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How Your Company Can Support Digital Workers — and Increase Productivity and Profitability

It’s no secret that workers using the digital tools they know best are more productive and satisfied than if they’re forced to use only a few approved by their enterprises. But companies have long had a hard time being open to a variety of digital tools and making sure worker-favored ones don’t introduce security problems or incompatibilities with existing systems.

Key findings from Gartner’s third biannual workplace survey.There’s help for any company trying to achieve the right balance. The Gartner report, “Survey Analysis: Supporting Digital Workers Requires Diverse Workplace IT Strategies,” offers great advice and strategies for companies looking to thread that needle. The report is based on Gartner’s third biannual workplace survey.

The survey’s most important finding is straightforward: Workers are less satisfied with applications they’re told to use at work than they are with applications they choose themselves. The applications they often choose themselves includes social media and real-time messaging, which Gartner notes, “are now key to enterprise collaboration.”


Key Survey Finding:
Workers are less satisfied with applications they're told to use at work, than the ones they choose themselves.


However, digital workers want to use other tools as well, including productivity-enhancing ones, the report notes. And overall, the report says, “The applications that workers get for themselves play a significant role in the digital workplace.”

Gartner recommends that, “Application leaders responsible for digital workplaces must embrace such worker autonomy with resources and sensitivity.”

In practice, that means that companies should “Acknowledge worker use of applications outside formally approved system management by provisioning policies and practices, which should also set incentives to gather insights for the whole organization from such usage.”

In addition, enterprises should “Develop measurements for self-service and workgroup diagnosing and self-healing that allow IT to embrace and improve the systems intended for self-support.”

Finally, the report says, companies should “Assign IT workers directly to business units and endeavor to make them physically, practically and virtually present during operations.” Doing that will bridge the gap between regular employee’s digital tool use and those used by IT. It will also make sure that digital tools can be more easily incorporated into company workflow and practices.

Choosing the Right Development Digital Platform to Bridge the IT/Employee Divide

The report didn’t get into details about development tools that are well-suited both for non-IT employees and IT staff. But companies would do well to consider those that can be used by employees without development experience as well as by IT staff. And the best platforms also integrate with IT systems and offer a high level of security.

Alpha TransForm and Alpha Anywhere can work independently or together as a single platform and are well-suited for both IT, citizen developers and other staff.  Alpha TransForm is a digital tool that helps business users craft online or offline mobile apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. Alpha Anywhere has the unique ability to rapidly create mobile-optimized forms and field apps that can easily access and integrate with any database or web service and can exploit built-in role-based security or robust offline functionality. Learn more about Alpha TransForm and try it free for 30 days.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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