Digital Workplace – 3 Options – Same Outcome


Ignoring what happens in the Digital Workspace is fairly common. It happens for a few reasons generally speaking.

  1. You didn’t know what was going on and had no time.
  2. You are too small or too consumed with other important issues and concerns.
  3. It doesn’t matter on the front end of business and it is a “cost” that can be deferred.

Digital Workplace is like .. capability weeds popping up all over the place in the lawn. Can’t just sit back and water it with automated sprinklers..

Photo by zhang kaiyv on


You know what the concepts around Digital Workplace are and you are paying some attention to it.

What is this thing known as the Digital Workplace?

Why does it seem to have so many names?

Why does it cover so much?

How do we handle it?

What is the strategy?

How can we get involved, learn, grow and adapt?

All these are questions asked but in small companies, it is very hard to find clear answers. In large companies, it is easy to find answers but they are scattered across the whole company because digital workplace covers so many capabilities.

Engagement is happening but effectiveness around the activities is limited to where the teams can focus. Mostly, there are disjointed efforts without continuity, oriented planning and overlaps in capabilities. Some companies have strategies and controls to try and stop the excessive spend and overlap but most don’t have the governance in place. The Covid 19 virus is an example of something we are very aware of and something we can control and tackle but struggle with for reasons similar to our addressing emerging and evolving organizational capability readiness. If you don’t believe there is a linkage, look at the news (adapt or go out of business). If we consider why Covid 19 is being handled in Europe and other countries differently vs the US. There is a difference in effectiveness and outcomes based on organizational and governed behaviors. The strategy is clear, the governance is in place and the communication and outcomes are known. The people know about the consequences and don’t have false narratives to drive separate agendas. (That said, Digital Workplace isn’t a virus either)

Whoa, so far, I have described Digital Workplace like a weed and a virus. Isn’t the Digital Workplace concept a good thing? Shouldn’t we embrace it and make it part of our organizational strategy?

Accept, Embrace, Align and Act

For clarity, I don’t blame the sun for climate change. I don’t blame Digital Workplace for epic failures of organizational bologna where companies can’t understand the situation they are in. Just like weeds, or viruses or anything else that happens naturally, the workplace has evolved. We can either accept this evolution and work to figure out how to turn it into something of great value or we can ignore it or dabble in it and have it wind up costing us in many ways. There are direct and indirect costs in lack of understanding of the Digital Workplace. One thing we can all agree on is that Covid taught us a few lessons here.

What to do?

Well, I do have some answers and ideas but we can leave these for another time. If you want to discuss this, challenge or ideate on this, lets go!

What is this same outcome that I speak of?

Go back a few posts of my blog and you will find some writing about what Microsoft and other companies in this space plan on doing. In a nutshell, the vendors are becoming utilities. Even if we wanted choice, this becomes illusive in that it is either lots of money and investment with a very difficult model of portability or other forms of vendor lock-in. Choosing one vendor over another is essentially the same thing. If you choose Amazon for cloud or Microsoft for cloud or Oracle, you get a good deal up front, similar services across the board. You get a broad range of integration options. You get partnerships with other companies and providers. You get .. many things. You give, control. You give, autonomy, you give, operational choice, you give, strategy. You give stability in run from cost modeling because they can change run costs under a whole litany of conditions. That is what you agree to when you sign up. Here is the catch. If you don’t sign up, you will still sign up. In the world we live in, we require these tools for interaction and interoperability. These tools are the water and power of our organization. Instead of treating them like strategic assets, we normally pay the power and water bill. This is where the opportunity lives for differentiation in the market.

All said, the Digital Workplace is happening and it will continue to happen. From a fundamental perspective, you’re in.

If you want to dig in a bit, let me know. I think there is a lot of opportunity strategically and tons of dollars left on the table because mainly of governance issues. They are people issues and difficult to solve without strong resolve and leadership but.. millions there for the taking..

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