June 18, 2020
9 work management trends behind successful digital transformation
By Martyn Cook, Director of Solutions, and Matthew Bagshaw, Director of Services, IO Integration
IO Integration partners with Workfront and other leading technology providers to help marketing and creative organisations optimise their operations.
Working remotely with clients from multiple offices in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia is an established feature of IOI’s day-to-day practice. This expertise means the pandemic lockdowns posed few obstacles to helping businesses switch to Workfront, the enterprise work management solution best placed to enable a change in how work gets done in a time of major disruption that demands agility, speed, and creativity.
Agency and creative environments tend to be extremely fast-paced, reactive to market needs and client demands; therefore, implementing a new solution to manage work needs to have a successful, dynamic, and trustworthy partner. IO Integration’s experienced global professional services team is able to achieve group level goals while maintaining local focus points, with tailored regional phasing able to achieve a quicker time to market and greater year one ROI on license investments.
Based on IOI’s winning partnership with Workfront since 2014, we see nine trends driving digital transformation success for our global clients, and enterprise work management technology is behind each one.
1—Collaborating on content—from anywhere.
We all expect to collaborate constantly, whether working with our colleagues, or at home, or somewhere in-between. Any technology that is going to spur transformational change needs to naturally assist information and ideation flow. We’ve outgrown the era of sending scans or printouts around the office for people to mark up. Workfront elevates that to the next level with proofing and collaboration workflows. And now there’s the option in Workfront to call people into a Zoom right now to get work done. Teams want to be able to do ad hoc work at the click of a button. Workfront delivers on that expectation.
2—Realising that people are a tier one asset.
In a world where ideas are your product, your people are the differentiator between market success and irrelevance. That’s particularly true for the 21st century world of knowledge work. When we’re dealing with agencies, it’s the people and the ideas that make the agency a success. Work management technology must free team members up to spend their time on being creative—to deliver the high-value work they were hired to do—and not be waylaid by low-value, repetitive, manual tasks.
3—Attracting and retaining a new generation of workers.
We are all used to having technology that just works—you pick up an iPhone and feel you know how to use it right off the bat. Enterprise work management technology needs to be that easy to navigate and that standard needs to be met to ensure uptake is fast and sticky, and that no-one goes back to manual ways of tracking things. This is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s an expectation of our modern workforce.
Workfront also empowers teams, regardless of where they work, to collaborate as a unit. Previously, without an operational system of record (OSR), work used to get handed down from above without a real sense of connection to strategy. But with Workfront, there’s visibility into the work being done across teams, and there’s alignment of work to goals. Cross-functional collaboration, transparency into the work, and alignment to goals gives work meaning and fuels motivation in a new generation of workers that wants to be evaluated not just on deliverables, but how their work contributes to business success.
4—Engaging clients right from the brief.
Clients interact with Workfront at the very beginning of the process through online briefings. As the deployment continues, their experience with the solution is constantly enriched with project updates and live dashboards. For agencies who have multiple, demanding clients, this ongoing status information can be leveraged to provide the agency client with a campaign hub experience, enhancing retention and controlling expectations through shared visibility.
5—Running multiple tailored work processes in concert.
All clients have unique vocabularies, processes, and invoicing requirements. Workfront has been designed with the flexibility to accommodate and tailor for all of these. Taken a step further, in a large enterprise with multiple business units, there might be a need to recognise different revenue streams, models, time, and processes. Or, take a creative agency, where having multiple clients with different processes and needs is almost inevitable. Workfront is built with the flexibility to configure for multiple internal client needs while retaining the efficiencies of repeatable processes within the solution, and IO integration has the best practice expertise to streamline that diversity.
6—Personalised relevant experience.
Technology that gets implemented can't be a hindrance; particularly in creative spaces. It can’t be yet another thing that people are asked to do, another button to push, another process to get bogged down with. Interaction needs to be seamless—like email (or better). When you turn your laptop on, you don’t even have to think about how to check your emails, you just do it.
We want to make sure there's no clutter, and that what people want to see is available straight away. A designer probably doesn't care about financials. At the other end of the scale, someone may not want to go through multiple nitty gritty project plans; they just want to see a high-level overview of the status of the business on a single screen.
Designing the experience of Workfront for the many personas who will interact through the system is a key element in any IOI implementation.
7—Implementing an operational partner to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
Traditionally, ERPs have sat at the heart of large organisations and forced very rigid ways of working when they have interfaced with project management. Designed as financial systems of record, they aren’t nimble. They’re about satisfying regulation, not helping people do great work.
Workfront is a powerful resource planning solution that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with that ERP, feeding it the information it needs while ensuring there’s purpose-built functionality to complete projects—in multiple workstreams and multiple teams across the enterprise—fast.
8—Centralising tools and removing desktop working methods.
We are all aware that sharing and enabling remote work is critical. As more files and data move to the cloud, the processes and tools surrounding them need to move in parallel. This is about removing hard drives, thumb drives, and even laptops from the equation.
SaaS tools used to be looked at with some suspicion, but now local tools carry higher risk and cost. With Workfront, upgrades happen seamlessly and business risk is mitigated: no time wasted or rework due to lost files, failed apps, and siloed information.
9—Integrating to eliminate duplicate data entry.
This is one of IOI’s key missions. Organisations need multiple software tools to perform specific jobs. All too often, someone has to take the information from one system and manually input into another system. Every single time that happens there’s wasted effort. It’s boring and demoralising. It introduces room for error.
Information should be mastered in one place and automatically transferred through integrations to any other system that requires that data. And with Workfront in place as the operational system of record, there will be a single source of truth for all work-based information.