CIOs Should Create Flexible Work Environments

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 24, 2014

digital mindset

CIOs and IT decision makers can improve their business by developing a more flexible work environment that satisfies the needs of consumers, according to a Gartner report. The research firm states that the complexity of work environments will create a critical competitive advantage for businesses that are able to develop a socially active workforce. Gartner stated that new work styles such as crowdsourcing, social networking, job sharing and microwork provide new flexibility to workers. New environments can help workforces to capitalise on internal and external knowledge, it says.

The research firm has listed a number of other advantages provided by the digital workplace. These include increased productivity of distributed workgroups through the introduction of new technology and engagement styles, along with improved overall employee engagement. For example, socially active workforces can help to improve communication within businesses and improve efficiency across numerous departments. With tools such as Skype, Google Hangouts and other communication services, it is easier than ever before to communicate away from the office.

The study also shows that at present however, most organizations are reacting to consumerization in an ad-hoc way, with initiatives such as bring your own device (BYOD) and mobile application development coming into the spotlight. Gartner warns CIOs and IT leaders to adopt a range of digital workplace tools and services to manage and amplify the impact of the devices more effectively.  

“Starting with the rise of PCs and the internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the “business consumer” — an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle,” said Matthew Cain, research vice president at Gartner.

He added that as individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work, the gap between business and consumer computing environments are often explained by culture, security and compliance. Nevertheless, Cain believes adopting the consumer style of computing for business purposes will be beneficial for businesses on the whole.