I think I’ve worked out what the “digital workplace” is:
If you think an intranet is that internal Website you browse on your PC at work, where a small number of people publish stuff for everyone else inside your company or organisation then the digital workplace is that and more – this includes mobile and remote access, but also other Web-based tools that employees use to get their work done. Wouldn’t it be great if this all worked together, in a useful and usable way?
This might be considered a more polite version of my 3 intranet truths 😉
If you don’t define an intranet in such a narrow way, then really the digital workplace is just a fancy word for your enterprise information system*. For those with legacy IT or technology-driven architectures (rather than being user-centred), the digital workplace is just a concept to push you towards a more progressive IT environment for your users. If you are already on that journey, well done – nothing to see here 🙂
Yes, I’m a digital workplace skeptic; but if all the digital workplace idea is about is a bit of clever change management to get some intranet managers to think more broadly then its mostly harmless and may even do some good. The reason I say this is that (based on what I’ve read so far), the digital workplace:
- Still lacks a business case or imperative.
- Doesn’t address the capability or place within the organisational structure of traditional intranet managers to actually deliver the digital workplace (although this could be part of a strategy to raise the status of intranet managers?).
- Doesn’t address the organisational, operational and fundamental workplace impact of what Headshift | Dachis Group describe as Social Business (Dion Hinchcliffe has been documenting trends and issues in this space for some time).
*A good introductory text to this topic is something like Information Systems Management in Practice or similar.