Do you buy a new car from the MOT station? No - why not? It’s because the station, like the service department in the garage, is there to keep your vehicle running, not to sell it to you. This is the change I believe we need to see in IT; it should be the guardian and supplier of data and identity, but how and where you consume this is at your discretion.
I believe how IT is perceived in business needs to go through a rethink, especially when we consider the use of cloud-based software and storage tools. These remove the need for dedicated datacentres or large amounts of locally stored data, and information on user devices.
Technology and Business Outcomes
When talking about business outcomes, often the talk is about technology, but not what hardware vendor or type; it’s more about how technology can improve productivity and help businesses reach their goals. These conversations are also now happening between new contacts within organisations; Human Resources and Facilities Management, not IT. Why? Isn’t tech the domain of IT?
The transition from ‘Work’ being a place to work to the thing we do has changed the concept of IT’s role. Old, monolithic, site-based technology has been heading into the cloud for the past few years (in some way). This shift is accelerating; changing how users access data. This change in access and the common acceptance of multi-location working has resulted in an out-of-sight management need, for not just the devices from an IT perspective, but also for managers and HR departments.
With the ability to work anywhere at any time, how do you know users aren’t working too much or too little? Apart from changing the metrics around performance to be impact- and output-based rather than the hours logged, (I’ll save that for another document), employers have a responsibility to protect their employees. This includes guarding against overworking, which is now more possible than ever.
Recently, I was trialing the new ThinkPhone: a Motorola phone offered by Lenovo. I found the Android ‘Work Apps’ On and Off button. Being a long-term iPhone user, this was something I had yet to use. Turn off work? What a weird notion, isn’t that something you do when you leave the office or shut down the laptop? This new, ever-connected, hybrid way of working has a way of overflowing into our private lives, and the separation of home/work life can too easily become blurred. This is where the ask from HR comes to be able to protect those who like me, can sometimes lose that balance.
Changing how we perceive IT
This brings me back to my opening statement: IT needs to become the road and the service department for the users on their journey. We all have preferences, and we are more productive when we can work in the ways we feel most comfortable. Roads have rules and regulations, and we like to pull over for a rest now and again. Without taking this analogy too far we can see the office as the service station, managed and operated by facilities. Which service station do you pull over to? The dark and dingy or the well-lit and refreshing one? HR have the role of checking you don’t drive for too long and obey the rules of the road, resulting in a safe environment within which all can operate in a way that works for them.
Our users are all on a journey to do what is asked of them, but they want to do it their way. At CDW I have created a simple tagline for the Modern Workspace in this refreshingly new era; Your Work, Your Way. How will you empower your users to do the best in their job, protect them and provide an enticing location for them from which to work, when not working remotely?
Change is always hard, but as Charles Darwin said, survival is the art of mastering and adapting to change. The role of the IT department needs to change, and along with it, the understanding of the relationship between HR, Facilities and cloud-based technologies to create this flexible working environment for users. After all, if you don’t do it and your competitors do, who will attract the most sought-after resources?
It's in your hands
You have just read about the challenges and opportunities of creating a modern workspace that enables your employees to work in their preferred ways, while ensuring security, productivity, and collaboration. You have also learned how CDW can help you design and implement a customised solution that meets your specific needs and goals. But reading is not enough. You need to act, and we are here to help.
Whether you want to explore new technologies, update your policies, or redesign your office space, CDW is here to guide you and support you. Let's start building your modern workspace together. Your work, Your way.