Jan 23, 2019 | Weingarten
The digitalization of German society is continuing, and more and more people access the internet while on the move – thanks to the boom in internet use, in particular on mobile devices, and better digital skills. Many companies are yet to catch up with this trend, and the potential of the digital workplace is largely untapped. Businesses lack the technology and the strategies for implementing the digital workplace. So says the new 2018/2019 D21 Digital Index study, of which CHG-MERIDIAN has been a long-standing partner and which it helped to compile.
Smartphones and laptops are firm fixtures in everyday life and are increasingly the most popular devices. 83 percent of all respondents in employment browse the internet while out and about, a figure that rises to 93 percent for those aged 20 to 29. So it comes as no surprise that German employees are open to mobile, IT-based workplaces. According to the D21 Digital Index, 74 percent of those in employment are interested in a digital workplace where they can use networked devices to work flexibly and from anywhere. However, only a small minority of 16 percent of all employees are able to do so. This low figure remains unchanged since last year – there has been no progress even for office workers, where fewer than a third are able to work on the go or from home.
“There is a growing discrepancy between the devices and applications that are used privately and those that are used at work. That is why the onus is on companies and the public sector to equip workplaces with the latest technology so that employees can acquire digital skills or apply skills learnt outside of work,” says Oliver Schorer, member of the Board of Management and Chief Information Officer of CHG-MERIDIAN, a leading global specialist in technology management.
Companies are faced with considerable challenges in the wake of technological progress. Changing customer requirements call for new digital business models, and business partners are demanding more efficient digital processes. These requirements can only be met if digitalization starts in the employees’ workplaces. According to the D21 Digital Index, more than half of employees expect digitalization to change their job significantly over the next five years. They also believe that life-long learning and modern equipment provide the foundation for a successful career. “Enabling the digital workplace and doing more to develop the workforce’s digital skills are crucial if businesses are to make a success of digital transformation. With the advent of Industry 4.0 and Work 4.0, this is also key to maintaining a company’s competitiveness and attractiveness as an employer,” Schorer adds.
Simply providing smartphones and laptops is not enough. The new workplace requires complete solutions featuring devices that are secure and customizable, and which promote collaborative working. They must also be transparently manageable over the entire lifecycle. Companies need a strategy for making digital workplaces available to their employees, so that the business themselves can also benefit. Currently, a third of all German companies decide on a case-by-case basis whether an employee may work remotely or receive a mobile device, rather than putting a proper system in place.
The D21 Initiative is Germany’s largest nonprofit network for digital society, consisting of representatives from trade and industry, politics, academia, and civil society organizations. CHG-MERIDIAN is again a partner of the D21 digital index study.