UK Leads Europe in 'Delivery and Execution of Digital HR Strategies'

UK Leads Europe in 'Delivery and Execution of Digital HR Strategies' According to “Digital Workplace in Europe” Study by PAC

According to “Digital Workplace in Europe” Study by PAC

27 Jan 2017


  • Workplace modernisation is 'critical' to future success say 53% of European HR & IT managers

  • Three quarters of IT & HR managers say work environments have a 'strong' or 'critical' impact on business success 

  • 52% say the work environment is 'very important' for the success of their company. 22% say it's 'critical' to the company’s economic performance 

  • 42% have digital workplace transformation high on investment agenda 

  • 63% of companies plan to invest in modern apps and technologies within two years 

  • Significant regional differences highlighted, with UK behind France and Belgium, but leading Germany 

  • Download Digital Workplace in Europe report 

Digital HR transformation is vital if UK businesses are to succeed in the digital economy, according to the findings of an independent study of the "Digital Workplace in Europe". The report, provides a 360° view of the critical issues relating to workplace modernisation in businesses employing 1,000 or more people. 

The research was conducted in September and October 2016 by Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC, a CXP Group Company), and sponsored by NGA Human Resources, the global provider of HR and payroll solutions. 

Digital Workplace in Europe results show strong regional differences 

While the UK is leading in the delivery and execution of Digital HR strategies (completely met 41% against avg. 34%) and the implementation of HR self-services (35% avg. 32%), actual workplace modernisation appears to be less vital than in other European countries. 

The current rating for HR access is rated critically (17% avg. 24%), but this is being addressed as a priority with 69% of HR and IT teams in the UK putting the resolution of these challenges high on the investment agenda. 

French companies are setting the pace for building the workplace of the future, with companies in Belgium being very advanced, with mobile working particularly well supported. Germany is highlighted as a late comer to readying its workforce for the future of work.  

Detailed information on each of these countries can be found in the Digital Workplace in Europe report. 

You can attend a webinar where study author, Dr. Andreas Stiehler, Principal Analyst for Digital Enterprise at PAC, presents the findings. Register here 


United Kingdom Summary 

The UK's slow migration to a digital workplace is thought to be relative to the high propensity of service sector organisations in the UK. Manufacturing businesses were reported as more likely to focus their investments in modern applications, technologies and working practices.  

Against a European average of 74%, only 53% of UK HR and IT managers report the quality of the workplace infrastructure as strongly or critically important, also ranking behind other European countries in the improvement of employee satisfaction (41% not fulfilled against avg. 25%). 

The central provisioning of workplace apps is highly criticised (11% avg. 22%), as is cloud readiness and hybrid cloud infrastructure (13% avg. 33%), both fundamental to underpinning the future of work.  

This said, only a tiny percentage said that their business was at very early stages, but a rapid catch up is definitely required to bring the UK up to the levels of other major European countries. Investment in workplace infrastructure consolidation, network readiness and central provisioning platforms is, however, top of the investment agenda of UK enterprises. 

Mobile working support ranks similarly across Europe, but while UK managers show a pronounced dissatisfaction with mobile and public cloud access, investment in UCC integration (67% avg. 63%), the latest workplace apps (65% avg. 63%) and mobile network access (50% avg. 46%). 

Security and compliance is highlighted as a major challenge for HR and IT teams when it comes to workplace modernisation, at 50% against an average of 42%, it is the greatest concern, followed by cultural and organisational changes (46% avg. 40%) and budget restraints (44% avg. 42%). 


“The digital workplace can only be successfully implemented if it is realized as a holistic design and service concept,” says Dr. Andreas Stiehler, Principal Analyst for Digital Enterprise at PAC.

“In addition, businesses should be prepared to take new paths in strategy, design, management, operations, and support. While large investments are already being made in the procurement of modern workplace technologies, the implementation of the digital workplace as a holistic design and service concept is usually still in its infancy,” continued Dr Stiehler of PAC. 

"The PAC Digital Workplace in Europe study concludes that the digital workplace is neither a pure IT nor a pure HR project. The modernisation of work environments in the digital age is a complex undertaking," explained Simon Porter, Vice President Sales Digital HR, NGA Human Resources.   

The focus is no longer on cost optimisation, but on accomodating multiple requirements across the business and, for many enterprises, in many locations and countries. This requires collaboration and communication between departments that previously operated independently, introducing the need for significant cultural transitions as well.  

“This transition management requires smart planning, not just at the initial stages, but as the expectations of the workplace evolve to support the future of work, business and processes. We've helped hundreds of businesses around the world to do this successfully and can concur that while this is not a simple exercise, it is one where the advantages are immediate to see,” continued Simon Porter of NGA Human Resources.  

About the study:

The study entitled “The Digital Workplace in Europe” was prepared in the multi-client model and supported by NGA Human Resources, Hexaware, SCC, Matrix42 and Damovo. The survey was conducted in September and October 2016. More than 180 people responsible for IT and HR in companies in Belgium, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom were surveyed by telephone (CATI). The sample comprises companies with more than 1,000 employees, operating in various industries.   

The full report, infographics and webinar invitations are now available for download here: 

Download full report.

Sign up for the webinar Hosted by report author, Dr. Andreas Stiehler, Principal Analyst for Digital Enterprise at PAC,‘Analyzing The Digital Workplace in Europe’ on February 2 at 10am EDT, 3pm GMT or 4pm CET.

Digital Workplace in Europe (Infographic).


About PAC – a CXP Group Company: 

Founded in 1976, Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) is part of CXP Group, the leading independent European research and consulting firm for the software, IT services and digital transformation industry. Capitalizing on 40 years of experience, based in 8 countries (with 17 offices worldwide) and with 140 employees, CXP Group provides its expertise every year to more than 1,500 ICT decision makers and the operational divisions of large enterprises as well as mid-market companies and their providers. CXP Group consists of three branches: Le CXP, BARC (Business Application Research Center) and Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) 


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Contact Caroline Garstang Howlett
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