Most spectators and observers of technology and IT trends will have noticed that the modern IT user’s voice is a lot louder than it typically has been for the past 20 years. The arrival of the App Store, Google Play, Microsoft Store, etc. has enabled the technology consumer to “Search … Click … Consume” the services they need, but they now want (demand) the same experience at work. Modern technology consumers are accustomed to getting new apps to meet requirements instantly on demand, regardless of their location or device. Business needs to deliver the same consumer experience, to unshackle and liberate staff from their desks, mobilise their workforce and empower them to work from anywhere, on any device, at the optimum time for all.
As millennials and now Gen “Z” become a larger percentage of the workforce, globally, they bring their experiences and expectations to the workplace. They are digital natives, not digital migrants. They grew up interacting with technology more than any previous generations. They consider technology to be part of the human experience. They are seeking ‘work-life harmony’ rather than simply ‘work-life balance’. Their expectation of technology is simple. Technology exists to support lifestyle – and now certainly workstyle – in harmony for the user. Where technology fails to achieve this, it is quickly discarded.
Modern technology consumers want access to their work tools and lifestyle services everywhere, immediately, on the device of their choosing. This reality is the challenge for the Modern Workplace.
When IT fails to deliver this consumer experience for the business, an ‘App Store’ is only a few clicks away. People will no longer wait patiently for IT services and will go elsewhere if the workstyle experience is poor. The practice of sourcing popular 3rd party/Cloud services has given birth to “Shadow IT”, resulting in IT losing management control of the company data that is created and consumed.
Progressive CIOs are capitalising on the evolving landscape. They see that the ‘traditional’ workplace no longer provides the right user experience for staff and the workplace must adapt to address their needs. They understand that the Modern Workplace is any location that people can be most productive and so they are transforming IT to serve the technology user on that basis and, in so doing, are ensuring that IT maintains its role in the changing landscape. They are providing a user-centric mix of home-grown services as well as cloud services, via an intuitive, pleasant User Experience.
The modern technology consumer wants to choose their IT device(s). They are unwilling to wait in queues for support. They prefer ‘self-service’ and fast resolution. They want “one” password to access their services. They want rapid delivery of Apps and Data regardless from whence they come. They want their IT user experience to be fast, intuitive and flawless.
Corporate IT, on the other hand, must introduce tighter Security, but without affecting Productivity. They must support a rapidly growing list of services and devices, often with frozen or diminishing budgets. ‘Do More with Less’ is not just a cliché. IT must guarantee service delivery and consumer satisfaction, for constantly changing needs. IT knows they must adapt and deliver to business demands if they are to remain relevant as a business enabler into the future.
The ‘Modern Workplace’ is not a complex concept but it does face challenges. It must:
- be responsive, adaptive, personalised, intuitive, pleasant and fast. Excellent User Experience is critical for the Modern Workplace
- provide a 1:1 relationship between technology consumers and IT. If you visit a retail outlet regularly you’d expect them to learn about you, get to know you and your preferences. Yet when you come to work, how often do you access your workplace to be faced with the same obstacles?
- respond to requests for new services, instantly. If you know the IT service you require, and your manager has authorised it, then why must you wait so long to be Provisioned with the service on your device?
- be resilient and reliable. E.g. No one wonders if their phone will work as they reach for the device. The expectation is there that the device will always work. IT too must guarantee that their services will work every time as expected.
- ensure IT Services are securely accessible from any device, without annoying restrictions. Modern technology consumers will not accept restrictions on which devices they can use for much longer.
- provide a consistent, pleasant user experience on any device. We must give the Modern technology consumer the optimum User Experience every time, by understanding their location, devices and preferences, and then serving them with the appropriate tools to do their job.
In the Modern Workplace, workstyle and lifestyle should exist in harmony, not in conflict. New staff are attracted to work where they have choice and flexibility in their workday. Existing staff tend to stay for the same reasons. IT must adapt and embrace new times and new practices, or we will be isolated by modern technology consumers and left behind as irrelevant. We must transform IT to deliver services to business consumers in the manner to which they are becoming accustomed.
Tackling these challenges and demands from the workforce requires new thinking. Clearly, the business landscape will keep evolving at a rapid pace and IT must deliver technology, applications and data to staff when they want, where they want and how they want. If IT cannot deliver to this core requirement, the rest is just window dressing.
Business must empower IT to adapt and transform itself to create the Modern Workplace so that it can deliver the new technology User Experience. Businesses that have moved to the Modern Workplace are already reaping the benefits of happier, more productive staff, who stay with the business longer and support their employers’ brand where ever they go.
Here at Experteq, we have assisted many businesses in Modern Workplace Transformation. We recently helped a large Public Service Organization in NSW to change their current application delivery methods, to a single strategy to securely deliver apps and data to all devices, both corporate-owned desktop/mobile and personal (BYOD) devices. An internal study of staff work practices highlighted that a significant proportion of staff could effectively deliver their front-line services to the community without actually needing to visit the office at all. Experteq implemented a provisioning solution which enabled the Dept. to offer staff a choice of where to work, which reduced travel time for staff and increased the number of customer visits during the working week.
Experteq also recently assisted an Insurance provider by migrating their business applications to the cloud, enabling their staff and customers to access the applications from anywhere. They also removed a significant amount of aging equipment from their data centres, improved their business continuity posture and enhanced their overall user experience.
Experteq is a specialist in delivering the Modern Workplace and our solutions enable businesses to focus on staff productivity throughout the working day by allowing staff to work anywhere, on any device and at the optimum time for all.
We leverage modern hybrid data centre technology to support the Provisioning, Security and Management of business applications and data for users. We utilise the latest Identity & Access technology to ensure that we learn more about the user’s preferences in every visit and that only the right people gain access to IT services as intended. We automate where it is sensible and productive. We have an extensive Australian client base and support everything we design and implement.