Gartner Digital Workplace Summit recap: focus on people and processes

  • Posted on June 1, 2015
The following blog post was written by Avanade alum Jerome Thiebaud.

Gartner Digital Workplace SummitI just got back from the Gartner Digital Workplace Summit in Orlando, Florida and it was awesome. Three full days packed with an endless flow of information and numerous meetings but definitely worth the trip. Besides, it is always nice to visit sunny Orlando with 90° Fahrenheit temperatures when you live in Seattle.

There were a lot of learnings from the event, most notably, Gartner’s digital workplace strategic roadmap with some of the key themes around “Workplace Reimagined,” the tagline for this year’s event.

Here’s are some of the insights I walked away with:
  • Breathe life into technology. Digital business is about the creation of new designs tying things, people and processes together and blurring the digital and physical worlds.
  • Put people in the middle of everything. Three core characteristics of the digital workplace of the future are: being natural, being universal, and being helpful.
  • New leaders are needed. In this new digital workplace, a digital leader’s role is to observe and to mediate.
  • Work together. Vendors need to develop interoperability with other vendors for a smart work grid as not one vendor will own the digital workplace space.

In addition, it's important that outcomes and employee engagement are understood before implementing technologies. Three core principles are needed to drive a digital workplace:

  1. Ignite Enthusiasm: By promoting employee engagement, a digital workplace creates a workforce that makes great contributions to business effectiveness
  2. Leverage Digital Dexterity: Consumer grade is the new industrial strength
  3. Focus on Autonomy: Digital workplace strategies exploit emerging smart technologies in people-centric design to support dynamic, non-routine work

We were incredibly fortunate to have with us two of our clients who have transformed their workplaces through modern technologies.

digital workplace Gartner panel Panel Discussion at Gartner Digital Workplace Summit 2015 (L to R) André Huizing (Avanade), Ghislaine Prins (Heineken) and Angela Gammill (Delta)

Ghislaine Prins (Heineken) and Angela Gammill (Delta Air Lines) shared their digital workplace journey on a special panel at the event. Both of them shared their experiences and insight and offered some good advice:

  • Focus on the business outcome and the vision, not the technology
  • Design your digital workplace around people not technology
  • Employees need to understand your product right away and how it benefits them
  • Make it simple and intuitive for the employees to use your applications
  • Training, training, and training: never stop!

Overall it was a great conference and we look forward to next year.

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