In an earlier post, I discussed the growing importance of workplace experience for the largest demographic in organizations today—millennials. Wanting a collaborative work culture and prioritizing meaningful work over money, this group is sure to transform the nature of the workplace as we know it, including the technologies we rely on to get things done.

Recently, I came across additional research by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte that suggests that millennials are not alone—employees, across all generations, want to work for organizations that are getting in front of technology trends and providing a work environment in which they can capitalize on those trends.

To rate the maturity of their company's digital strategy, respondents in the 2015 global study on digital business were asked to “imagine an ideal organization transformed by digital technologies and capabilities that improve processes, engage talent across the organization and drive new value-generating business models.” According to the study's findings, the characteristics that separate those organizations labeled as digital leaders from the rest of the pack are that they have a clear digital strategy combined with a culture and leadership that can drive the transformation. In essence, organizations that have not embraced digital trends tend to focus on individual technologies and are operational in focus whereas more forward-thinking organizations are focused on transforming the way they do business.

I have to say I found this research to be compelling. It clearly supports that the all-too-familiar pattern of adopting a digital technology solution—whatever it might be—to solve an isolated problem won't lead to achieving a company’s goals for customer experience and is really part of the problem, not a solution at all. The MIT/Deloitte research points out that the strength of digital technologies isn't the technology itself but how it is integrated into the organization. Organizations need to focus on holistically transforming the way they work (their processes, talent engagement and business models) if they want to retain the best employees and achieve exceptional results. Technology will play an important role in attaining that goal, but it is not an end in itself.

Certainly, getting the right digital technologies, including those for document production, into the hands of the workers closest to the customer will be essential to any successful strategy. The MIT/Deloitte research found that more than 70% of respondents from digitally mature companies said their managers encourage them to create new processes with the support of these digital tools. That is telling. Of course, we all know breaking free from bottlenecks caused by information technology (IT) workloads and siloed systems has been necessary for a long time now—but so is empowering your organization's workforce and enhancing agility in the marketplace. To do so requires a strategic approach and great leadership at all levels of the organization.

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