Increasing effectiveness or increasing efficiency?


Digital Workspaces could be called wide-ranging optimization tools. Indeed, they touch many areas and many aspects of companies’ ordinary and extraordinary operations. That is also why, after all, they require a transformation of every organization’s mindset: in this sense, they have strategic and functional value. And the benefits they provide spread vertically and horizontally within the structure and modes of operation. There’s more: Digital Workspaces offer a dual-action, or rather it would be correct to call it a combined action, which enables improvement in both efficiency and effectiveness. Yes, because these two terms, which we often use as synonyms, actually indicate different and complementary phenomena, both of which should be considered priorities in the day-to-day life and evolution of the company.

Change a few letters, and the result changes.

Effectiveness and efficiency are words that often recur in business, whether in industry, trade, or services. We not only pay close attention but reserve an essential role as a mirror of the validity of a tool or choice. If these guarantee an increase in efficiency or effectiveness, here is where they become fascinating. As we said a few lines above, the two words indicate different qualities, both relevant and combinable. Let us try to “understand” them better. According to vocabulary definitions, when we talk about effectiveness, we refer to the ability to produce the desired effect; when we mention efficiency, we are talking about the ability to perform and meet objectives. Of course, to be fully understood, each term must be placed in the context of interest. Investigating the difference between effectiveness and efficiency in production, we can generally find that the former refers to the achievement of the intended goal, the latter to how it was achieved (by employing how many and what resources, for example). One term has a more quantitative value, and the other encompasses a more qualitative meaning. 

Peter Drucker, the prominent Austrian economist (later naturalized as a U.S. citizen), said an illuminating phrase, “Effectiveness is doing the right things; efficiency is doing things right.” A quantitative and qualitative approach. We can’t achieve excellent results without taking both into the utmost consideration. It is not enough to chase the desired results; you have to consider how to achieve them while making the best use of resources. Exactly, doing the right things and doing them well. Actually, doing them in the best way possible. 

Be effective in an efficient way.

Having understood the meaning of the two terms and acquired the guidance they imply, it is evident that every competitive entity must pursue the goal of using effectiveness and efficiency in complementary ways, bringing their employees or teams to be effective in an efficient way. Two types of support are certainly needed: the first of which is educational and tactical in nature and requires making the people in the company aware not only of the objectives but also of all the components that will enable to achieve them: the priorities, the resources to be devoted, and the short- and medium-term strategies. Build an internal culture that allows the different phases and parties involved in the operation to be related in a simple way so that each individual input can be improved according to what the previous and subsequent contributions are. That is a concept that has a lot to do with the very idea of teamwork, which, in modern companies, cannot refer exclusively to individual teams or divisions, but requires us to conceive of the idea that the team is the corporate population or at any rate, is considered in cross-cutting terms, beyond the department or mansion. 

The team today includes those who are involved in a particular activity, but also those who supervise it, those who monitor it in the context of related activities, those who provide technical know-how, and so on. We could call it an “extended team,” but driven by common goals and knowledge. A team that must have the same information can compare in real-time and share resources. In short, a team needs to rely on working tools suitable for effectiveness and efficiency in dialogue and that are also easy to use in routine and unexpected activities. Here is the second type of support needed to ensure high-level competitiveness over time: advanced tools that enable information and people to communicate. What tools can address this need better than Digital Workspaces?

Digital Workspaces: effectiveness and efficiency in constant dialogue.

Enabling the company’s people to carry out their daily and extraordinary tasks in the best and most productive way, with simplicity and satisfaction: this is the goal of Digital Workspaces, which are not only work tools, but natural environments of constant collaboration and training (in the direction of skills, but also of group, team and company strategies and dynamics). Digital Workspaces, by their very nature, are geared to combine effectiveness and efficiency, to make the work of the individual more focused and precise, and, at the same time, to enhance its importance within the team, taking collaboration to higher levels and freeing it from the logic of place and time. 

These are tools that make the connection the core of their value: the connection between people and people, the connection between people and tools, and the connection between people and information. Of course, also the connection between information and tools and between information and machines. Whether using the organization’s internal resources or integrating them with external ones, Digital Workspaces represent a meeting point for every cell of the complex and multifaceted organism that is the company. But that’s not all: the automation tools made available by digital workspaces make it possible to smooth many steps and reduce downtime or time to solve problems and emergencies. The ability to integrate and dialogue between the Digital Workspace and other IT tools used by the company is also crucial from this point of view because it does not require seamless solutions; it connects fields without slowdowns or artificial procedures. 

In practice, Digital Workspaces is a tool designed to develop business value in the direction of effectiveness and efficiency, in the most comprehensive way and in ways that can be customized based on each organization’s strategies, dynamics, and logic.


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