Harmonizing Business Ecosystems for a Holistic Employee Experience


Businesses are distracted by technology-centered disruptions

With the urgency of digital transformation and the adoption of disruptive technologies inside the enterprise, organizations are in the early stages of rationalizing a changing technology ecosystem. Digitalization is upgrading legacy systems landscapes and building new enterprise technology capabilities with digital-first social, mobile, analytics and cloud-based solutions. While this transition from the “old to new” environment is underway, it occupies a significant amount of business time for vendor and product selections. Additionally, the transitional digital roadmap is not straightforward – getting from here to there is a delicate domino-effect balance of short- and long-term tradeoffs. New digital anchor tenants (like the ERP, for example) can have a rippling impact on legacy and new digital members in the global ecosystem. As a result, digitalization creates a complex challenge for CIOs and business stakeholders alike.



Useful Employee Experiences are not byproducts of digital technology decisions

With all of this digital disruption going on, it’s important to consider that these investments rarely achieve the desired Employee Experience outcome the business needs and people want. No set of technologies and tools – digital or not — will be what’s needed to create consumer-grade experiences, let alone a digitally-transformed and capable organization. So while business and IT are busy with all these digital decisions, it’s important for business stakeholders to be focusing on the Employee Experience as a parallel strategic undertaking.

” … digital transformation is first about the organization of the future and people’s role in new work, and second about new technology.”

That’s because digital transformation is first about the organization of the future and people’s role in new work (the “why” and “what“ of digital transformation), and second about new technology (the “how” and “where” of enabling technology).

So, while it’s critical for business leaders to participate in strategic digital technology programs, it’s equally critical for them to name and own the Employee Experience that’s being designed (purposefully or randomly) in concert to these decisions. And — to take it a step further — to factor the impact on business consumers during the often significant transition period, when the digital environment and Employee Experience can be particularly inconsistent or irrational.

Making the business ecosystem meaningful for people

Experience thinking transcends functional areas, and owning the Employee Experience means focusing on the employee journey across the complex business ecosystem. Establish purposeful relationships of systems and members within the functional verticals and across functional domains. Determine how these relationships bring together otherwise disparate systems, concepts, processes, programs, and data in business and people contexts, clearly specifying what role and purpose each member must play in achieving business and user objectives of the business at large.

This also means that considerations of the business ecosystem must be broad in scope, even as they pertain to seemingly discrete functional areas. For example, in enterprise HR solutions there are typically assumed relationships between Talent processes, systems, and data to Learning and to other areas within the HR functional domain; however, there are also shared interests that go beyond the function-specific domains. The contexts of people’s work, job, and role in the business, along with other organizational ideas such as branding and culture, inevitably broaden the scope of analysis.

Absent this broad rationalization of the business ecosystem, functional silos, systems, and solutions might be factored one at a time, creating islands of disjointed experiences for people and hindering progress towards achieving the desired outcomes.

Creating experiences that drive the new digital organization

At LDS, we help organizations maximize the investments they’re making in transformative, digital technologies by focusing on harmonizing the ecosystem for people and business value. In doing so, we anticipate how digital enables new organizational capabilities. We design experiences that model desired work practices and encourage collaborative, innovative behaviors. The value of digital, then, is imagined not as the ROI of a new digital platform launched, but rather as the value of future-proofing the organization and enabling people to be successful in flatter, more nimble and networked contexts. In this perspective, Employee Experiences are culturally aligned, differentiated, and highly productive.

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POSTED: January 3rd, 2017