Thursday 21, December 2017 by Jessica Combes

The digital workspace revolution is employee-driven


VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, unveiled its annual report into the state of digital workspace technologies and their impact on businesses, which reveals that empowered employees are almost five times more likely to report gains in their productivity and spending 22 per cent less time on manual processes.

The research, conducted in association with Forbes Insights in September 2017 amongst 2,158 CIOs and end-users of businesses across 16 countries around the world (including 1,107 in 10 countries in EMEA), highlights how CIOs are recognising the performance power of digital technologies and applications in the hands of their employees. These empowered employees in the UAE, are more likely to say applications are very important in accelerating decision making compared to traditional employees (60 per cent to 40 per cent).

This empowerment, according to the findings, has a direct influence on the performance of the business; with the majority of all CIOs in EMEA (89 per cent) believing that revenue can increase by five per cent over three years when employees are empowered.

It is also enabling employees in the UAE to increase collaboration across the workforce (an increase by 13 per cent against traditional employees) and, in a clear sign that they are at the heart of this app-centric digital revolution, are procuring their own applications to use at work–in EMEA, one in five business apps being brought to the company by the employee themselves.

“One of the most profound shifts in business in the UAE and the Middle East has been the migration of enterprise applications into the hands of employees. As a result, enterprise applications have become a critical part of an employee’s workday and their ability to perform their roles smartly. As UAE and Middle East organisations race to gain a competitive edge through technology, organisations need to provide employees with the right information on any device, at any time, and from any location. CIOs need to foster a culture centred on trust, accessibility, and collaboration to have their employees be engaged and productive,” said Ahmed Auda, Managing Director–Middle East and North Africa, VMware.

Dubai Municipality, the government agency that fosters Dubai’s growth and development, faced challenges in ensuring its thousands of employees had consistent access to business applications that ensure city services are delivered on time. In response, Dubai Municipality launched a digital transformation project to virtualize desktops and consolidate data centres for business applications using VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and VMware Workspace ONE. 

“Dubai Municipality, as one of the UAE’s largest government institutions, needs to provide our employees with business applications available from any device, at any time, from any location to ensure the city is running well. Digital transformation, based on business applications, has increased Dubai Municipality’s staff productivity and collaboration, optimised costs, and is driving new levels of citizen happiness and innovative citizen services,” said Ahmed Kajoor, CIO, Dubai Municipality.

Cultural change required
Giving employees access to highly accessible employee-centric applications, used for knowledge sharing, collaborating with colleagues, or project management is essential to effective and successful digital transformation. Only with this powerful combination of employee initiative and management trust, will organisations be able to create a culture where digital transformation starts to have a real impact on the business.

In the UAE, empowered employees are than twice as likely to rate their employers as leaders in digital transformation compared to other employees (60 per cent vs. 25 per cent), and are twice as likely to report that their company has been made a more desirable place to work (60 per cent to 30 per cent).

“Business applications and productivity solutions are driving UAE and Middle East employees to achieve more than they ever have and take decisions based on the great information and apps they have at their fingertips. Making apps highly accessible from any device powers a real difference in performance. While we’ve been used to the typical business apps that are one-size-fits-all, UAE and Middle East organisations need to consider apps that are relevant to the workforce, which can help to drive a fundamental transformation in an individual’s workday,” added Auda.


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