A Leadership Guide to Digital Dexterity

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Get a closer look at digital dexterity and how it can help organizations eliminate digital friction and improve employee experience

With the pandemic continuing to change the way people work as well as accelerating digital transformation trends, building a tech-savvy workforce can have a significant impact on business outcomes.

Technology is critical to workplace productivity and engagement. Creating better digital workplaces, however, requires more than giving employees the tools they need to do their jobs. Equally important is to have a workforce that is willing to embrace existing and emerging technologies. There’s even a term for it: digital dexterity.

What Is Digital Dexterity?

Digital dexterity is the desire and ability to use technology to better meet business outcomes. Organizations should think of it as a business strategy to help them thrive. With a  digitally dexterous workforce, organizations can better leverage digital transformation initiatives.

Digital dexterity examples include:

  • Taking advantage of digital solutions wherever it is possible.
  • Using technology to monitor operations and improve processes.
  • Gathering and analyzing real-time data to improve decision making.
  • Fostering a culture of innovation and openness to change.

Digital Dexterity Skills are Critical to the Future of Work

In his talk at Lakeside Software’s DEXterity Virtual Conference 2021, Vice President and Distinguished Gartner Analyst Matt Cain highlighted the role of technology in shaping the future of work.

Businesses are increasing the rate at which they are introducing and relying on technology. Employees have also increasingly developed their ability to exploit digital tools. Yet most organizations deploy more technology than their workforces are comfortable with.

This is referred to as the digital dexterity gap.

“The organizations that are able to close the digital dexterity gap are the ones that win,” Cain said during his presentation.

That’s because digital dexterity provides the following benefits to businesses:

Innovation and digital transformation

One of the main benefits of digital dexterity is the culture of innovation that it fosters. For digital transformation initiatives to succeed, you need to secure employee support. After all, resistance to change can undermine your projects and waste IT investments. You need a team willing to embrace existing and new digital technologies to drive new processes in your organization.

Digital dexterity can also be a competitive advantage. Digital organizations often outperform their competitors on key performance indicators (KPIs) such as innovation. These companies are better equipped to navigate uncertain times and disruption.

Flexibility and resilience

Organizations need to be flexible to respond to a fast-changing world, especially with the pandemic accelerating trends of hyperconnectivity at work. More distributed workforces resulting from the rise of hybrid work models bring new technology challenges, such as unreliable internet connectivity and VPN issues, and require quick adaptation.

Companies need digital dexterity to quickly redesign their operations. A robust digital strategy helps to build resilience and seize new business opportunities. Organizations that are high on digital dexterity tend to be more responsive to market trends and disruption because they are able to better attract talent and redeploy expertise when needed.

Higher productivity and employee engagement

There is a connection between workplace technology and employee productivity and engagement. Findings from Lakeside’s The Future of Digital Workplaces report indicate that employees believe they would be 18% more productive with the right digital experience.

Improving digital experience better prepares organizations for the future of work, too. Lakeside’s research also shows that 12% of workers lose 1-4 hours a week due to IT issues, indicating that a proactive approach to service desk operations can help minimize problems — whether it’s poor internet connectivity or failing applications.

A Roadmap to Developing a Digital Dexterity Framework

Becoming a digitally dexterous organization requires the right mindset, talent, processes, and digital tools. Here are a few steps to achieve this goal:

Get your workforce to buy in

Business leaders need to involve all stakeholders in advancing a digital agenda. As part of a company-wide effort, explain the benefits and make them meaningful to everyone. For example, when communicating with staff, emphasize how dexterity can improve the way they do their jobs.

To get executive sponsorship, on the other hand, financial and competitive edge rationales might be more persuasive. In this journey, the CIO plays a pivotal role driving those digital competencies across the organization.

Invest in digital skills training

For 40% of C-level executives surveyed by Lakeside, upskilling employees is one of the top challenges in ensuring businesses provide a superior digital employee experience.

From onboarding to continuous professional development, workers need adequate training to perform their best. When organizations support their team members and help them build digital proficiency to succeed in their roles, everyone wins. Employees want more efficient ways to get their job done, and investing in digital literacy can help.

Obtain comprehensive visibility across your IT environment

In order to deliver more value from technology, organizations need to have complete visibility into their IT estate. Digital experience management (DEM) platforms — such as Lakeside’s Digital Experience Cloud, powered by SysTrack — can help.

DEM solutions collect user experience data from the endpoint in real-time. Through telemetry data and user sentiment gathered from surveys, organizations can better understand the technology needs of their workforces.

For example, a popular use case of digital experience management is resource utilization. With expanded visibility, IT can determine what software is installed and who uses it. Underused and unused licenses can then be directed to workers who need them.

Anticipate the technology needs of your workforce

Organizations can improve their employees’ digital dexterity by enhancing their digital experience. The first step is to have a clear picture of workers’ IT needs and challenges. With artificial intelligence and automation, it’s possible to build more proactive help desk support that anticipates technology issues before they escalate.

By making technology easier to use and embracing beneficial elements shadow IT, organizations can also drive innovation. Many employees resort to unsanctioned technology at work to accelerate workflows, boost productivity, and innovate. With holistic endpoint visibility into DEX metrics, IT can better manage the security risks of shadow IT while improving the digital employee experience.

Eliminate Digital Friction with Lakeside

Discover how Lakeside’s Digital Experience Cloud can optimize your IT environment and drive digital dexterity. Request a customized demo today.

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