Nick McAlister, Senior Director, EMEA Channel & Partner Go To Market
While the last year has been one of restriction, it has also created the opportunity for freedom in the way that we work. It has shown CEOs, business leaders, employees and entire industries that the traditional parameters around working practices can be, and have been, moved.
“We’ve seen a real shift in ‘power’,” says Mario Selz, system engineer and consultant at SVA System Vertrieb Alexander GmbH (SVA), a leading IT service provider in Germany. “The power over where and how businesses invest in technology has truly moved, away from the needs of IT and towards those of the people, the end users. Today’s technology and the ‘anywhere working’ it enables is all about the experience these users receive.”
This makes it an exciting time but also a potentially challenging one for IT teams, who are calling out for the help of trusted partners to put in place long-term technologies and strategies that will deliver the new anywhere working model. Their experience and expertise in supporting successful transformation projects makes them a vital part of the next phase in the history of working practices.
So, where to start? There are three areas where the role of partners will be key.
Empowering a global workforce
Whether it’s of 100, 1,000 or 10,000+ employees, empowering a workforce requires a new approach that allows organizations to enable seamless workspaces without limitation.
It’s a challenge that The Regional Authority of the South Moravian Region (KÚ JMK), has been through and offers a valuable blueprint for where organisations should start. As the governing body for the South Moravian region in south-west Czech Republic, it must be available to citizens at all times. Just over 12 months ago, KÚ JMK had to enable mass remote working for employees overnight. In just one day, virtual accounts were created for 190 employees.
With the support of partners Com-Sys TRADE and Arrow, KÚ JMK is now planning on transforming its desktop technology for all 700+ users. Organisations should look at calling on partner expertise to help them maintain operations while also improving the employee experience, through automation, zero-trust security, and a comprehensive IT architecture that puts the employee first.
Breaking down silos
Many IT teams are struggling to keep up with the deployment, management, and support requirements for the anywhere workforce because their organisations are still tied to siloed, on-premises PC management tools and teams.
“There are still too many companies with different departments to manage mobility or client management or security” continues Selz. “They need to work collaboratively to bring them together into one cohesive environment. That’s particularly crucial from a security perspective, which is an area of ‘anywhere working’ that companies are struggling with, both from understanding the importance that it plays in a hybrid working future and how to build it in to any project right from the beginning. Partners, such as ourselves, are acting as the glue that helps to bring these departments together.”
“This collaborative approach was at the heart of our work with German company WVV, utilities supplier to the Würzburg region. We started out by looking at how we could help the company revamp its use of mobile devices. That lead to further organic discussions between the various IT teams about taking it off premise and into the cloud. Ultimately, we helped deliver a new digital workspace solution for its 1400 employees which has created more efficient processes across the business, increased collaboration and productivity for employees, and reduced the number of support enquiries.”
Introducing an objective change strategy
To make the anywhere working model successful long-term is going to require a well thought-through strategy of change. But being able to take a step-back and have an actual vision for change is hard. Which is why bringing in a third part to act as a pair of fresh eyes is vital.
The partnership of The Municipality of Haarlem, the capital of the province of North Holland, and ITQ is a great example of the value partners can bring here, the two “preparing and designing” the former’s change strategy. “Together [they] inventoried the applications, appointed ambassadors who showed the benefits to employees, gave presentations and after the rollout, the employees received help so they could get started.”
Partners help organizations or customers look past the hype and the intricacies of the technology, to consider at how it fits within and will change the culture of an organisation.
Top tip – don’t forget the user
“So often, technology architecture and solutions are driven by IT admins. That approach needs to change. As partners, we need to stress to businesses the importance of focusing on the user experience, looking at what devices they’re using and how they’re working,” concludes Selz.
I wholeheartedly agree with Mario. Opportunities to completely rethink something as life changing as the way we work don’t come along very often. Partners, with their experience, knowledge and expertise of change are the key to taking this opportunity – to realise an anywhere workforce – and making it a success.
For more information about empowering today’s Anywhere Workforce, visit our solution homepage.