In a keynote session with Amir Hameed, SVP, Worldwide Solution and Sales Engineering at RingCentral, IT leaders learn about the customer journey. 

Apr 14 2023

CDW Executive SummIT: Why Digital Experience Is Integral to Workflow Productivity

IT leaders should prioritize digital experience in any hybrid work model to boost employee satisfaction and collaboration.

“There isn’t a way of working now that doesn’t include technology,” said Marie Webb, Cisco’s director of Americas commercial collaboration. “If you walk into any work environment, you want to be instantly up and running.”

But that seamless experience isn’t the case for everyone. As companies embrace a mix of on-premises and cloud technology, it’s hard to ensure a consistent tech setup in every setting. At the CDW Executive SummIT, experts from Cisco, Intel, Dell, Poly and HP emphasized just how important a digital experience is for driving productivity, collaboration and connection.

“During the pandemic, people took the time to create an ideal working space with monitors, headphones, a standing desk — you name it. Now, if they return to a hybrid or hot-desk environment, employees are frustrated because the tech isn’t as customized,” said Jennifer Adams, senior director of hybrid systems messaging and new product introduction for Poly HP.

Ultimately, businesses should think of hybrid work as a chance to be creative with technology. “The office should be a magnet, not a mandate,” Webb said.

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Why Creating a Digital Experience Is Critical

One of the ways companies can help ease that friction is by providing seamless connectivity across all apps. “This means that as employees work wherever, there’s a sense of immediacy, and that translates to community,” said Webb.  “And this applies whether it’s an urgent work update, a team photo or news of a new baby being born.”

For businesses hoping to encourage a return to the office, technology will be critical to their success. According to a survey conducted by HP, 89 percent of respondents said that they need the right equipment to be productive.

Once the software and equipment are set, the next phase is giving everyone equal access to it. “If I’m on a Zoom call but my video or sound quality isn’t working, I’m already one level removed from my colleagues,” said Webb. 

A partner like CDW can help businesses with the network infrastructure needed for their teams to operate at a maximum level of connectivity. “We make sure the network and connectivity function across platforms,” said Sheena Vojta, director of digital experience at CDW. CDW’s Amplified™ collaboration services can also help IT leaders chart a path forward so they can achieve their digital experience goals. 

RELATED: How IT leaders can scale solutions to fit their business models.

How to Curate a Positive Digital Experience 

For experts at the SummIT, creating an unparalleled digital experience starts with getting personal. “As you deploy monitors and videoconferencing software, executives must consider the different workstyles in your company,” said Adams. “Ask yourself: How will my team interact with this technology? That’s where the experience starts.”

In any given enterprise, there’s a range of personas, from the connected executive and the office communicator to the remote collaborator. “Ideally, the digital experience should complement all of these different workstyles,” said Adams.

Marie Webb
There isn’t a way of working now that doesn’t include technology. If you walk into any work environment, you want to be instantly up and running.”

Marie Webb Director of Americas Commercial Collaboration, Cisco

Thinking About Digital Experience at the Executive Level

For executives looking to build a digital experience, consider investing in tech that fits the business, culture and customer needs. In other words, IT leaders should be intentional in their decision-making.

“When people talk about digital experience, we think about acquiring high-tech equipment. But it’s not just about putting a laptop in a shared workplace,” said Adams. “The presentation of the equipment and access to the software should feel inclusive and enjoyable. It should be positive like any other experience in life we remember.”

WATCH: Why you should prioritize an improved experience for customers and end users.

The Core Elements of a Digital Experience

Digital experiences are now a crucial factor in employee satisfaction and retention. “We’ve gone from an amenity war to an experience war,” wrote Jacob Bates, a managing director for commercial real estate firm JLL, in a presentation shared by Adams. 

As IT leaders strive toward improving their digital experience, here are a few factors to keep in mind.

First, offer consistent, speedy access across applications as users go throughout their day. Second, invest in software that complements the rest of the tech ecosystem so that navigating the environment feels like a journey. Webb added that a successful journey is also about continuity. Access to the full suite of tools should start as early as an employee’s first day. “Technology can be a bridge to make onboarding more enjoyable,” she said.  

Third, embrace a multimedia approach that is dynamic and versatile on desktop and mobile devices, whether that’s messaging, telecommunications or video. This may mean using artificial intelligence to take notes during calls so participants can stay present or using virtual whiteboards to help remote teams collaborate online. Cisco’s cinematic meeting technology offers a unified meeting experience, whether in person or remote, using cameras to follow individuals through voice and face recognition, automatically switching views to bring everyone into the conversation.

“Even something as simple as being video-first, whether that’s on Zoom or Teams, can drive a cultural experience and increases connection,” said Vojta.

Keep this page bookmarked for articles and videos from the event, follow us on Twitter @BizTechMagazine and join the event conversation at #CDWSummIT.

Photo by Lily Lopate

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