Approaching the modern workplace with a big picture view.
IT decision-makers who want to take the leap to a modern workplace are faced with a number of questions. How and where do I start? Which topics make up the modern workplace? What points must I consider? Thorsten Krüger, Bechtle Business Manager Consulting Services, sheds light on these questions from the perspective of users, management and the IT department.
The modern workplace takes full advantage of the possibilities afforded by current cloud technology. It benefits not only the company, but also employees and, of course, the IT department. For employees, benefits include flexible working options and greater mobility. For companies, it’s value creation and the ability to give employees appealing work options and to meet the expectations of the younger generation in particular. The modern workplace opens up new ways to manage IT, reducing the workload of IT departments.
It’s essential that they seek out advice. Advice is absolutely indispensable when you look at the changes that a modern workplace brings with it. Many companies think that adopting a modern workplace just means introducing a new operating system—been there, done that. We’ve switched to Windows 7, maybe Windows 8.1…
But the modern workplace is different. Integrating cloud technology creates new challenges, such as data protection and compliance issues as well as issues related to the hiring out of staff and everything that this entails. These are things that require a new point of view in order to really take account of the true value gained by the client.
Many companies bring in new technologies and aren’t even close to fully exploiting them because they haven’t set up an appropriate overall environment. Advisory services are a big part of making sure that gets done.
What’s Bechtle’s approach when a company is an absolute newcomer to the modern workplace?
We usually begin with a kick-off workshop, which I think is an excellent way to go about it. All of the stakeholders come together and we draw up a “Modern Workplace Big Picture”—making sure we really listen to the company. We want to know how employees currently interact with their workplace, what they need and, most importantly, what they expect. Then we decide on what comes next. That might be a cloud readiness assessment, which is often addressed. But it could also be other topics: What does a modern workplace even look like? How can we ensure data protection? The company’s works council is often included so that employee concerns are properly taken into account. All of these things are explained in a kick-off workshop. Afterwards, we proceed on to specific next steps.
A company’s modern workplace should be part of its digitalisation strategy. That means taking into consideration additional topics, such as paradigm shifts, “mind change”, new work scenarios, working from home, choose-your-own-device or bring-your-own-device options, private use of corporate devices or new office layouts.
What is important is that new technologies and tools significantly reduce the workload of IT departments. When introducing a new operating system, IT staff are used to having to create an image and then roll it out. That’s a lot of work. That type of project is usually carried out every three to five years. Nowadays, thanks to the internet and new deployment methods like Windows 10 Autopilot, all you need to do is set up a configuration. There’s no need to develop and deploy an image anymore. And that works perfectly in these new mobile scenarios.
No matter how you approach the modern workplace—whether you want to stay small or go all out—it optimises the work options available to employees, boosting their motivation. And that, of course, is very important to management. And it also means much less work for IT departments.