Why the modern workplace is a goal for everyone – not just IT

  • Posted on June 24, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes

Just a few weeks ago, I attended the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas. Celebrating its 10th year of successfully helping customers deliver a modern workplace using Microsoft 365, this year’s event was chock-full of impactful content and an audience that was diverse in titles and goals. We were all looking for ways to use the power of Office 365 to help our employees. 

The digital era demands more human-centered, not just technology-centered solutions. If we want to improve the employee experience, we need to put the lens on creating a workplace culture that will continually thrive for years to come. We know that technology is quickly advancing and allowing us to do some amazing things. The barrier we face now is the barrier of imagination – not technology.

Similarly, organizations that have embarked on digital transformations have made great strides in improving the customer experience. But to truly realize success, our employees need to be empowered to do their best work, and they expect the same level of experience as their customers.

There were a lot of great sessions this year addressing opportunities for change. Let me share some key takeaways:

1.  Create moments that matter
Organizations with a modern workplace strategy in place are seeing vast improvements in employee productivity (78%), increased revenue (70%) and new approaches to innovation (78%). A successful modern workplace is one that creates moments that matter. It achieves this by integrating social, mobile, analytics and cloud in an intelligent, personalized way. 

2.  Recognize that there’s more to Microsoft Teams than file sharing and chatting
Microsoft Teams is the fastest growing business application in Microsoft history. Since its launch, the service has grown tremendously in its set of capabilities. Starting with a new way for inner loop communications and making it easier and faster to share and collaborate around files, Microsoft Teams is now a full-fledged platform for building solutions supporting business processes. It brings some of the core SharePoint Online capabilities, such as lists, libraries and pages, natively into Microsoft Teams and allows developers to re-use their SharePoint Online development skills to build Microsoft Teams Apps. This shows that the sum of all Microsoft 365 services is greater than each service alone.

3. Optimizing Business Solutions with SharePoint and Office 365 

New innovations in Microsoft 365 have made it easier than ever to communicate and share knowledge. At SharePoint Conference 2019, Microsoft introduced new tools and services to optimize business solutions and power teamwork at scale including custom forms for document libraries, organization templates, automated content, bulk approvals and compliance workspaces.

They also announced two partner programs that will help customers take advantage of these tools to extend the value of Microsoft 365. Avanade was included in the Business Applications Partner Program as a founding partner. We are proud that Microsoft valued our demonstrated expertise in Microsoft 365 solutions to help clients use Microsoft tools to simplify their business processes and improve workflows.   

4.  Rethink your operational model

Achieving a real, high-value modern workplace transformation within your organization requires rethinking your operational model. In a world of siloed applications, support can often be fragmented, depending on who owns individual apps and platforms. To provide an excellent user support experience while reducing costs associated with redundancy and end-user runaround, designing a new support and operational model is essential. It also requires using data to drive adoption and value – something few companies are doing right now.

5.  Put humans at the heart of your design
You can improve the outcomes of your projects by adopting design-led thinking techniques. This approach puts you and your employees at the heart of your challenges – and solutions, readying your workplace for the increasing pace of change as a hub of innovation, inspiration and growth.

So, what’s next? Well, Chris McNulty gave us insight into the future of Content Services and Knowledge Management. He showed us the latest and upcoming innovations for reusing, creating, collaborating and protecting information through its lifecycle and how SharePoint is adopting many of these capabilities to help build more intelligent enterprises. 

I was encouraged by the information shared at the event and enjoyed meeting and talking with so many attendees who are truly passionate about applying their learnings to their own organizations. Don’t let the enthusiasm fade. Let’s keep the discussion open.

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