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Can upgrading your workplace technology improve productivity?

Guest Blogger: Peter Mansell, Global Practice Director, Digital Workplace, HPE Pointnext Services

Now more than ever technology is critical to enable employee productivity. It’s clear, for example, that 2020 has required many organizations to adjust the way they provide services to their employees with an immediate shift to remote work. Many countries also find themselves changing restrictions and rules as the year progresses. For example, across the world, some countries that had to restrict the movement of individuals have ended those limitations after six months of the pandemic. But often, country-side rules have been replaced by local implementations and rules. I live in the United Kingdom, and we have areas of the country like the North East and Manchester that are back in lockdown. In many of these situations the ability to return to the office to work has been removed once more.

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Reflecting on many years of working in technology I can see the significant impact the right workplace solutions can have on productivity. At the same time, there are plenty of examples of software implemented and used poorly thus having the complete opposite effect.

Productivity is critical for any organization. Teams need to be able to share best practices across the business. Challenges solved in one region need to be shared with another. Whilst this might sound obvious it’s not reflected in many organizations’ workplace environment.

So, how can we start correcting this and ultimately improving productivity? Here are some suggestions from my time in the technology industry: 

Firstly, align the roadmaps of different tools and software, such as unified communications, file sharing and messaging. You can do this by implementing a common platform such as Microsoft 365. In many organizations today there are multiple – perhaps redundant - software tools that deliver similar outcomes. Simplifying the tools available will make consumption by your employees much easier.

Secondly, migrate to a hybrid model, where data can reside in the most effective place - be that a public cloud like Microsoft 365 platform  or your own data center. A mix of the two is often required and gives customers flexibility.

Finally, consider the people who will be using the technology. They are ultimately the ones who will decide the success or failure of a new platform. I have seen countless examples of new tech or software launched without guidance, training or thought leadership provided. It’s unlikely that users will see the full benefit of the tooling or system without first understanding how to use it and more importantly how it will benefit their daily activities and ultimately make them more productive. There is also a need to focus on the culture and ensure there is an approach where everyone from the management team down is using the new tech and software in the right way, leading by example.  

If you can deliver and address the three challenges above, then you are likely to see a gain in productivity across all employees. At this point the challenge switches to how to keep pace with change, particularly with new cloud services such as Microsoft Teams. Cloud-based services are ideally positioned to develop quickly, adding new features on a frequent basis.  To take advantage you need to be operationally ready to implement these updates. This is often termed the evergreen model, and it is a big jump from the way most software platforms have been updated, which has usually been infrequently in the enterprise IT world.

To fix this last challenge you need to take a look at the operating model that is in place, including the way systems are managed and updated, in addition to existing security and governance. To make it work effectively the trust needs to be switched to the cloud vendor providing the services, with the recognition that the security and governance processes that were in place for on premise systems are not the same as those required for cloud services.

HPE Pointnext Services help customers assess, design and migrate to cloud services in the modern workplace environment. Our focus is also on helping enterprise and public sector customers operate in a cloud-based world, while also ensuring that users are in the center of any tech change that happens. 

We help customers complete a transformation of their workplace environment with expert, focused services like the ones listed below which help set the direction for change:

  1. HPE Fast Start for Microsoft Teams – Helps you drive the value of this leading unified communications platform.
  2. Optimization services for M365 – Provides a review of your M365 implementation highlighting changes and additional value you could bring
  3. HPE GreenLake Management Services for M365 – Supports you and helps with the operational tasks required when operating in a cloud environment.
  4. Remote Worker Rapid Assessment – Includes information that leads to an understanding of the gaps and challenges you have with implementing a robust remote worker solution.
  5. Security Assessment for M365 – Identifies the gaps and possible resolutions in the way your M365 environment is secured.

There are significant opportunities out there to improve the productivity of your environment. Microsoft tools and HPE Pointnext Services help ensure you can make the most of them.

For more information, check out the following sites/resources:  

 

Peter Mansell leads the Digital Workplace practice within HPE Pointnext Services. The organization focuses on advisory Peter (002).jpgand professional services that help customers transform their end user workplace environments. This is delivered through the use of hybrid cloud technology in partnership with vendors such as Microsoft and Citrix.

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