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Microsoft Research Reveals Digital Culture’s Key Role in Irish Organisations’ Competitiveness


Without a strong digital culture, introducing more technology reduces employee engagement

Microsoft Ireland’s research shows:

  • Only 11% of Irish employees feel highly productive in their job and 14% feel highly engaged. While 90% of employees report low innovation in their organisation.
  • Where there is a strong Digital Culture 99% of employees experience average to high productivity and 98% experience average to high innovation.
  • Irish organisations with a strong Digital Culture have twice as many employees who feel productive, three times as many feel innovative, four times as many feel engaged, and five times as many feel empowered.
  • Only 16.2% of Irish employees work in organisations with a strong company culture and 16.6% say they work in a strong Digital Culture.
  • Only 16.2% of Irish employees use a high amount of technology in their job.

Dublin – 17th April 2018: Irish organisations who embrace digital culture will enjoy a significant competitive advantage, according to new research from Microsoft Ireland. The research reveals Irish organisations with a strong digital culture are poised to leapfrog the less well-equipped competition as 99% of their employees experience average to high productivity and 98% experience average to high innovation.

Microsoft conducted research into digital disconnect on over 20,476 employees across 21 EU countries. In Ireland, over 1,000 employees were interviewed across the 25-44 years of age range, with questions focused on the technology they used, as well as their attitudes about their jobs and performance. The research identified culture as the key ingredient for an organisation’s digital success.

Digital Culture is where an organisation encourages and supports technology use to get work done in the most effective way. A strong digital culture has training, access to information, manager encouragement of tech adoption, and has a clear strategic vision from leaders regarding technology’s transformative potential.

“One year ago, we said that organisations had two years to transform or risk losing out to competitors,” said Aisling Curtis, Commercial Director, Microsoft Ireland. “And one year on, that message has been strengthened with this latest research highlighting the need for significant action in Ireland when we consider that a massive 84% of Irish employees believe they work within a weak digital culture. To combat this, leaders need to be clear on whether their organisation has a set of guidelines for how technology should be used and whether their people have been brought along that journey.”

Disconnection in a Weak Digital Culture
The research found that poor digital culture creates disconnected employees who are disengaged from the organisation. Additionally, 93% of employees in Ireland have low to average productivity when there is a weak digital culture. Whereas where there is a strong digital culture, twice as many employees experience high productivity and three times as many employees experience high innovativeness.

Alarmingly, only 16.2% of Irish employees interviewed, claimed they use a high amount of technology in their job.

The impact of poorly planned digital culture on employees follows four common patterns:

  • Distraction: Workers who are too distracted by a constant influx of messages and notifications to concentrate for sustained periods.
  • Lack of training: Workers who aren’t properly trained to use the new technology effectively.
  • No Support: Tech that isn’t adequately supported by the organisation, forcing workers to lose time because "the computers are down".
  • Technostress: Workers who suffer burnout because, with mobile devices and at-home-working, they feel tethered to the job around-the-clock.

Winning the War for Talent
For the first time, there are five generations working in organisations in Ireland, presenting challenges to leaders in terms of finding, engaging and managing talent. The research results also identified that Digital Culture can help win the war for talent as it helps engage and empower employees. Irish organisations with a strong digital culture are more likely to have:

  • Twice as many employees who feel productive
  • Four times as many employees who feel engaged
  • Three times as many employees who feel innovative
  • Five times as many employees who feel empowered

For organisations to cultivate and maintain a strong digital culture, they need to ensure that they have the most up to date technology which needs to be championed by their leadership team. Another crucial factor is access to IT support for employees, and a working environment where technology is introduced as a priority. In fact, nearly half (47%) of Irish employees feel highly empowered in a strong culture.


Notes to editors

Case Studies: Digital Culture Transforming Insurance, County and Social Care
Allianz: as part of its Digital Transformation, the 127 year old company is moving to be ‘Digital By Default’ in how it delivers high quality personalised, data-driven digital experiences, to its customers. A key focus is on encouraging and supporting staff to embrace new technologies and to develop a robust digital culture. Working with Microsoft, Allianz has digitally transformed its customer experience through new services like MyAllianz, that allows customers to take control of their insurance and manage all their Allianz policies in one place.

“Karen Forte, CIO, Allianz Ireland. “As one of the oldest and largest global and Irish Insurers today, Allianz has seen and adapted to huge transformations across business and society. Allianz Ireland was the first in the Irish market to provide online “quote and buy” facilities to customers in 2000, and has always punched above its weight when it comes to digital innovation. To do this, we have worked to create, grow, support and maintain a strong culture of innovation and adoption of technology. Development of our Digital Culture will be a crucial element of our continued digital evolution.”

Mayo County Council is the third largest County Council in Ireland serving a population of 130,000 with offices and locations across a diverse landscape. Using services like Skype for Business Online makes it easier for people to connect quickly and face-to face without unnecessary travel time, delivering a better and reliable more service to its local community and beyond.”

“A digital culture isn’t about saying “send fewer e-mails”. It’s about considering how work gets done. That means thinking about where conversations happen to reduce complexity, how enabled people feel to disrupt business models and namely about speed. By nurturing an environment that easily connects employees with each other and to the customer. Liam Hanrahan, acting Director of Services, Communications, Information Systems and Corporate Development at Mayo County Council.

Belfast Trust & Social Care Trust is the UK’s largest integrated health and social care provider with over 20,000 staff employees supporting a population of 340,000 service users — faced the increasing challenge of supporting the placement of vulnerable, often elderly, service users into residential and nursing homes. Over 200 key workers spent two hours per patient, which equated to approximately 3,600 hours a year.

It worked with Microsoft Adoption Services to create its “Care Home Portal”, which delivered an easy way to see where beds are available, so a service user, their families and caregivers can begin finding the right location and facility while having a Trust healthcare professional at their side.

“[The Care Home Portal] has been an excellent development, which will, for the first time, enable managers to have an overview of [bed] capacity within this sector. It will assist in the management of hospital delays and the management of patient flow, and it will reduce practitioner time contacting individual homes to determine capacity,” said Jackie Campbell: Service Manager, Business Support and Administrative Services, Older People’s Services, Physical and Sensory Disability Services, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

About Microsoft Ireland:
Microsoft Ireland employs 2,000 people representing 72 different nationalities operating out of One Microsoft Place, the company’s campus in Leopardstown, Dublin and our Data Centre in Dublin.

At Microsoft, the company has a mission to empower every person and organisation to do and achieve more, not just here in Ireland, but right across the world. From software development, Microsoft International Operations, Finance, HR and Digital Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Ireland Sales and Marketing, we have an ambition to help everyone, through the power of technology, to achieve more.

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