Measuring the effectiveness of your digital workplace

By: Matthew Johnson


Leveraging mobility and cutting-edge tech is essential to the productivity of today’s enterprise. Measuring the effectiveness of your digital workplace implementation as it evolves is key to gauging the business value of this transformation.

Measure for success

The purpose of the digital workplace is to deliver IT and business capabilities to users. But due to increasing complexity as various platforms and device form factors are introduced, it can become cost-prohibitive to test all possible combinations and permutations expected before the rollout of new capabilities.

The agile movement exacerbates this challenge by reducing development cycle times and generating incremental deployments. Thus, the effectiveness of a digital workplace must be measured in the runtime environment to ensure enterprise user productivity is reaching the desired level.

Instrumentation is king

Before you can develop a measure of your digital workplace’s effectiveness, you must add instrumentation. This tooling allows you to seamlessly collect the data you need. If instrumentation is already in place, your team can access the data it generates. These measurements should focus on time-based information on device statistics such as:

  • Applications running.
  • Application resource usage.
  • Overall resource usage.
  • Overall time running.
  • Idle time.
  • Time users are logged in.

By consolidating all the sources of this instrumentation into a unified view, it will be easier to gain visibility into the effectiveness of the initiative.

Just remember that measurements and instrumentation aren’t the only factors available to determine user productivity. Your company must also have documented standards in workplace platforms, application performance and application instrumentation.

Analyzing this data will enable you to compare the measurements you acquire to the stated standards or ideal outcomes.

Illustrative metrics

A workplace effectiveness score (WES) is another option you can use to measure how well your digital initiative is performing. You can determine WES by dividing the total time ready for the user by total running time. The WES is expressed as a percentage from 0 to 100 percent. The higher the number is, the better. This metric can be used in aggregate across an enterprise, department or division and can be measured over time.

As you transition to a digital workplace, introducing instrumentation into the environment should be a top priority. That way, tangible metrics can be generated to show the benefits of the transformation.

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About The Author

Matthew Johnson

Senior Technical Staff Member for Global Technology Services, IBM

Matthew Johnson works with customers across the globe to transform their user computing environment into a superior, personalized, digital workplace. Specifically, Matthew works at the direction of the CTO of Mobile & Client Computing Global Technology Services to develop and extend product offerings, including publishing and maintaining the associated technical work products; assist on customer... Read more