace partners deliver digital workplace experiences for employees and guests, ranging from personalized workspace ergonomics and lighting, to mobile unified communications and fully automated conference rooms, to preventive equipment maintenance and automated energy conservation, on a single infrastructure, according to Aruba. 

Aruba recommended companies to adopt a digital workplace strategy to create more personalized workplace experiences; build collaborative digital workplaces for employees, remote workers, partners, and customers; as well as incorporate security with the use of emerging technologies in networking, AI, and machine learning.