The workplace is going through a revolution. There are two things driving this change – technology and digital natives. These two forces are meshing together to create a new world of work. Businesses shouldn’t ignore the opportunity workplace modernisation presents, allowing them to push forward with digital transformation; better equip and retain their workforce; and benefit from the holistic efficiencies technology brings to an organisation.
For the past thirty years, companies have kept tight reins on the devices their workers use. Where employees work, when they work, the software they use and how they communicate… all of these elements have been dictated and relatively rigid, until now.
Today, organisations face a challenge, as employees may have better technology at home than they have at work. They have their own ways of working and often have preferred tools. They are demanding a better experience from their employers: technology they can rely on, ease of access and more freedom in general.
Workplace modernisation combines technology, policy and process to create a culture that helps a business thrive. The end goal is a happy, connected and motivated workforce and the process involves implementing or improving ways of working. This helps staff do their job better while attracting (and retaining) new talent into the business.
Before we take a dive into the detail, if you’re short on time, why not download our free guide to workplace virtualisation? It’s great if you’re looking for a quick overview of what’s changing in the world of end-user computing.
Workplace modernisation is part of a wider digital transformation initiative. It’s a strategic change and as such involves many areas of the business. The modern workplace allows your employees to work smarter and their work-life can be flexible.
To achieve this, your company needs to adopt technologies like software-defined networking and enable cloud-based access to applications and data while juggling ease of access with security and risk.
The modern workplace will have the following characteristics:
Enabled by the right processes and technology, employees can work far more efficiently and accurately. By removing the things that employees find frustrating about the workplace, employees can be more engaged in their work.
Employees should have the freedom to access applications and data on any device at any time in a user-friendly but secure and managed way. This will often include access from non-company-supplied devices. Mobility also means moving away from things that tie you to the desk such as the phone.
Employees will work efficiently with teams and third parties in other locations, collaborating using Microsoft Teams and video conferencing.
The modern business runs on data. Centralising data will enable employees to find and use information faster, reduce security risk and enable better analysis of your data. This also allows for automation of repetitive tasks and important manual processes.
Access to the data will be controlled and secure but done in such a way that it does not impact on the flexibility demanded by the modern workplace.
Some of the policy, process and technology involved in workplace modernisation will fall outside of the IT department’s remit, however, everything is underpinned by technology. This means that it’s important your team understands wider corporate objectives when embarking on projects.
These high-level objectives should be considered when defining and selecting the technologies your organisation is going to adopt. The good news is, vendors are keen to make modernisation simple, with products coming a long way in recent years to fit the changing needs of organisations.
Think of Microsoft Office 365, where the productivity suite has been enhanced with collaboration and security capabilities between Microsft Teams and Microsoft Intune. This allows teams to work on projects on any device, collaborating globally with Unified Endpoint Management in place. Corporate data is protected while access is straight forward for staff.
Desktop as a Service is a key technology for increasing collaboration and boosting productivity, and something which can form the cornerstone of your workplace strategy. By virtualising the workstation, staff get secure access to desktops, data and applications from any location or device. This optimises the physical office environment, creating seamless experiences for the end-user and making it easier to work as and when staff need to.
For more on this, check out our guide to virtualising the workplace with VMware, which you can download here.
Cloud infrastructure is pivotal in delivering reliable virtualised desktops, and so is pivotal to successfully modernising the workplace. A reliable platform powers a fluid work environment where remote and office-based access are one and the same. Moving desktop infrastructure from on-premise to virtualised workloads in the cloud also provides applications with the freedom to break out of the LAN and onto the WAN.
Just like infrastructure, the workplace will always need solid, reliable networks. To cater for the evolution of the workplace, consider software-defined networking to enable dynamic, programmatic and efficient network configuration that improves network performance and monitoring.
As for security, you must reassess your existing arrangements and look to be less rigid without introducing risk. Enterprise-grade security solutions will help with this, as will DaaS, which ensures data stays in the data centre rather than on local devices. The main consideration, as we often say on the blog, is that no off-the-shelf solution can help bad policy.
The modern workplace is not static, you will need to continually review and create an ongoing risk assessment as new policies, processes and technologies are introduced.
To learn more about how virtualisation can support your workplace modernisation projects, check out 5 Ways Virtualisation Is Evolving The Digital Workspace. Likewise, any queries, we’re always happy to have a chat – get in touch today to ask our experts.