Empowered employees in the UAE are benefiting from the performance power of digital technologies. Collaboration across the workforce is increasing in an environment where employees are bringing their own business apps into the workplace. Dubai Municipality, faced with the challenge of ensuring its employees have consistent access to business applications, has launched a digital transformation project leveraging the expertise offered by VMware.
VMware, a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, has unveiled its annual report into the state of digital workspace technologies and their impact on businesses. This reveals that empowered employees, those who are granted greater access to the applications they prefer and need to do their job, are almost five times more likely to report gains in their productivity, resulting in them spending 22% less time on manual processes.
The research, conducted in association with Forbes Insights in September 2017 among 2,158 CIOs and end-users of businesses across 16 countries around the world, highlights how CIOs are recognising the performance power of digital technologies and applications in the hands of their employees. These empowered employees in the UAE, are more likely to say applications are very important in accelerating decision making compared to traditional employees (60% to 40%).
This empowerment, according to the findings, has a direct influence on the performance of the business; with the majority of all CIOs in EMEA (89%) believing that revenue can increase by 5% over three years when employees are empowered.
It is also enabling employees in the UAE to increase collaboration across the workforce (an increase by 13% against traditional employees) and, in a clear sign that they are at the heart of this app-centric digital revolution, are procuring their own applications to use at work – in EMEA, one in five business apps are being brought to the company by the employee themselves.
“One of the most profound shifts in business in the UAE and the Middle East has been the migration of enterprise applications into the hands of employees. As a result, enterprise applications have become a critical part of an employee’s workday and their ability to perform their roles smartly,” said Ahmed Auda, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, VMware.
“As UAE and Middle East organisations race to gain a competitive edge through technology, organisations need to provide employees with the right information on any device, at any time and from any location. CIOs need to foster a culture centered on trust, accessibility, and collaboration to have their employees be engaged and productive.”
Dubai Municipality, the government agency that fosters Dubai’s growth and development, faced challenges in ensuring its thousands of employees had consistent access to business applications that ensure city services are delivered on time.
In response, Dubai Municipality launched a digital transformation project to virtualise desktops and consolidate data centres for business applications using VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and VMware Workspace ONE.
Ahmed Kajoor, CIO, Dubai Municipality, said: “Dubai Municipality, as one of the UAE’s largest government institutions, needs to provide our employees with business applications available from any device, at any time, from any location to ensure the city is running well.
“Digital transformation, based on business applications, has increased Dubai Municipality’s staff productivity and collaboration, optimised costs, and is driving new levels of citizen happiness and innovative citizen services.”
Cultural change required
Giving employees access to highly accessible employee-centric applications, used for knowledge sharing, collaborating with colleagues or project management is essential to effective and successful digital transformation. Only with this powerful combination of employee initiative and management trust, will organisations be able to create a culture where digital transformation starts to have a real impact on the business.
In the UAE, empowered employees are more than twice as likely to rate their employers as leaders in digital transformation compared to other employees (60% vs. 25%) and are twice as likely to report that their company has been made a more desirable place to work (60% to 30%).
Ahmed Auda added: “Business applications and productivity solutions are driving UAE and Middle East employees to achieve more than they ever have and take decisions based on the great information and apps they have at their fingertips. Making apps highly accessible from any device powers a real difference in performance. While we’ve been used to the typical business apps that are one-size-fits-all, UAE and Middle East organisations need to consider apps that are relevant to the workforce, which can help to drive a fundamental transformation in an individual’s workday.”
We asked Ahmed Kajoor, CIO, Dubai Municipality, further questions to explain the benefits of this digital transformation project.
Why is it important for your employees to have consistent access to business applications?
If you look at the environment where we are working we are accessing information all the time to conduct work so our information and our system became very important. We have our workforce on the move, away from the office. They need updates, they need to access information so they need to be mobile with full access to their desktop – it’s very important.
How has the system allowed you to improve the efficiency of your services?
We have lots of different systems running on all sorts of platforms. VMWare’s system unifies our ability to access different platforms. We have almost 75 different systems running on multiple platforms. Using a virtual machine gives us a more uniformed way of accessing information.
What is the importance of having the ability to allow employees to access business applications available from any device, at any time, from any location?
One of our challenges is that people have different devices they want to access to gain information. Each application needs its own environment to run. Virtualisation has the ability to encapsulate and capture all that functionality.
How has the system increased Dubai Municipality’s staff productivity?
Employees have better and easier access to information which increases their productivity. They have the ability to access information at any time on all of the systems. We are extending our working hours basically.
What are the advantages of your new system compared to your old one?
With virtualisation you are loading up your whole system to the cloud. With virtualisation you are maximising your resources to the maximum possible.
We can transfer our server anywhere at any time. It has made our ability to access the server easier and cheaper.
Why did you choose to work with the provider?
VMWare became the standard for virtualisation. They have, I think, 80 or 90% of the market. The ability of access to people to support you is important. You can have a great product but without support it will not work.
How far has the system future proofed your company?
Since virtualisation came basically it decoupled the software from the hardware. Previously it was the hardware that kept becoming old and obsolete. With virtualisation the hardware gets updated.
Have the staff given the system a positive response?
People are extremely happy now because they can access information from anywhere, very easily. It gives them the ability to see the same thing the customer sees. They do not need to go to the customer. We have the ability for people to move when they work. From home they can do all their work.