Digital Transformation >

Gartner Symposium Recap: Digital Workplace Best Practices

November 14, 2017 by Amanda Maksymiw

Laptop sitting on a table at a coffee shop, with a laptop and cell phone next to it

Key takeaways from both Gartner Symposiums

Over the past several weeks, I had the opportunity to attend both Gartner Symposium events in Orlando, FL and Barcelona. Regarded as one of the elite events for IT leaders, both events garnered crowds of more than 6,000 attending sessions, meeting with analysts, and exploring the ITexpo show floor. Two resounding themes from the events were digital workplace and digital dexterity.

  • Digital Workplace 
    • What? Digital workplace is all about creating a compelling employee experiences and improving how people work together and stay connected. Allowing people to work anywhere, anytime.
    • Why should CIOs care? Businesses are changing and CIOs can help enable transformation and deliver value beyond cost reduction to the business, i.e. reduce employee churn, minimize ramp time.
  • Digital Dexterity
    • What? CIOs and their teams should have the ability and desire to use technology to drive business outcomes AND get everyone in the company comfortable with doing so as well.
    • Why should CIOs care? It all points back to adoption. Easy to use solutions that can work for any user despite their preferred mode of communication (voice, video, chat) can help encourage adoption across the organization.

Here are my top takeaways and soundbites from the events.

Digital Workplace Overview

Business itself is changing and it is up to IT leaders to help enable enterprise transformation. This is how Gartner talks about the future of work and it is all about enabling people to work from anywhere. To get started, structure your thinking about digital workplace as a menu or portfolio of IT services.

  • Create a compelling experience anytime, anywhere - IT should focus on providing an intuitive, effective and consistent experience through devices, applications, and workspaces that enable their workforce to do their job from anywhere, at any time. This helps boost productivity across the company.
  • Working together - Enable and promote effective communication, info sharing and activity coordination across the organization to improve effectiveness.
  • Performance in context - Deliver contextual self-service analytics modeling and decision making, intelligent guidance, driving automation, etc. to boost operational agility and alignment.  
  • Connected workforce - Establish channels, networks, and platforms to communicate our goals and values, to crowdsource knowledge, and resources to enhance digital dexterity and value creation.
  • World-class IT service - Provide quality help without delay, the way each worker prefers to receive it to increase the availability of resources across the organization.

Measuring the Effectiveness of a Digital Workplace

As you getting started, it is important to think about how you’ll measure success along the way to know whether or not it is having an impact on your organization. Instead of thinking solely about measuring productivity gains, here are four other measurement ideas:

  • Business impact – look at business KPIs such as ramp time, employee churn, etc. to see if they have improved since the launch of a new tech
  • Satisfaction and anecdotal evidence – survey employees at the start and end of a project to see how they are realizing value
  • Activity and utilization – track and monitor adoption rates of new technologies
  • Cost and risk reduction – understand how the new technologies are reducing shadow IT 

Understanding Digital Dexterity

There were a number of sessions on cultivating digital dexterity in business. In one session, Graham Waller talked about culture and how it is the number one barrier to success for many technology deployments. Digital disruption demands digital dexterity leadership, and the ability of the organization to move to a new model. Leadership should be agile, collaborative, analytical, innovative, creative. And capable of exploiting new technologies and helping the full organization adopt the tools. Waller offered five steps to help CIOs cultivate the new mindset:

  1. Challenge core beliefs and reframe perspective: Host a ‘challenge what you know workshop’. Get your execs and leaders in the room and look at where you are at, then flip those ideas to see real change.
  2. Define a new digital-era leader mindset: The art of digital is what is possible. Understand that real change can thrive despite uncertainty. The best way to get start is to experiment, measure, learn, and iterate. Exploit digital-era competitive levers. Cherish digital talent and get your team out of the basement. 
  3. Balance each leader’s passion and development goals with the enterprise’s digital needs: Creativity and innovation is the enterprise DNA.
  4. Develop and support triggers for new a mindset: Determine what you want to change and figure out how to measure. For example, try to get everyone to use video during their meetings no matter what.
  5. Reinforce new mindset with routines: Work on developing habits. Start small, communicate faster, and more authentically. It doesn’t need to be perfect.


Amanda Maksymiw
Amanda Maksymiw

Amanda is responsible for setting and managing the Fuze content marketing strategy including creating, producing and publishing engaging content. Throughout her career, she's worked with fast-growing tech companies and VCs on developing content marketing, influencer marketing and social media strategies. Amanda received her BBA in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Read more from this author
Subscribe to Fuze's Newsletter