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This article was written by Kissflow CEO, Suresh Sambandam and is part 1 of a 3 part sponsored article series.

Every year, industry leaders predict how technology will augment the digital workplace, heightening awareness and setting the stage for new advancements. Around the globe, companies of all sizes increasingly recognize the need for digital transformation, yet many are struggling to instill an efficient digital workplace.

The first quarter of 2019 has already passed us by, and the scene hasn't changed much. Businesses striving toward agility are picking up new tools to adapt to an evolving economy, but aren't experiencing the promised results.

What is missing in the dizzying array of digital workplace platforms? The ideal solution — a unified platform where employees manage multiple types of work together in a shared space.

Common Digital Workplace Snags

Not all platforms are created equal. Let’s examine a few common pitfalls.

Limited Functionality

Since most platforms focus on only one type of work, multiple logins and crowded browser tabs become commonplace, slowing productivity. One program manages expense reimbursements, another handles HR inquiries, yet another is required for project planning, and so on. More than two-thirds of workers waste up to 60 minutes a day toggling between apps on the job.

Poor Connectivity

Linking fragmented apps is tedious and often impossible. In some cases, an umbrella platform houses numerous apps, but integration is still limited. Instead of seamlessly aligning information, the platform just tapes applications together, leading to error-prone manual data transfers and laborious reporting procedures.

Scattered Communication

When data is all over the place, collaboration is cumbersome, and interdepartmental teamwork suffers. 63 percent of US workers have wanted to quit their jobs because ineffective communication has interfered with their ability to do their job. In turn, employees resort to piecemeal solutions, putting security and compliance at risk.

What Does an Efficient Digital Workplace Need?

A digital workplace should boost company value and employee engagement simultaneously through a single, interconnected platform. Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trend reported HR, IT, and the business must all work together to build an integrated, customized work environment for digital tools to impact overall company productivity — not just individual productivity.

A Unified Platform

Automated processes, one-time projects, cases, and collaboration are managed in one application, under a single tab. Essential external applications, such as accounting software, are strongly integrated, linking data in real-time for immediate reporting and analysis. A connected, inclusive environment fosters timely approvals, decisions, and customer service.

Take case management, for example. Online customer inquiries often begin similarly but conclude differently depending on the issue. When case management is siloed from other processes, inquiries can slip through the cracks, and customers are left in the dark until their case is recognized. These are costly mistakes, considering 95 percent of global consumers cite customer service as significant in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.

Loads of business apps promise scalability, but limited connectivity between apps slows process expansion. A unified platform allows multiple types of work to grow alongside your business at the same time.

Intuitive Workflow and Project Management

When new apps are introduced, the learning curve repeatedly restarts as employees navigate the ins and outs of yet another program. But when processes are all managed in one place, the cycle is finally broken, and productivity can soar.

A digital workplace should deliver a stress-free user experience, not just another platform login to remember. Repetitive processes are easily automated in customizable fields created through drag-and-drop forms and workflows. Tailor-made reporting features enable managers to identify and correct low-performing areas.

Often automated processes speed recurring tasks in one-time projects, such as expense approvals, and a single workplace enables a smooth connection between automated tasks and project management. Two out of three workers believe a unified platform would help them achieve better workflow, be more productive, and decrease work chaos.

Structure in Collaboration

Employee engagement has been a recent hot topic, but many companies are still taking a top-down approach. 52 percent of surveyed employees have witnessed the harmful effects of poor communication, such as lost sales and damaged company reputation. A more open environment is needed for fluid communication and constructive collaboration.

An open collaboration tool doesn't inundate employees with information but provides a place where data is organized and readily available, saving an average of 416 hours a year per employee searching for internal information.

An interconnected digital workplace offers other perks. Talented workers satisfied with the provided productivity tools and collaborative culture stick around. A centralized platform also creates an easy path to bring remote workers on board. Through a single login, they can immediately feel like a part of the team with direct access to company news and relevant work.

A Progressive Solution

How many businesses want to look back at the end of 2019 and report minimal improvement in internal operation management? No matter where a company is on the digital transformation journey, there is always room for improvement.

It's not too late to implement an effective digital workplace as a central digital strategy component this year. Molding an adaptive, scalable workplace empowers employees to perform at new levels, improving the customer experience and increasing profits over the long run. Take a decisive step and make 2019 a game-changer in the life of your business.