Keynote: Creating a Sustainable Digital Workplace in the Exponential Era (Dion Hinchcliffe)
5:51PM Jun 19, 2018
All right, good morning and welcome to day one of digital workplace experience. Thanks Brice and Paul, for having me. And so I was asked to kind of frame up what I see are the key challenges, what's facing us. So we had things ahead of us that we've never had to deal with before. And it's a time of great opportunity, as much as it is a time of great challenge. I'm kind of trying to unbox the things that I've seen by talking to dozens of digital workplace efforts every year, if I can, as much as I can. Working on these these efforts myself as well, trying to figure out, especially in large organizations, large global organizations, we're facing a lot of headwinds for driving the kind of change we would like to see. And even the targets are changing.
So sustainability is become a key issue for us. We're not moving faster, but the world is. And we'll look at that data in just a minute. So so the future of work is arriving in a very decentralized way, right. Some organizations are a little farther ahead, and some are I still go walk into organizations and they look like they're right out of the 1990s. It really depends on how far you are away from competitive pressures is what we see.
The challenge is that we now live in exponential times. The accelerating growth of new technology coming in often from the consumer world, but even the enterprise world has so much new software. You know, many of you have probably seen Scott Brinker's charts on marketing technology. That's where the Cambrian explosion seems to be the worst right now. He was tracking about 300 marketing solutions in the industry around 2011. He just released his latest charts and it's over 7000 marketing solutions are available to drive marketing campaigns, to do analytics, whatever it is. That is an untenable amount of change. At least using the methods we have now, the traditional linear model for working and adopting technology where we try and do it all of ourselves essentially.
And at this point, I'm often asked, you know that this graph is great, but do we really need all this tech change? Is that a good thing? And I often respond with this other chart here is that overall technology has been a tremendous boon for mankind. We look at the the graph of human population growth over time, it maps well with the same curve. And that if you look at medicine, and housing and infrastructure, and so many things, that technology affects that it has been very, very good to us, for the most part, right, all technology is a two edged sword. So we had to figure out how are we going to deal with this curve here. Organizations don't don't change that way, as well, as we'll look at. Yet we see that they quoted my shadow IT figure that was some research I did with IBM, as we began to realize that, the pace of shadow IT, the number of unsanctioned solutions for digital workplace, and in other topics as well was increasing, right? It wasn't, again, not a linear change either. So it was a real challenge.
And that's what we're going to see. More change in our lives and business in the next 10 years than the last 40 combined. You know, things like Internet of Things is going to be a big part of the digital workplace. Everything's going to be connected and instrumented. Everything's going to become intelligent soon. AI is going to get baked into everything, whether you like that marketing term or not. Smart technologies of all kinds, things like Alexa, personal voice assistants at work are going to be a big deal. And I've been testing this out in with with workers and saying, Would you like to be able to ask a personal assistant? Where's the next meeting room? Or where is my colleague right now? Or where can I find the latest sales numbers? And they're very positive, they want to see that they want you to deliver it. And they would like to do it right right now, if you can. Those types of things make life much easier, right? So these are the kind of changes that we're going to see. And up till now. I think that a lot of folks kind of looked at digital workplace efforts as, well, it's nice, but it's certainly nowhere near as good as what I have at home, right.
On the on the digital workplace experience, Twitter hashtag had a great quote from Fletcher Previn who said, you know, why do we have technologies like the Jetsons at home, but the Flintstones at work, right. So it's, that's, that's the challenge. And people want to have that kind of amazement that these new technologies and these effectiveness that they can bring civilization advances when hard things become easy. And that's what everyone is looking at us to do, to make hard things easy. But it's hard to do that in the current environment. And so the key insight here is that the linear thinking and the linear models for change that we have right now doesn't prepare us for this world that we now have suddenly found ourselves in. And that's what Paul and and Brice asked me to talk about is, so how can we ride this curve a little bit better? Or do we have to think and work differently? And that is almost certainly the case, right? And so if we can understand exponential tech change just a little bit better, maybe we could prepare, we can start saying, All right, how do we create organizational processes and models that can change faster that can can survive disruption, because often you're trying to roll out some new technology, and it's made completely obsolete by the next version, that the vendor is going to going to ship to you in three weeks? Or like, what are you going to do, right.
And so digital has different rules than the things that we've done in the past. And we're still to stop learning all of this together, right? This is a great table from exponential organizations, that they that we have to plan out for, what it's going to cost and how easy it's going to be in five years, right. Because things like Moore's Law, digital technology is driven by these power loss. Moore's law is the most powerful, and which says that whatever we're doing today is going to be either, you know, twice as faster or twice as cheapen in 18 months, you know, take your pick on how you want to do that, right. And that's not a big deal over 18 months, over five years, that dramatically changes what's possible. So you're designing your digital workplace has got to take into account all these AI technologies require a lot of compute power, right, especially things like image search, you know, that, you know, Google has a variety of ways of solving. And that's why they're using that to find our company's logo, as opposed to our resources. We don't, we don't have the technologies of the compute power to do a lot of these things. But if we think about how easy it's going to be soon to do that, then we can plan for that future, what doesn't look possible today, because the real challenges most organizations can only change linearly, all right, best logarithmically, but the world is changing exponentially. So the challenge I put up is that we have to find ways of changing at scale. And it's going to require new ways of thinking about who's doing digital transformation of the workplace, how many people that we need, we need a lot more bandwidth capacity, I would argue, if we're going to keep up, if we're not going to continue falling behind, you know, the Jetsons will continue to pull away from the Flintstones, unless we find new ways of transforming, right, a sustainable way, right. Because there's a if you're a software developer, you know, that there's this thing called heroic programming, which is at the end of a project, you know, the last 20% is always 80% of the work, right, you know, in all technology projects, and everyone stays there the last few months, stays late at night, works weekends and gets that that technology shipped out to the to the customer doing whatever it takes that isn't sustainable. heroic programming is not a repeatable way to do that without causing everyone to, to want to quit and find a better place to work. So that's our challenge. And, and most companies you behind, you know, it's like the old Lake Wobegon joke is in most companies are below average when it comes to digital in general. This is a McKinsey analysis of a whole bunch of large organizations and their digital maturity in general. And there's a few leaders some organizations have figured something out or workshops yesterday, that's what we tried to explore what have they figured out how are they doing it? How do they have such a high level digital maturity and the rest of us most of us aren't there right as a few emerging leaders and as everyone else so what's good is that you know that we have a lot of company and what's bad is that in digital is a winner take all environment and very much so if you look at the data this is the imperative that I often give saying if you don't digitize well enough and and fast enough to be competitively relevant, the state competitively relevant bad things will happen this is a very authoritative authoritative data from Standard and Poor's and Richard foster the analyzed what happens to companies over time and the average lifespan is dropping precipitously and the leading cause this was an MIT Technology Review, leading causes failure to adapt to digital change. That's the number one cause for companies to go out of business be merged, required. And so 60% of the Fortune 500 since the year 2000 are gone, are gone. Primarily lack of digital adaptation. So it's an imperative. And I also did the CIO survey last year that showed digital workplace at the very bottom, because they everything else is much more visible on the outside of the organization, right? Everyone can see it, everything is measured, and that's our revenue is generated, right.
But the work to deliver whatever is sold is actually done in the digital workplace. And it has has survival implications for organizations on whether you can work faster, better and cheaper than your competitors, ultimately, right. It really matters to this graph right here what we are doing, even though it doesn't feel like it, and we don't get credit for it.
So we need a sustainable approach to constant change in the digital workplace. We want to even catch up some if we can, right? What if we could even do that? Wouldn't that be exciting, right? That's the questions I've been asking. Increasingly, the last five years I've worked on the last five years, I've worked on a number of very large global digital workplace projects, and they all look rough with the same and that there's a tiny, tiny team of people to try and automate or hundreds of thousands of people's digital experiences right inside the organization. And most of what we have today is just, it's either inefficient, or we're getting better at systematized. I mean, overall, digital workplace teams I see are getting more mature and more capable, smarter and more trans disciplinary, they can do more things and connect the dots. But there's slow because you're just limited, we're given limited resources, it would be great if we could find a way that make it make it more sustainable, not have to do the heroic project rollout type of thing. So she says, we have more technologies every year that we have to both manage and roll out, right. So we need a pathway to sustainable development, if we can find it.
So the other big change that we are seeing is this focus away just from the technology to how can you really think about just like the customer experience conversation and said, Well, if we give customers a whole bunch of touch points that all work differently, all look different, and don't share data, they're going to have a confusing and this organized experience with us. And since since smoothing that out that experience out can have tremendous benefits. There's a lot of data that shows that right, customer experience leaders have by far, the higher financial results of the laggards. And the same is we're finding with digital workplace, we have a bunch of confusing touch points with all work differently, we have data in silos search still doesn't work decades later, right?
And so we need to figure out, take our thinking a level up and say, not just the technology, but the technology as viewed by the humans as part of a journey, not as an individual experience. And our challenges, of course, we have the internet team and the SharePoint teams and Unified Communication teams who are all thinking about their touch points, right? That's how we've organized and so that's that kind of locks. The key to the thinking of the of the issue is, is the same customer experience, discussion is happening, the same thing is happening now, with employee experience, taking the physical environment, that technology environment, even the culture into account and unifying it the thinking about all right, what are we trying to accomplish? What's the value we're trying to create? What journeys Do we have to enable? And that gets us asking the right questions. And then the next question is going to be how do we how do we realize those journeys at the same time, digital workplaces now suddenly become an employee experience become much more involved about the human aspects of work, right? So we have the work itself, which remains really important and we have to start really focusing on more on the details, how do we enable sales? How do we enable project management? How do we nail operations, our those are the, those are generally the top three areas that there's workplace really needs to get better at improving, but the next generation of workers want a lot more work is a lifestyle for them very much so. And so they care about personal growth in a way that previous generations didn't. You go to your job, your you define yourself by your work, it's a career, well, they're much more interested in not not, we're not talking professional growth, Alright, we're talking personal growth, contribution, awareness, you know, corporate social responsibility, their well being, I actually talked to the CIO of SAP, we're talking about a very conservative German company. And he says, When I think about the you, the customers that users that I have to service, I believe my job is managing their happiness. I had never heard a CIO ever say that before. It says that's, that's where it's heading. Right? That right now, we live in a completely different, very wealthy world that has never been in the situation before, where we have advanced technology, infusing everything and affecting everything, and the people who are in charge of that have tremendous impact on the lives of the workers. And so the new digital workplace has to is taking the game to the whole new level and we're seeing enlightened IT leaders are starting to say that I've heard similar things since then, this was a couple years ago that that he told me that.
So the that is that's creating more challenge too. It's not just technological change, the people are changing too, and their expectations much higher, right. And there's, you know, we're talking I workshops, employee engagement platforms, there's a whole new category of digital workplace that's growing, and many people have even heard of it, but it's going to direct directly affect these types of things to enable realize them.
And our employee experience must be a little bit more future proof. If you don't know Ross Dawson. He's a good friend of mine. He's a feature is from Australia, this is one of the charts that I really agree with, about what how things have moved from, we're expecting much more mobile ready experiences, much more freeform employment, that that what matters to us, what we value most has really been shifting, that we're moving away from working for companies, to working for marketplaces, right, where, you know, the best, the best company in the moment, can get our time to work on what's important for them, right.
And that's what matters for us, there's just all these changes, you know, in economics and technology and labor, and we have to start baking this in, like, I talked to our teams, they say, we're trying to find, we want our talent management platforms to be able to help build hybrids, you know, if you need a staff, a team, we can tell you the best people in the company or outside the company, and put them on your project today, if we have to do that, right. So there's this what Paul's really passionate about is happening, right, actually actively see this happening in the top echelon of organizations up there with the leaders, right. And again, this, you know, we want to be, or should want to be involved in those discussions, as opposed to just talking about documents and files and, and conversations, right. So that's our challenge.
So this will required entirely new level of dedication to use your needs, because often, whatever we've developed, we're quite happy to say, the way the vendor has designed it, we might want to configure it a little bit. And then we're going to throw it over the wall. And we're not going to adapt it very much to users needs. And we can't do that anymore, right. Because there's so many choices, we are no longer social source for technology in the company Far, far from it, I will look at that data in just a moment. And that so for all the reasons I talked about, the workers changing and their needs are expanding, they want us to treat them in a whole new different way at a new a new level and meet them there, right? That even though the usability of these systems, the complexity of it that are I argued recently, many times that our job is increasingly complexity management making this simpler, making it easier to do use an access all this information and technology and all the people that are that are housed within it.
So you things like user centered design, and last time, any specific technique you know, design thinking is is all the rage right now to say we've got to take the employee journey and really think it look at it from their lands, you know, and not these artificial seems that there's a thing called Conway's Law. In software, this is the structure of your solution will look like the structure of your organization.
And because we most organizations have three to six collaboration groups, when you sit down in front of your, your, your workplace, you actually can't even find all your collaboration tools, you there's no place to even locate them, right. We don't have we don't have good structures for them. So we have, we need to have this entirely new level of dedication. But I'm asking a lot for you guys to do a lot of things aren't I, right? Deal with rapid tech change, deal with with rising expectations, sky high expectations from the next generation of workers who will be the dominant 2020 millennial, and Gen Z will be running our companies, right they'll be the majority, right? And they have all these expectations, right? And become really user centric can design employee experiences, right? And you're not going to be getting the quantum leap and budget to make that happen. This is what I was asked to talk to you about. So what are we going to do, right?
So we have to make this transition to a softer, more designed more future ready employee experience using our digital workplace tools. Right, that's the challenge, but we're facing fears headwinds of change this is one of the graphs you can find flying around the internet, showing how each generation of technologies adopted faster, right, the new new Nintendo game on the mobile devices I can't remember that that's actually now the new fastest adopted technology used to be the tablet which reached mainstream in 18 months, right went from being an emerging technology to mainstream in 18 months, well now it's faster, it's happening even faster. So we don't, we can't get a major new technology out the door in a year, right? We can do pilots before then. Sure. But if you're a large organization Not going to happen just the cyber security checks you have to do on that the oddest you have to do on that, can take months to get that out.
So what's happening is they're not waiting, the lines of business aren't winning, the workers aren't waiting.
And I've asked the received a call from a large professional services organization that little while back in a panic and a total panic, they did an audit and discovered 15% of their their projects are being run in WhatsApp, right, and you're terrified, you thank you pull a data back and can't shut it down. They can't do anything about it whatsoever. And of course, the real reason people did that is because it was the easiest way to get that job done. Right.
So and they had they felt like they had no choice what the tools and given were insufficient, but 15% for large global organization is a big number is indicative of a major problem. And I would, I would consider them fairly advanced, right? And their digital workplace. And so this, this thing called shadow IT, which nobody wants to talk about a deal, but deal with is, is continuing to get worse, right? Or I would argue better, right? That's gonna be a challenge. I've talked to a number of CIOs who say, Oh, no, I look at this, I gotta keep an eye on anyway, for security reasons I got to make, make sure we get our data back. And we lock it down. But it's also an innovation lab. For me, I find, I have my workers trying to constantly trying to find better solutions all the time. And I'm not paying for that they're just doing it right.
And then I can harness that I can say no, will give you something better than that. Because they often don't know any better, right? Or no, that's a great idea. Let's make that work. Right? Let's make that safe and secure in our in our world, right.
And so a lot of a lot of us say, it's bad, and but the business doesn't think so they have, they have customers to make happy, and they have workers even to make happy so.
So the challenges, we have less time than we think on that side, right? Even though most of us are below average, and which is okay. And we have to figure out some way of rising right because the again, the expectations the yardsticks continue to change. And so we have to figure out, we must develop some kind of strategy that encompasses a fuller range of the capabilities that we have, we there is no one set of collaboration tools. There never was, it was always a dream, no matter what vendor will tell you that to get the job done, right, you often need the best tool for the job, alright, and we're going to have to manage that whole complicated portfolio about 50% shadow IT in 2016, it's higher than that. Now, we don't actually have good data, though, to see how much higher it is. And so we have a lot of these these tools and technologies for the digital employee experience, some which we've created that call at the court employee experience, right, as we're in charge of, we're not in charge of all the applications in our in our business. But increasingly, it has to be part of the employee experience, we see the integration of systems of engagement and systems of record, all of our business apps with all of our communication and collaboration tools are increasingly coming together as a lot of desire, right. So start pushing, pushing these together into one more into a more seamless user experience, right? We saw this in the beginning with Slack, you know, when, when they first arrived, something big and newer, I can use almost everything from one place wasn't that exciting, right, is that the new internet is that the new portal and we're all looking for that.
But it seems like collaboration tools are just going to be the center some form of collaboration tool seems to be a natural home for this more seamless employee journey more seamless and employee experience, right, where we're going to take the things that we've designed, and the interesting eccentric activity on the margins that's happening with shadow IT and always constantly trying to bring in or push it back out, right. But, you know, that's, this is the, what I call the digital workplace canvas. So I find when I walk in the most organizations, right, so systems of record systems of engagement, productivity, information, tools, all disconnected all touch all different touch points that work differently, the amount of time it takes to to onboard someone to use all these has gone from a month to two months, right in the last 20 years. And that numbers going to continue to go up to train people to be effective. There's really good data showing that new workers or biggest challenges is that we keep giving them more technology, and they actually want it, they want more technology, because it's useful. It's a force multiplier. That's why we use technology makes things easier once you get to learn how it works, once you know the possibilities. And so we give them so much, you know, to deal with.
So I often look for clues for our what's the next thing what's going to be the solution was, we're all looking for some way to be able to meet these expectations, right, which are a lot of these are good expectations that we should want to meet.
And so another key to sustainability, right. And perhaps the biggest lesson of the digital age is, you don't have to do it all yourself, that you can let the network do the work, right. We've learned this with collaboration. We learned this with crowdsourcing, we learned this with open source software, I can tell you chapter and verse I wrote a whole book about it social business by design, like 100 major kind of game changing examples I said, of all this, these new technologies are so good, there should be plenty of examples to point to and when I went digging, there was. Plenty. I cite data for each one of those about what, why the needle moved. And, and I discovered a common pattern among all those hundred use cases, right. things, people using digital workplace tools, I was the subject to the book to do amazing things that were never before possible, right?
And the trick was, is to tap into something larger than yourself, anyone should be able to participate. And that's a core pattern is seeing this over and over again, being an open source software projects, right?
The number one way that complicated software is produced business software, consumer software, everything is through is through mass participation. Someone has a good idea, they start it and everyone else joins me, right. So it really I began to see very similar things happening in organizations. And in fact, I've now believe that I'd say a not the A key missing piece to the sustainability puzzle. So if we have digital workplace, and we got to transform it, right, not incrementally improve it, right, that those days are gone, I know many of you are going to say, well, we're not staffed and budgeted for that. And that's the point I'm trying to make is that those hungry for change will help you drive it. And so the last or so Digital Trends, digital transformation of the workplace projects, I worked on large global efforts, I only work on the ones that I'm likely to learn something interesting, right. So I pick one or two projects here. And they take, you know, then they facing all of these challenges I just told you about, they're fully aware. But they usually have lots of surveys from new hires, about what their expectations are, and they're always sky high and, and want all these things. And they expected all these things, from looking at the brand on the outside and all of that.
But there are your organization is filled with talented smart people who have budgets of their own, by the way, who have ideas of their own and they want to do things they're not not gonna wait for you. And that's actually a tremendous asset. And so I'm from Washington, DC, I work on a lot of government public sector projects where they have much worse problems. And you guys you probably some public sector in here anyway, but my point being they've discovered this first, the, the first big example this I got a lot of publicity was the Federal Communications Commission. they regulate the internet, also the airways, but primarily the internet in the United States and kind of define it for the world, right. The internet is our most important global medium that we have the challenge when their new CIO, Dr. David Bray came in a few years ago was that is they had 300 applications that ran the business, and they're all in this aging data center with cables hanging from the roof. And it was a completely disorganized mess. But nobody was going to give him the budget to fix all of that years and years of technical debt. And that's, by the way, what a lot of us are facing in our organizations, we got used to some of the slow upgrade cycles of the enterprise vendors, those have gone away to a large extent, we're now getting releases so fast, we can barely deal with them, because the vendors realize that they know they're also going to be in trouble.
So it came as there's no way I can fix this, right. And he came in, and he, you know, he was a young upstart. And he said, Okay, so I'm going to need everyone on deck and the organization to do this, who wants to be, and this is one of the biggest lessons that I've had a digital transformation efforts is that we used to try and think we had to transform everybody and everything. And we don't, we have to, we can only transform the willing, right, the people who want to change, you can't, you can't impose change on people, they have to have to internalize it, they have to want to do it. So you fast forward to those people, right. And this is where the change agents conversation has come from. And it's a big thing. So David Bray, enlisted change agents, I need ideas and the best ideas you have, I want to use all of my objects, the beginning of next year, my operational expenditure and use it to move all of this out to the cloud, right. And he got a lot of takers. And by the way, when he said he needed ideas from change and it's not just inside the organization, anywhere in the world, you put a call out and said, We, I need all the best ideas that you we can get things that you have either done before, or you know, of and he evaluated many of them. And he achieved that transformation. Right there's this great picture they posted on Twitter of the empty data center, right, gone by the end of the year, everything moved, right, moving 300 applications, right. So that's a big deal that's something you would not normally see. But he did it using a cast of thousands or cast of hundreds in his particular case. So so this is this is a key to the sustainability puzzle.
But oh, by the way, we've got more challenges.
And this is going to be an increasingly conversation in your area, we're not going to go take a deep dive here, but it's one of the biggest untapped opportunities in your organization. That is the the low level of employee engagement. And most organizations, right, over half are significantly under engaged. They're just doing the absolute minimum. And one of these we explored in more detail. Yes, yesterday was can we use technology to to improve employee engagement? The answer is yes. Right. But the worst thing you can do is give smart people bad tools to use to do their job and say, you can't change that you have to do do an awful job using terrible tools. And smart people won't stay around for that technology has a direct impact on employee engagement. That's just one example. By the way, it's a good one, though. And so.
So that's, that's another thing that looks like a tax again, on our time. But it's a tremendous opportunity that you can use to get the budget that you can use to tap in the change agents, right. Because our other challenges, unlike every other type of information technology, digital workplace is usually usually perceived as optional, there's a few mandatory things email, right, maybe mobile access, as even seems to be quite debatable. And so we have this challenges, adoption isn't automatic. And so you can move really, really fast and provide solutions that nobody wants to use. The key is the employee experience must be designed around a value exchange value proposition, not just for the business, because that's how we tell the design thing. So you have to use a system and do this thing you want will pop out even embed experiences on offer one, right people vote with their feet, they will use the technology that is easiest to get the fastest to get the job done easiest and fastest to get the job done. So we have to design these experiences that user centricity back, but again, involves that close contact with everyone out there much more than before. But that the more and more I do these types of projects, I spend more time talking to the to everyone out there in the organization used to be we would do some surveys, we do a few interviews right now have a much more elaborate process. Because until you get to ground truth about what really is needed out there.
And of course, you have to map things that they often ask aren't what they really need you to say, well, that's one way of looking at it. But there's a much better way, right? That's our job as consultants in the organization, we have to understand that value exchange, how can we maximize that because they have choice, they can go to the cloud, they can go to the app stores, they can provide an outsourcing provider service provider, anyone who give them what they want, right?
What talk to the CIO would be a good friend of mine, The Washington Post company who said, I can't actually make anyone do anything in our organization. Because we're a conglomerate, right? Definitely plead with them. So. So this fine, you can go and talk to anybody who want out there, but they come to me before you buy anything, and I won't be the cheapest, but I know you better than anyone else on the outside. And I bet you I'll give you the best overall value. And that's, that's essentially our job. Now, digital workplace.
And so the issue is always been that the business in the digital workplace have had this gap that we give them what we have, and they have to take the last, they have to walk that last mile, and say, we're going to adapt to those tools, right, we're going to learn them.
And that that bar is getting too high. Now, especially since they have so much so many more pieces of technology, they have to use any any much greater efficiency, so much better, greater employee experience. And the new model is that that's really going to become one in the same how things get done are going to be defined by the experiences that you create, right, that you and and your change agents will create together.
So this is actually happening, I collect case studies, we don't have time to go through a lot. That's what the workshops were, for yesterday, one of my most impressive new stories brand new, one of the largest organizations in the world. And larger organizations have much more challenging problems. And even one step down to merely you know, pretty good size. This is a story Accenture and I keep, I talked every few months with Andrew Wilson, who is their CIO or global CIO, and he says, here's my top prayer and it says, here's the CIOs. But workplaces, the top right, my top priority is to enable our employees to get their jobs done. And this is his framework he published, it says, I'm going to take the top 100 moments in the organization, the top things that we do that we do often, and, and or are most important in our organization. And I'm going to build beautiful, best practice based experiences, you can still use the underlying tools if you want. But this will be an easier, better, faster way of getting those important things done, like finding and building a team, right, running a project, you know, retiring a, an old piece of technology, whatever it is the top 100 moments, and it has it has, it has a criteria he uses. And last time I talked to him, which is two months ago, I said, Well, how you doing? How far have you gotten, it goes, we're almost at the bottom of the list. And I go, what's going to do you're going to do next Well, probably, and go back and do the next hundred.
So you see these high performing organization. Accenture is one of the most profitable large companies in the world, they're very successfully using these new technologies. And the very proud of this to say, we're gonna, we're gonna get rid of these isolated fragmented touch points, we're going to focus on the user and their needs and what the business needs to it the same time and build these accelerated simplified, streamlined experiences, it takes a friction out of doing things the right way, right. So we're starting to see people closing that employee experience gap, right. And we have the technology to do it. Now, we don't have time to go over in this session, right. But the technology now exists, move and do these things very fast it or not massive customizations. Huge projects, although this certainly isn't inexpensive to do.
So this employee journey is going to be as much about them, and what the individual employees is as much about what the business needs, right? So HR and IT are coming together, I'm more and more now I'm working with projects where the CIO has sponsored it. And the CHRO has contributed funds, and co sponsors, this is tech change, and human change together, as we also need to build skills in the digital workplace experience at Twitter hashtag, there was a lot of discussion here about training, and education and skill building, because these tools are so powerful, and we're only using like 5% of them. I think that's the actual official industry stat. We only use 5% of the features and, and usually not the ones that have the power, right, the amazing things we need to do.
So we're seeing this, this collapsing of this digital experience at the top with the human experience, the end to end employee lifecycle, right to consciously map how are we handling the employee from the very beginning through to the very end, right, all every one of those steps is important. And we have digital experience that can support that. And we're not talking about just point, you know, we're not going to going to automate document management.
That's a lot of a goal. But as part of an experience that helps the business in the user, that's the that's the new bar. And there's almost certainly require a more integrated digital workplace.
So work environment where it's, it's all about them and all of their applications sanctioned in some shadow it that that, you know, you we're going to be experimenting with in a more unified experience, right, perhaps even a single experience that, certainly what Accenture is trying to do.
Again, for the core, not for every single thing that company does. Alright, so we've been debating a lot, both online and in these types of venues, you know, where's the best hub? We don't know that. Is it the enterprise social network is it the Internet, your mileage will vary, right? You'll you're, you're going to have to figure this out for your organization, right? Where's the home for these new experiences? How do we do it? And it's got to be data driven, lots of data showing that that we're not, we're only measuring what's easy, right? This is, you know, the classic the number of active users, number of page views, number of searches, number of documents downloaded. Those are terrible metrics, but they're all we have. That's what we take and declare success, right? I asked people, how many have business measures about how much you improved, you know, employee satisfaction, or productivity or sales or anything like that one person rose their rose raised up their hand, and that can't be that way, right? We have, we've, we've got to do better. And so we're going to design this core employee experience together with our with our our change agents that people who most want to help us drive change across the whole organization, I built a large digital change agents network in a, you know, an alert a large company, we drew in over 2000 people. And we got like a really good core of about 100 change agents, people who are, in their corner of the organization, they really knew what they wanted to do, they're passionate but didn't have the skills or resources or the mandate or the permission and they can get all of that through that right. And so we take that core experience, we help our change agents do the rest.
That's the future of digital workplace that has to be there is no other way we know how to scale this how to go faster how to be sustainable, right? That's that's what we did. There will be other solutions to that, right? But this is the one that we know of today, right? That will work so I'll leave it to you we got to create these vironment experiences together co create them right with the business for the most valuable digital journeys right into meaningful experiences that address all the things we just talked about here, right?
It's really important. And so what I would put to you is that we're probably not going to be able to meet these expectations ever. Unless we work differently, we collaborate more broadly, more openly, right? We, you know, we don't have good words for this, right. Because it's all new, we've never had, we've never had the ability to do this very easily. Now, we do never had to do this before we, you know, now we do. So we are just now trying to figure out the best model. So whether it's, you know, you call it a new form of Center of Excellence, or, you know, I call networks of changes is another model, it doesn't matter, we have to collaborate much more deeply and broadly with our stakeholders, right, they will give us the resources, the power, the energy, alright, to be part of your, your, your, your, your digital workplace program at scale. And I have actually seen the acceleration of organizations that are really to do this, right. And I, for example, in DC, there's now you know, a little change agents, communities of practice, or, oh, they exchange what they did in their agencies to make these happen, because they have even Starker resource requirements and scale challenges. And you have.
So the future that's we're all facing, right and it's an exciting one, you actually have a lot greater assets more capability and capacity than you ever realized if we look at this new lens, right that there we can enlist foot soldiers and and and we've learned in digital in general is though, when digital works really well works, you turn that knob to the right to get the real effect. And that's where all the you know, if you look at the largest digital winners out there, there, they don't play how measures on this, they if something works, they do it all the way and almost certainly will find yourself there. But the features it's interesting, you know, I ordered my first personal robot the other day it's called curry and get curry comment on advertising it but it's very interesting little personal robot that will have recognition Alexa built in a little bottle, follow me around the house, if I asked it to. And I can ask it, you know, give it Alexa commands, right? It will I can, I can tap into it remotely from everywhere. And it's going to change the way I live. And we're gonna and we're seeing the same thing in the workplace. All the innovation labs at tour and large companies have these types of things. Drones are going to be everywhere carrying five g antennas packages. They're going to be part of the digital workplace, I now seen the first meeting devices for the silent drone hovers over the table and points the camera, whoever's talking, all that's coming, artificial intelligence will be in everything. And all of this will be connected. This is the singularity thing we were like, well, that's going to be really far off. Well, that is increasingly here is if everything is going to be connected, especially digital workplace, every object pretty soon in the in the in the real workplace will be connected to the digital workplace, throwing off data 24 seven, and we'll have the quantified enterprise be able to do amazing performance management and innovation with all this data that we never had before. So that's why it's important. This stuff is coming. And it still sounds far fetched is actually coming very quickly. And so we got to get our house in order, we have to think differently, we have to be far more elastic in both the way we think about digital workplace, what it's going to look like, how encompassing it's going to be, because increasingly, we're all living purely digital lives on, you know, still walk around, but we get all of our information, we connect to everyone, right? And, and it's an opportunity. So I hope you find that kind of useful thought provoking for the next couple of days. We have big challenges and big opportunities. But we now have some hope that there are some ways moving forward a lot of what I talked about here, a lot more detailed actual work on and you can find my my writings about it online, my case studies and those sorts of things. So this is really happening in some places. But if, you know, like William Gibson says, The future is here, but it's just very unevenly distributed. So let's all kind of distributed around a little bit more. Thank you very much.
They're gonna let us ask you guys ask a couple questions.
Do we have any questions for Dion? I think we can like, take one or two. Raise a hand.
Hi, this might be a bit of an oddball question because I'm an oddball in this in this in this audience of people. I'm an architect, the physical architect of workplaces and I came here because of the digital workplace seeing that more isn't platform for experiences beyond just dimensions that we're talking about here, are you or anybody else thinking about the integration of the the digital workplace with the physical workplace and how those to influence each other?
Absolutely, it really varies by the type of organization you're talking about. But increasingly, we're seeing as as, as a good portion of the workforce is virtual, they're out on customer sites are there outselling things executives are traveling we're seeing the shrinking of the physical spaces, right? A little bit, not so much office space. But when people go in there, they want to have collaborative spaces, right, that augmented with all kinds of technologies. So we're seeing, you know, tools like oblong, and others allow you to basically break the barrier between physical and virtual and make them one in the same right, so that everyone in the meeting room can have the physical experience. And anyone out there can literally almost have the same experience. And you can, you can pull a slide up on the wall, mark it up and then and then send it back out to everyone is not there. Those types of things are real hot deskin where you walk in to room and your RF ID chip in your badge makes that generic office which is almost blank, it puts all your favorite pictures on the digital frames, right moves your phone number there,
I've tried to all the things we we actually built a prototype where we did all of these types of very amazing customizations, right? Oh, yeah. There was a little nameplate digital nameplate on the outside of the opposite, put your name, you're put on the company directory automatically, just the mere act of walking it in and confirming via voice that you wanted to use this for your office for the day. So as those types of collapsing of the experience and I've seen people are actually using projectors in the room so that you can bring your co workers and you can see have them literally sitting in your office, even though they're sitting in their office, right, but they're projected on the wall. Or you can you can change the wallpaper. I mean, so people want these. And again, these new generation of workers expect these type of experiences. And so there's both Herman Miller and Steelcase and they're doing all kinds of interesting things in that space right now. So I encourage you to look at that.
For time yeah, I'll be outside but
thank you so much. Dion, another hand, we've been so lucky to have Dion for the last two days. So if you get a chance to talk to him, please do obviously he knows a lot.
Good morning. I'm Candace Cui I am the Senior Manager of events for Simpler Media and CMSWire. So in the vein of telling real stories I wanted to introduce from BMC software Shafath Syed so please give him a round of applause and welcome into the stage.