Preparing for the Next-Generation Workplace

Author: Mike Anderson                     Date: August 15, 2011

Topic: Workplace                          Research Note Number: 2011-1

Issue: What are the macro trends impacting the evolution of work?

Summary: The next-generation workplace is rapidly emerging, and many elements are creating conflict and confusion. Enterprises and IT organizations need to adopt a new strategic approach, and Aragon has identified eight actions to take. 

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Enterprises face a mandate for change in the workplace (see Five Forces Impacting Work and Why You Can’t Ignore Them). Global forces are pressuring businesses to be agile yet contain costs. Business leaders are learning how to use technology and acquire it on their own.  These trends, together with the demand for rapid response and new business solutions, are overwhelming IT organizations. As the leader, change agent, support system and gatekeeper of the information ecosystem, IT is losing ground daily to the onslaught of innovation. They will have to adopt a new strategic approach to survive conflict emerging from different fronts of the workplace revolution. Aragon has outlined eight steps that enterprises can take to prepare for the next-generation workplace (see Note 1).

The New Workforce:

Exploding Demands, Generational Divide

The business workplace is increasingly comprised of individuals spanning companies, countries, continents, time zones, cultures, and age groups. Every worker has an individual mix of expertise, experience, expectations and personal devices. Business managers, beset by aggressive objectives and challenging economics, are quick to take control of technology decisions should IT falter. Only by maintaining a laser focus on business outcomes and partnering with business leaders can IT hope to step up to this challenge.

Further compounding the situation is the unprecedented range of behaviors, expectations and technology readiness in a workforce comprising four generations of workers. Younger workers not only have no fear of technology, they are pressing IT to provide more capabilities, and provide them faster. At the same time, another contingent hesitates to take on new systems. This bifurcation is a further stressor on the business, as the requirement mix demands simultaneous introduction of new technology as quickly as it appears and also the steady deployment of systems with training and socialization efforts for those more hesitant.

Note: This is part of Aragon’s archived research. Please visit our Coverage Areas page to view our most recent content.

Copyright © 2011 Aragon Research Inc. and or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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