Nov 19, 2021 Erik Jost

Building a DEX Center of Excellence (CoE): don’t fall behind

We’ve spoken plenty about digital employee experience (DEX) from a high-level in recent months: What it is, why it matters, and what it means for your organization? However, it’s important to understand what DEX looks like from a more tangible perspective. How can we develop our DEX programs and measure RoI? The answer lies in developing a DEX Center of Excellence (CoE).
center-of-excellence

Let’s start off with some context and look at three key questions:

  1. What is DEX?
  2. Why does it matter?
  3. What does it mean for the next year or so?

In short, digital employee experience (DEX) is an evolution of endpoint management, a strategy focusing on employees, their experiences, and their use of tech. It matters now, more than ever before, because the (almost) universal shift to hybrid and flexible work has placed digital experiences at the top of the priority list. No longer can organizations rely on in-person engagements or experiences. Their employees’ primary connection to the business is through a digital device. And this is set to remain the standard for the immediate future, with 40% of companies expecting to operate in a hybrid model by 2023, as research from Forrester shows.

Taking this into account, I think we’d all agree it’s vital for forward-thinking organizations to be putting together a DEX strategy for the upcoming year. In fact, we’re so sure of it that it was the theme of our recent Work From Anywhere Conference (WFA). But once you’ve assessed your organization’s current maturity, and begun to plan your DEX program, what comes next to ensure success?

A DEX Center of Excellence (CoE)

Understanding your current DEX maturity and the path you need to take to reach your goal will only take you so far without standardized processes and business-wide commitment. For that reason, many organizations are looking to consolidate their DEX initiatives into a Center of Excellence (CoE).

But what is a DEX CoE? Put simply, a CoE is a team dedicated (and critical) to driving continuous innovation or transformation, real time proactive issue resolution, and a more humanized IT experience across your organization. How does it work? Well, the focus of this team is all around understanding the personas within your organization, what tech is needed for each of those personas to do their job and be productive, and then measure that on a regional basis. A DEX CoE cannot work in a legacy way. It requires innovation and agile working to fulfil the need for IT to proactively problem hunting, reach resolution quickly, and move on fast.

What foundations should I build my CoE on?

During an insightful discussion at WFA, our digital experience expert panelists explored what makes for an effective CoE that accomplishes its goal and sets a standard for employee experience practices enterprise wide. John DuBois, VP of Digital Services at NTT DATA, explained that a CoE (or Workforce Productivity Center) must be compromised around 3 key areas if we are to successfully deliver an employee centric human DEX program:

  1. Experts in technology
  2. Experts in process
  3. Experts in organizational change management (OCM)*

*Pro tip from John: be sure not to overlook OCM, a critical component when it comes to being employee-centric 

Employee experience is the foundation you DEX program – and subsequent CoE) must be built on. Humanizing IT, putting the focus back toward the end users and those participating in those tech experiences, is vital to succeeding in the new world of hybrid work. An efficient DEX CoE will:

  • Capture data to enable predictive analytics and omnichannel automation to boost employee productivity
  • Go beyond tactical issue remediation to deliver continuous innovation and transformation
  • Use real-time digital experience monitoring data alongside ITSM data to identify opportunities for change
  • Measure the benefits and impact of these proposed changes, reducing digital friction and improving productivity

My DEX CoE is set up, what now?

How can we continue to derive value from our platform, even after picking the low hanging fruit? David Jaffe, Global End User Device Operations Manager at Amgen, has a simple mantra: measure everything! “You HAVE to measure your success from start to finish if you want leadership to support your CoE”, David explains, “constantly be asking if you’ve made an improvement and whether you’re able to prove that”.

Not only do you need to measure from start to finish, but also:

  • Measure the throughpoint for your DEX CoE – how quickly problems are resolved, both hard and soft value, etc.
  • Continue to integrate and expand your existing toolset – take advantage of ecosystems to the maximum
  • Co-develop with partners – as you get to the point whereby you’ve isolated problems and fixed the low hanging fruit, explore more bespoke approaches and use partners to really impact your business

Establishing and maintaining a DEX CoE is bound to yield may benefits for your organization and ensure you remain at a competitive advantage, instead of falling behind. For example, one key value of understanding your users better through the data collected by your CoE, is that you’re able to see the most ‘bang for your buck’. For example, if you’re able to identify patterns within the organization as to when devices have the most usage, you’ll be able to plan new deployments to ensure optimal effectiveness.


To learn more about building a DEX Center of Excellence, you can see the full panel session from WFA here.