Digital Workplace Gold Dust R1.0 – a report from InfoCentric

by | Oct 28, 2014 | Digital workplace, Intranets, Reviews

It has been a while since I last blogged, primarily because of two major digital workplace strategy projects. So it is timely that InfoCentric recently published a report on the experience the company has gained from recent digital workplace projects. As a result the perspective is very different from the survey-based analysis provided by Jane McConnell in the Digital Workplace Trends report.  The report authors are Philipp Rosenthal (formerly at Tieto),  David Franklin and Kevin Hansen. The report is presented in a quasi-PowerPoint two-column landscape format. There are three main sections in the 46 page report, Reality Check, The Way Forward (with sub-sections on Models and Strategy Corner Stones) and DWP Mechanics and Principles. The two objectives of the report are set out as sharing the experience that InfoCentric has gained from the projects and to attract consultants to join the consultancy. The latter is a somewhat unusual objective!

The Reality Check section covers a lot of ground, offering three scenarios, six challenges and six issues related to organisational change in just ten pages. The pace continues in the second section with a five-category typology of organisations, a four stage model of the evolution of a digital workplace, a four element framework for the way in which employees need to be connected and then eight digital workplace strategy ‘corner stones’. The discussion around the corner stone of Concrete Value introduces (very briefly) the 8C Model of Enterprise Information Management. A six-category framework for digital workplace stakeholders labels one of the categories as Cockroach, which is without doubt the first time I have seen this word in a report written for senior management. The report concludes with the section on DWP Mechanics and Principles, listing out five areas which may turn out to be game changers in the evolution of digital workplaces.

There is much of value in this report if you are already actively involved in digital workplace development. All the various frameworks, models, lists and categories are clearly based on a lot of practical experience. However despite the claim that the report is based on projects that InfoCentric has undertaken there are no ‘stories’ about how organisations are approaching digital workplace implementation, which are a valuable element of the Digital Workplace Trends report. There is also no discussion about differences of adoption in vertical sectors. From my own experience over the last couple of months, major law firms and pharmaceutical companies are very different in their approach to digital workplaces. This is certainly not a report you could give to a senior manager. I think that their eyes would glaze over after the first few pages from a combination of the pace of the presentation, the often awkward use of a double column layout and with sentence compression to the extent that it is almost impossible to see spaces between words. Pale green and pale blue highlighting also do not assist the reader, especially if they are reading on-screen and have not printed it out. I would also have liked to see some references for further reading.

Full mark to InfoCentric and the authors for the investment involved in the considerable amount of research and analysis that is presented in the report. I know I will make good use of this very comprehensive analysis of the issues around digital workplaces but I am not sure it is a report that I could recommend to a senior executive trying to make a business case for investing in the scoping and implementation of a digital workplace.

Martin White