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Build your future-ready digital workplace: 5 key questions to help you get started

The world of work is evolving at a rapid clip. Here’s how to ensure that you’re keeping pace. Join us for the Future of Digital Work Summit 2021, June 10 (EMEA) or June 15 (APAC), to learn more.

 

HPE-Hybrid-Workplace-Remote-Workplace.pngThe world of work has changed and will continue to evolve rapidly over the next few years. How can you ensure you’re ready for this constant change?

There are many challenges to building a future-ready digital workplace (See: What is digital workplace?) Let’s consider one that I believe is critical – the tech available to your employees. There are some tough questions you need to ask here:

  • Is my strategy for collaboration tools (voice, video, file sharing etc.) clear to my employees?
  • How many tools do we have that overlap?
  • What’s our mix of home-grown applications versus cloud-based technology?
  • How do we deploy and manage devices?
  • How do we ensure security across the network and devices?

These are just some thoughts to start with; I’m sure there will be many others in addition to these. Let’s walk through each of these points for your digital workplace.

1. Your collaboration strategy. To find out if the strategy is clear to your employees, you should promote satisfaction surveys on a regular basis. In addition, the consumption data that’s available from most cloud vendors and software platforms can help. If utilisation and satisfaction are high, then it’s likely the strategy is clear.

If you’re in the difficult position of having poor utilisation and satisfaction, what can be done to correct this? Part of the solution is having the technology configured and operating effectively. Are all features enabled? Does the software allow users to collaborate effectively outside of the organization?

A further consideration is how to train and enable your user base to utilize the software. It’s important to continue the enablement, especially given the speed at which cloud software vendors roll out enhancements.

2. Overlapping tools. This one should be quite obvious: If you have two tools that perform similar tasks, how do your users know which one is best to use? This issue is critical, especially when you consider the number of choices available for collaboration: Teams, Zoom, Slack, Webex and many more.

‘One tool would be best, wouldn’t it? Then I can avoid all the integration, migration and usage costs, can’t I?’  That’s the ideal scenario, but it’s often hard to achieve in large enterprises, particularly those with business units that have autonomy on IT choices. Ultimately, if you can’t integrate to one tool immediately, you need to consider two aspects. First, can you build a roadmap to gradually retire some tech and move to a standard platform? Second, if you’re planning to use more than one, how will you build the common use cases for each tool?

3. The mix of home-grown versus cloud-based applications. There’s no right or wrong answer in this space; sometimes custom-built applications work well. The questions you have to ask (if these are heavily utilised) are: Can I keep maintaining this software? And what’s the cost of integrating it with the other applications?

A better solution might be to deploy a cloud-based offering and let the vendor take care of the development headaches. The emergence of cloud-based SaaS platforms like Workday, Concur and Salesforce has helped companies address some issues in this space.

4. Managing and deploying devices. This represents a significant challenge, and one that I can’t do full justice to in this blog; however, there are a couple of principles to work towards. Devices should be built automatically with as little customisation as possible from the main Windows 10 image, for example; this enables faster rollout of devices. Updates should again be closely aligned to the vendor’s release points; this is known as an evergreen strategy. Achieving this will allow you to take advantage of all the cloud updates that are rolled out across the software stack.

5. Security. This is absolutely critical, and its growing importance has only been accelerated by the switch to remote work. Aligning to the above principles will help. However, consideration also needs to be given to two other areas: How secure is the overall network, both at a corporate and local level? And how do you protect users against phishing and scamming attacks, which are usually focused on individuals and designed to get access to corporate networks? The goal is to create a perimeter-less workplace – meaning work becomes just something you do, not a place where you’re located. (Learn about HPE cyber security solutions.)

All of the factors covered in this blog are important. At Hewlett Packard Enterprise we help customers adopt the right technologies to improve employee experiences. This is done in partnership with leading organisation like Microsoft, Citrix and BitTitan. To share our thoughts and give you some ideas on the next steps, we've put together a great event focused on the future of digital work. Join us on June 10 (EMEA) or June 15 (APAC) – you can register here for the Future of Digital Work Summit 2021.

Thank you for reading and good luck with building your future-ready workplace.

Learn how HPE can help you create a secure, seamless and safe hybrid workplace to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs.


Peter Mansell
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Peter_Mansell

Peter is a business leader and executive with over 20 years’ experience in technology and services. His current role is to run a global services business focused on modernizing the workplace, utilizing technologies such as Microsoft 365 and Citrix. Throughout his career, Peter has managed sales, pre-sales and delivery teams, encompassing advisory and professional services, cloud offerings and infrastructure solutions.