What is the “Modern Workplace” and how can you support it?

  • Posted on June 11, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes
modern workplace

The following blog post was written by Avanade Alum Jason Hardy.

How work is done is changing and the enterprise, along with its IT systems, must evolve to support this change. At the root of this change are end users that want to work anywhere, anytime and on any device. This means that IT must provide them with the tools they need to be secure, productive and collaborative in a consistent manner no matter where they are or how they choose to connect. The fact is, existing IT systems are not able to meet these needs forcing CIO’s to look for new solutions to deliver this functionality.

According to a recent Avanade study, many executives see potential downsides to not modernizing the workplace.

  • 80% believe that not modernizing IT systems will negatively impact the long-term growth of their organization.

  • More than 85% of IT decision makers believe workplace modernization is important to attracting and retaining the best employees.

So, what does it mean to have a modern workplace and support work anywhere, anytime and on any device? These concepts are very intertwined with one enabling the other but I’ll take a quick look at each.

  • Work anywhere – If you think about the traditional work model, everyone got up each day and drove to the office to do their work. People tended to live somewhat close by and the office is where work was done. With the proliferation of portable devices and wireless connectivity can now work from home, a client site, on the train and even while flying high. Employees want to take advantage of this flexibility and be productive wherever they are at the time.

  • Work anytime – Back to that “work from the office concept” and you saw the traditional workday was 9-5 with associates staying late when needed. As our lives have become busier and the business environment has become more global, our work day has changed. It’s common to start the day early working with someone whose day is just ending and then hop on the phone right before heading to bed to talk with another whose day is just starting.

  • Work on any device – As devices have become smaller, more portable and more powerful the ability to take them anywhere and anytime has increased. As a result end users are carrying phones and tablets (essentially mini computers) with them everywhere they go. They no longer want to lug around their corporate assigned laptop and frankly want to choose what device type they work from while maintaining a common working experience.

That’s the quick and dirty description of how we got here but how does the enterprise need to evolve to support this new “modern workplace”? The key message here are: secure, productive and collaborative. Let’s take a quick look at each of these.

  • Make it secure – Surely you are familiar with the castle and moat analogy in which all things valuable and sensitive are placed inside the four walls, the draw bridge is raised and the moat (or modern-day firewall) shields everything from outside attackers. Well our new modern workplace destroys that model as workers carry devices and data out the door with them and have the ability to connect back into the resources inside the enterprise whenever they need to. IT must determine how to provide a level of security that protects data and devices wherever they may go.

  • Keep them productive – Your teams want that any, any, any work environment and by delivering it you can capitalize on their ability to work. With access to the materials and resources they need they can be more responsive to each other and to clients, reducing the wait time for information. In addition, they can squeeze in work whenever they have time because they don’t have to be “in the office” to access the information and tools they need.

  • Let them collaborate – Having information is valuable but being able to seamlessly share that information is priceless. By giving associates the tools they need to be able to easily share information with peers, clients and others you empower them to exchange and discuss ideas ultimately driving to a better outcome than they would have achieved on their own.

Just because your end users are asking for this doesn’t mean the change will be easy for everyone to accept. Chances are there are many people in your enterprise who appreciate the traditional work environment and aren’t prepared for it to change. This change means new ways of working and that can sometimes be difficult to accept. You need to go into this with a solid change enablement/management plan that prepares everyone for this shift in how work is done. Be prepared to explain the benefits and modify your approach as you see what works and what doesn’t work with your people, processes and culture.

How do you achieve the Modern Workplace?

Microsoft is the recognized leader in modern workplace solutions with their Microsoft 365 suite of solutions. By leveraging the Microsoft ecosystem to deliver the modern workplace clients can increase employee satisfaction, retention, productivity, collaboration and security while delivering a consistent end user experience.

Avanade has more expertise and experience with the Microsoft ecosystem than any other partner. With our advisory, consulting and managed services we can provide clients with the assistance they need to provide end users with the flexibility to work securely from anywhere, anytime and from any device.

See how Avanade can help you achieve the Modern Workplace.

Alex Y

Love the content here.

April 9, 2019

Jason Hardy

Glad you enjoyed it! So many changes in the workplace. So many challenges. So many opportunities!

April 11, 2019

Ann Ferguson

The workplace now has an option to work from home or the office, employees can also work flextime via the 9 -5 shift. They also can do video conference call verses coming into the office to attend meetings 

November 30, 2018

Jason Hardy

Couldn't agree more! The workplace is changing and enterprises need to think about how they will enable employees and provide them with the new work environment they are demanding.

April 11, 2019

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