The digital workplace is no longer a dream, but has already become a reality. In addition to a fundamental change in the corporate culture, the right technologies, comprehensive IT infrastructure and IT lifecycle management are crucial for successful implementation.
Our way of working has changed a lot in the last 15 to 20 years. For example, fixed departmental structures and using the same desk every day has been replaced by global project teams and desk sharing. Web and conference calls today replace face-to-face conversations; Home office, increased travel activity and flexible working time models are more common. In order for employees to be able to work productively, better, and more efficiently– it is important to optimize the existing technical possibilities with the employee. Applications should be just as reliably accessible outside the office as they are in the company building. You should be just as comfortable using your mobile phone, tablet or laptop as you are with the large screen on your desktop computer.
The Digital Workplace Calls for Reliability
According to a May 2017 study by IDG Research Services, two-thirds of companies have already made their way to the workplace of the future. Today, only every eighth is completely satisfied with the technical equipment of their workplace. 80 percent of employees still want improvements. These study results show that the new flexibility is well organized in terms of corporate culture and working time. However, it still gets stuck on the technical implementation.
It is evident, the fact that today’s workplace is often “remote” poses particular challenges for IT to ensure the availability and accessibility of systems. That’s why new ways of delivering software are needed, for example through the Cloud. It also takes a sophisticated security concept with patch management and permission control to safely manage BYOD, and mobile devices, the use of these virtual technologies can help optimize performance and license costs.
Using Cloud Architectures Wisely
According to IDG, email, phone, and office applications are still most commonly needed. Office 365 provides Office “on Demand” that employees can stream from any computer. Documents and settings are synchronized across all devices when the user logs in with their Microsoft account.
But not every application can be as easily moved to the Cloud as Office. Above all, the dependence of an application on other systems needs to be closely examined. The question of whether an application is better operated in a private Cloud rather than a public for security reasons also needs to be clarified beforehand. This requires analytics on user behavior to determine the most economic form of licensing. For example, this is possible via application metering. The actual use of the software can be accurately measured and unused software that is installed can be identified. Then IT can accurately determine the need for licensing as well as for moving an application to the Cloud.
Set up the digital workplace with the help of a certified partner
Implementing cloud-based and mobile workplaces to meet the needs of the company requires solutions for efficient management of hybrid IT landscapes. Only experienced IT consultants move confidently on this terrain. That’s why manufacturers offer companies a guideline for this when selecting suitable implementation and software partners. Microsoft, for example, does this with the certification of Microsoft Partner Datacenter Gold. Only providers whose IT consultants can provide sound advice on Cloud and virtualization technologies as well as implement them in data center solutions will receive this partner status.
The strict allocation of rights to the files and folders of file servers further protects company data in the event of a ransomware attack. This restricts the number of infected files. However the allocation of rights based on Active Directory security groups is often very complex and confusing. The special solutions for access rights management list clearly what permissions an employee or group has. Necessary limitations can be identified faster by means of such overviews.
For companies, the workplace of the future is paid off through the higher quality and productivity, as information is available at all times and customer data, contracts or sales can be accessed directly, in external meetings for example.
To implement this in a resource-efficient way, IT needs the right strategies and solutions. This includes: optimal IT asset management with automated patch management and software deployment, application metering, and user access management. This interaction forms the foundation for the safe and license compliant implementation of digital workplace concepts.
Author: Christoph A. Harvey