Assessing Your Digital Workplace Solutions for Ultimate Efficiency
July 19, 2023
Since the onset of the pandemic, when in-person work became impossible, digital workforce transformation has become essential for businesses—with remote and hybrid work becoming the new norm, essentially the de facto digital workplace strategy. Most employees have embraced flexible working conditions and a modern digital workplace without wanting to return to the office space full-time.
Digital workplace solutions are a combination of tools, apps, and platforms that optimize the employee experience and enhance workplace efficiency, regardless of where your employees are. A vital aspect of digital workplace solutions is software as a service (SaaS) offerings, which facilitate your digital transformation by providing cloud-based applications and managed services.
What Are Digital Workplace Solutions?
Digital workplace solutions are tools and technologies that support a modern and connected workplace experience. They facilitate the seamless integration of remote work, digital workspaces, and hybrid work, ensuring an efficient user experience in various environments. This workplace technology can include artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the "Internet of Things" technology to provide advanced hybrid workplace solutions.
Some benefits of digital workplace solutions and workplace transformation include:
• Improved engagement throughout the employee lifecycle
• Streamlined business processes and support services
• Enhanced communication and collaboration using digital technology
• Greater flexibility for remote and hybrid work
• Increased efficiency and productivity while improving cost savings
Some widely-used digital workplace transformation solutions include Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Trello, which offer messaging, conferencing, and project management capabilities.
What Are SaaS Services?
SaaS services are cloud-based software applications that businesses can access through the Internet. They allow you to leverage the latest technology solutions without needing in-house IT teams to establish an intranet or substantial upfront investments while improving digital workplace experiences resulting in employee satisfaction. SaaS services offer scalable, on-demand, subscription-based models that can be easily integrated into existing workflow ecosystems.
Benefits of SaaS services include:
• Lower initial costs and maintenance expenses
• Scalability and flexibility
• Enhanced cybersecurity and data protection
• Automatic updates and seamless integration
Examples of SaaS services include Salesforce, Dropbox, and Adobe Creative Cloud.
How Do SaaS Services Enable Digital Workplace Solutions?
SaaS services are cloud-based applications and platforms that enable access from anywhere, allowing you to provide digital workplace solutions to your employees anywhere in the world. They enable end-to-end automation and real-time collaboration and streamline day-to-day tasks. Some popular examples include:
• Microsoft Teams: Offers messaging, conferencing, and collaboration tools for modern workplace communication
• Slack: A messaging platform that improves employee engagement and communication
• Asana: A project management system that streamlines workflows and task management
Common Features of Digital Workplace SaaS Services
There is a digital workplace SaaS service for almost every need and niche in business. While they all provide different solutions, there are also common features that all digital workplace SaaS services share, including:
SaaS services are hosted and managed in the cloud, with access from anywhere there is an internet connection. SaaS services also store and manage data in the cloud, making it easier to access, organize, and analyze information from multiple locations throughout the workday.
Cloud services are designed to be customizable and scalable, allowing you to adapt your digital workplace to your specific needs and size. This can include options for adding or removing features, users, or integrations as needed. You only pay for what is required and can quickly scale up or down if your needs vary.
Subscription Pricing Model
SaaS services typically utilize a subscription-based pricing model, which offers businesses more digital strategy flexibility regarding cost management and scalability. You often pay for the resources you use or the number of users, and both models allow you to avoid paying for more than you need and reskilling employees only as necessary.
Easy Integration & Cross-Platform Compatibility
Most SaaS services include built-in integrations with other software and platforms to create a cohesive digital workplace ecosystem. SaaS services are often available as a desktop or mobile app and are accessible on various devices and operating systems. Your employees can work seamlessly across platforms with the same end-user experience.
Collaboration & Communication Tools
SaaS services often include features facilitating collaboration and communication among team members, such as onboarding progress, file sharing, real-time editing, messaging, notification feeds resembling social media, and video conferencing. These features facilitate asynchronous work, so you can provide flexible work schedules without losing productivity or impacting work-life balance.
Security & Compliance
With the rise in cybersecurity threats, data security is a significant concern for all businesses. SaaS providers invest in robust security measures and compliance certifications to ensure data protection and privacy regardless of using their employee-owned smartphones or company-supplied computers. This can include encryption, secure data storage, regular security audits, and adherence to industry-specific regulations.
Support, Updates, & Maintenance
Using a SaaS takes a lot of the technical responsibility off of you, and the service provider is responsible for maintaining, updating the software, and installing security patches. Most SaaS services include comprehensive customer support, including training materials, help documentation, and dedicated support teams to assist with implementation and ongoing use.
Choosing the Right SaaS Service for Your Digital Workplace Needs
One of the most challenging facets of implementing a digital workplace is choosing the right SaaS services for your needs among the multitude available. The following SaaS evaluation steps can help you find the best option for all stakeholders:
Identify Your Needs
Start by determining your organization's specific digital tools needs and goals. Consider factors such as workplace strategy, team size, preferred communication methods, required software integrations, current partnerships, and tasks your team will perform.
Assess Your Budget
Establish a budget for your digital workplace services, considering the subscription costs, additional fees, and potential savings from reduced hardware and maintenance expenses.
Research Available Options
Investigate different SaaS providers, focusing on their:
• Available features
• Integration with your existing tools and software
• Reviews of customer experience
• Case studies
• Security measures and compliance certifications
Test & Evaluate
Request a demo or trial period to test the SaaS service before committing to a subscription to ensure it meets your organization's transformation strategy. Consider the user interface offered by each SaaS service. A user-friendly platform will enable your team to quickly adapt to new skills and work more efficiently. Factor in the level of customer support and training provided since practical training can make it much easier to implement a solution effectively.
Digitally Transformed Infrastructure Is Critical
Of course, none of the above will work if you can’t deliver foundational equipment to distributed workers. This is where digitally transformed employee equipment processes come into play. Modern remote equipment management platforms that combine SaaS management with outsourced physical operations make it easy to ensure remote workers:
• Receive the equipment they need on time when onboarding
• Get the support they need to stay productive with replacements and refreshes
• Have a brand-enhancing offboarding experience
Transforming how you deliver physical equipment to your remote or hybrid workforce ensures that every employee has the hardware capabilities to take advantage of digital workforce solutions.
Next Steps in Digital Transformation
Digital workplace solutions have become integral in shaping the future of work and increasing employee and customer retention. By optimizing the employee experience, automating workflows, and enabling seamless collaboration, these solutions foster a modern, interactive, and efficient work environment for optimized business outcomes. Business initiatives that embrace suitable digital workplace SaaS services can significantly impact your company's productivity, employee engagement, new technology upskilling, and overall success.
Find out more about the digital transformation tools from Firstbase that help enable digital workforces to do their best work here.