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Digital workplaces: Why the value of a minute matters

We recently hosted an event with thought leaders on Digital Workplaces, with CCS InsightsNick McQuire facilitating the discussion. We covered trends and market observations to dealing with “change terrorists”, but what resonated with many was how the value of a minute helped illustrate the real business benefits that were being realised by organisations that had matured in their adoption of digital.

The value of a business minute

Suddenly ROI for digital projects can take on a quantifiable value, and help determine what should be prioritised. For one multinational, the value of a minute (a mix of costs and revenues) equated to £3 billion per minute. A medium sized organisation saw it being a measurement of the number of sales required by the business, while a government organisation saw ways it could calculate a means to maintain fares, rather than increasing in line with RPI. Very different, as every organisation is different, but something simple that led to an appreciation that every small step leads to something more substantial.

For example, finding a way to avoid the 6 minute boot up time for a laptop could easily be solved by using a mobile app that was a “click away”. When you consider how many times those 6 minutes could be saved by each employee, each day of each week and it’s not surprising that McKinsey recently concluded that B2B digital leaders are driving five times more revenue growth than their peers.


So what are the obstacles or barriers that are stopping more organisations from accelerating the business benefits that come with digital adoption?

For many, it has to do with the culture of the organisation. A first step has to be to move the IT department from a “cost center” to a center for innovation and business productivity opportunity. As such projects need to be costed differently – as little as 25% of IT project spend being on the actual technology, with the remaining 75% needs to be spent on training, leadership adoption, and bringing the rest of the business along for the ride.

For many organisations, IT department spend has been observed as flat – focussed on ensuring security of network and end points, while adhering to a growing number of compliance requirements. Interestingly though IT spend in other areas of the organisation has grown to 76% of total spend, up from 69% in 2015. And that spend outside of IT has embraced the solutions that can be deployed easily. Mobile apps (extensions to the desktop/server based solutions already in place) but also the utilisation of consumer tools that fit the requirements of business users, especially with hosted cloud solutions like WeTransfer, Slack and Workplace from Facebook are what continues to grow in popularity.

  • 86% of employees regularly use mobile apps for business use today.
  • The average number of apps used by employees for work is 6.1, up from 4.1 in 2016
  • 72% of employees have not asked IT departments to provide apps for work
  • 60% said their requests would be ignored or IT would say no
  • 70% said they didn’t have a company app store.
  • 56% of employees said they didn’t know the process
  • 30% of these said IT was out of touch with their needs 

But when the culture within an organisation is ready to accept the change that digital can bring, not only is there the opportunity for business processing re-engineering, cost and efficiency savings, but also an increased level of cross functional engagement across the entire organisation. It positions the IT department as being welcoming, agile and flexible to support solutions for users across the entire organisation, but also ensures all the safe guards needed to ensure secure and compliant systems can be implemented.


From an O2 perspective we’ve embraced digital solutions across our own business – and we know that one solution doesn’t fit all requirements, so we look to constantly enhance and adapt our own product portfolios for our customers to meet their dynamic needs as well. And as digital solutions across UC and cloud rely so much on network capability we’ve ensured that our fixed, mobile and Wifi networks are up to the task of helping more organisations become more agile and dynamic by providing integrated, secure and scalable connectivity options wherever employees want to work from. Because at the end of the day it really is every minute that counts.

O2 Blue Door events are run throughout the year, bringing together thought leaders for round table discussions on topics that matter most to them.

Why not contact us to see how our approach to digital solutions might help you or to find out about future events?


The value of a minute was one of the discussion items raised during November 2017’s O2 Blue Door event – “The Digital workplace: enhancing employee engagement & productivity in a new age of working”. This event was facilitated by Nick McQuire from CCS Insights and provided many of the data points and insight above to begin a discussion of topics relevant to the organisations involved.


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