The digital workplace has reinvigorated IT strategies within enterprises, who have just scratched the surface of the results a data-driven and relevant workplace can have on its business. To get a handle of what’s at stake, we sat down with Rick Bauer, 2017 Sitecore Digital Strategy MVP and Senior Technical Consultant for Perficient, a Coveo partner.

Daniel: What are the biggest challenges of creating the digital workplace that you have seen from your engagements with clients? How can CIOs overcome those?

Rick: In a word: resources. That word, however, can be broken down into three categories: people, funding and systems.

The most valuable and potentially the largest hurdle is people. Your leadership, your team, and truly your entire company have to be on board for the transformation that comes with the digital workplace. If you do not have the support of all major stakeholders in your organization, you can forget about the other two resources. To overcome this, a CIO needs to work closely with the rest of the C-suite to articulate the value of the digital workplace initiative, collaborate on an action plan and inspire the team to take action. It is imperative that all stakeholders agree on on goals, timeline and scope.

Transforming a digital workplace is a journey; and funding is an essential part of that journey. Appropriately planning for additional funding is not something that should be overlooked. There are upgrades, customizations, additional systems and connections that will need to be factored into the plan. This is one of many reasons why getting the CFO’s buy-in at the start of the project is essential.  

Finally, the digital workplace journey includes the potentially ever-changing set of business systems and upgrades. The more systems you need to connect, the more there will be a need to update connectivity. Strong connectivity across these systems will deliver the power and ROI expected in the digital workplace. To overcome this challenge (besides staying on top of upgrades), an intelligent search solution is a key component that allows you to index information across all of these systems, preventing information silos, and acting as “the glue” that binds the digital workplace.

Daniel: Why do CIOs need to make the investment now in creating a contextually relevant and engaging digital space for their employees?

Rick: With the exponential growth of workplace technology and 2.5 million terabytes of data being created every day – an engaging digital space is no longer a nice-to-have for today’s businesses. Employees must have well-connected data to not only deliver results at the pace customers expect, but to continuously improve their skills and enhance their day-to-day workflow. Connected data makes that possible.

Daniel: What is the impact to the business of creating a best-in-class digital workplace?

Rick: The impact stems from the  organization being able to deliver quality information quickly. Customers can quickly solve their own problems on your site, through search, or well-maintained social/blog resources. Employees can provide better information to customers will simultaneously improving their own knowledge, or do more on their own with less assistance. The digital workplace helps ease the burden of research by providing the best information first.

Daniel: What are some common mistakes companies have made when creating the digital workplace?

Rick: Most often I see organizations with solution “tunnel vision”. Instead of looking at the full digital workplace, there will be a concentrated focus on one piece of the puzzle. While this focus might help drive momentum, it comes at the cost of casting aside key systems in the moment and considering them only as an afterthought. One of my favorite examples is of a recent comment that serves as a strong example: “Now that our site is done, we need a 404 page and site search.” Yikes! Site Search – which, not only can be that unifying index, but is also the voice of your customer – how is that left as an afterthought? Consider ALL the pieces of the puzzle and the impact they will have on your customers and therefore your bottom line.

Daniel: Where do you see the digital workplace going in the next 10, 20 years?

Rick: I see machine learning taking us to a very connected place, quickly. With machine learning and CX personalization working in harmony, I see a results page with more focused content and fewer results, taking on more of a designed return of information. I see site search replacing navigation. That said, it REALLY has to work well and deliver exactly what the user is wanting. I think this is possible with machine learning, behavioral profiling and focused content management.

Daniel: How does Perficient’s approach to the digital workplace differ from other agencies?

Rick: Perficient is built to deliver the depth and breadth of a comprehensive digital workplace. We are not a sea of jack/jill-of-all-trades. We are experts in each of the many needed disciplines required to deliver on our promise to our customers. From CXP, CRM and E-commerce to Search, Mobile, Strategy and Analytics, we have the ability to pull together the needed experience across the complete range of tools, and the cohesiveness of One Perficient to connect these experts into a seamless partner. From planning and management, to delivery and support, we bring experts together to deep dive into the digital workplace.

Find out more about Perficient’s approach to the digital workplace by downloading their recent ebook, “Four Pillars to AI-Powered Search in the Digital Workplace.” Download it here.

About Rick Bauer 
Senior Technical Consultant and Sitecore Digital Strategy MVP, Perficient
Rick provides insight, training, and a passion for maximizing the potential of Customer Experience and Digital Marketing solutions. He utilizes his years of hands-on experience and certifications to help deliver clear solutions and actionable results for marketers.

About Perficient
Perficient is the leading digital transformation consulting firm serving Global 2000® and enterprise customers throughout North America. With unparalleled information technology, management consulting and creative capabilities, Perficient and its Perficient Digital agency deliver vision, execution and value with outstanding digital experience, business optimization and industry solutions.