Today it seems that it's not a matter of if but rather when a company will adopt modern workplace tools, including a number of popular cloud, SaaS, and PaaS solutions, to manage information, access data, and complete a range of functions. These technologies promise greater workplace efficiency while equipping knowledge workers with the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.
With so many practical benefits, companies must be flocking to work in the cloud, right? Wrong. Cloud adoption is currently lower than one might expect. CEOs may be surprised to learn that there's a gap between what employees want and need from their workplace technologies and what's currently on their desktops.
In fact, this growing market challenge drove a significant partnership that we formed with Virtusa Corporation, a global IT services company to the Fortune 50. We provide Virtusa with a range of cloud-based dynamic case management applications that they now offer to their clients as a way to give knowledge workers the tools they need to access business-critical information in the cloud. This has enabled faster turnaround time on cases, an increase in productivity, and reduced IT operation costs. It has also increased the ability to meet challenging business needs.
Although employees are starting to reap the benefits of using cloud-based tools in the workplace, the underlying decision to implement the cloud continues to rest on the shoulders of C-level executives, many of whom are still proceeding with caution. This is illustrated in a recent survey we did, which included responses from more than 200 workers across several industries, and reinforces the existence of this significant disconnect between the technologies that are available today, what employees need, and how well those technologies have been adopted in the enterprise.
In fact, the survey found that most companies are more likely to use antiquated tools in the workplace than their more modern equivalents. Case in point:
- Eighty-fouir percent of respondents want to work remotely, but 70 percent have inadequate mobile tools to do so.
- Ninety percent of companies are required to comply with government regulations, but 40 percent of companies are not regularly updating their tools.
As with many technology waves, most C-level executives generally try to embrace the opportunities brought about from cloud technology and want to show leadership in breaking through the status quo in their organizations. Change always brings opportunities for companies to be more competitive by delivering products and services to market faster, improving customer interactions, reducing costs, and increasing productivity.
However, employees have come to embrace technology in their personal lives ahead of corporate adoption. As a result, CEOs now need to take the lead in embracing cloud technologies to give employees the tools they need to improve the status quo, establish a clear vision for the future, and turn that vision into action to generate results.
Cloud-based tools have a proven track record for success. When SMEs use modern tools, they execute tasks quicker and break down knowledge barriers by streamlining communication among colleagues and even their customers. This modern business process has resulted in improved customer satisfaction and a solid return on investment for companies.
C-level executives need to understand that many areas of their businesses have the opportunity to be significantly improved through the use of cloud technology. They need to take a step back and determine whether they are supplying the technology their employees need or if they are simply holding them back.
Glen Schrank is the CEO at Eccentex. Previously, he was president and CEO of HireRight, an SaaS company. He has spent more than 25 years in leadership roles in a variety of technology-based businesses, including 15 years at IBM, where he served as a business unit executive with profit and loss responsibility.