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Modern Workplace Sep 27, 2019

Five myths about the modern digital workplace.

What does a modern workplace actually look like? Workplace of the future, modern workspace, modern workplace, digital workplace—do these all just describe the same thing? And how do you go about making your business a modern digital workplace? In this article, we dispel the five most common myths.

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Myth 1: The modern workplace is just a new and improved version of what we already do.

You may have heard the quote, “Electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.” The same is true for the modern workplace. It’s not merely the latest in a steady parade of improvements—it’s a paradigm shift. The modern digital workplace must become part of your company’s digital strategy. The idea is that users should be able to collaborate in house exactly as they do outside the office, and that smart tools should be used to support this collaboration. That requires rethinking your network, cloud computing and security strategy.

 

Myth 2: Devices are everything.

All I’ve got to do is replace my old equipment with the latest devices, right? Wrong! Devices are the last thing on your list to consider. The real focus should be on preparing for the shift and changing your corporate culture. If you want to introduce a comprehensive modern workplace, the first step is to develop a common understanding, shared across all departments, of what the modern workplace is and how it fits into your digital strategy.

 

Then you can begin looking at how your company currently does things. Ask yourself:

  • How do we currently communicate and how will we communicate in future?
  • Where do we already use modern cloud solutions?
  • Where do we have to keep our legacy applications?
  • Which solutions do we use right now?

 

 

Next you’ll devise a compelling target scenario, which you can then compare with your current situation. This comparison will serve as the foundation for your plan. Purchasing new devices isn’t at the top of the to-do list. Rather, you must first figure out how devices, applications and tools should be integrated to allow users to work securely and efficiently.

 

Myth 3: The modern workplace is an IT project.

Implementing a modern workplace is much more than just an IT project. It’s a paradigm shift that requires you to rethink various aspects of how you work. While IT security is important to consider, you must also remember to take into account the needs of your users, specialist departments and management. Moreover, you’ll have to transition your corporate culture to embrace flat hierarchies and agile working methods, while also changing how you think about communication and data exchanges. All of this means that a modern workplace must be implemented as part of a strategy. If the project is to be successful, your IT department, management and users must all have a place at the table.

 

Myth 4: I don’t need cloud services to offer a modern workplace.

The cloud is a key component of the modern workplace. Cloud services allow you to be connected at all times, which means data can be shared whenever needed. And that lays the foundation for the true value added by a modern workplace: more efficient working, simpler collaboration and faster data exchanges. This doesn’t mean that all traditional solutions are relegated to the dustbin. On the contrary, some companies—especially established ones—have legacy technology they must keep. This is where hybrid solutions, which use virtualisation, come into play. Other companies have completely migrated into the cloud. Different solutions are available, depending on how far your company has already come.

 

Myth 5: IT security and the modern workplace are entirely separate topics.

For a workplace to be truly modern, you must completely rethink your IT security. Nowadays, traditional methods simply fall short. Security has to be implemented where your data are stored, which is why firewalls, for instance, aren’t enough. The assumption used to be that everything outside a company was potentially dangerous, while everything within the company was safe, so all you had to do was put up a barrier between the two. This approach is now obsolete as blocking off your business with firewalls leads to significant latency. This is because technologies such as VPNs require you to first re-enter your protected business environment, then go back out onto the Internet. The reality today is that users are constantly outside your shielded corporate network, working from anywhere on their mobile phones. Identity is the new perimeter. Users want to be able to authenticate themselves and access data securely and easily no matter where they are. Security is therefore intricately linked with the modern workplace.

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Jens Käsbauer
Communications und Content Specialist