for the modern hybrid workplace
How to optimize your IT for the modern hybrid workplace
Core to any modern workplace transformation is information technology. If your organization wants to give employees the ability to work from anywhere, you absolutely must be strategic in your IT planning.
The last few years have brought many unforeseen challenges and organizations were forced into a digital transformation overnight. Those that were unprepared, lacking remote-work policies and IT infrastructure, were thrown into reactive mode. In some cases, the result was a cobbled-together system of different technologies that kept the business operating, but won’t serve as a sustainable long term solution.
This sudden shift to remote work changed employees’ technology usage, too. A Gartner survey found that workers became more reliant on portable devices throughout 2020, reporting an 11 percent increase in the proportion of time spent on laptops, smartphones or tablets. Meanwhile, time spent on desktops declined by eight percent. And, interestingly, Gartner also reported that one in five workers now considers themselves to be a digital technology expert, after working remotely without access to in-person IT support during the pandemic.
Those are important considerations as you make your move to a hybrid workplace. Survey your team to find out what they’re using, what they want to use, and what their relationship with technology is now. Think about the IT investments that will not only support business continuity but will also help you to remain competitive in the years ahead.
The only way to successfully implement a hybrid approach is to ensure your IT systems are secure and able to provide a consistent experience for everyone across the organization.
Your data must remain safe, even as employees need to be able to freely collaborate and innovate from anywhere. It’s a challenge: cyberthreats are on the rise. Ransomware attacks in North America, for instance, increased by 158 percent between 2019 and 2020, according to a 2021 report from cybersecurity firm SonicWall. The report also found that malware attacks on Internet of Things (IOT) devices jumped by 152 percent. In a hybrid environment, it’s more important and complicated than ever to keep your organization safe from such risks – with data and files being shared across devices, apps and services, both inside and outside the walls of your offices.
Your strategic approach to IT should involve an inventory of existing devices – including those that were added to the network during the unexpected work-from-home period at the start of the pandemic – and a review of the tools being used across the organization.
You need a security and compliance strategy that will protect your business-critical data without restricting the productivity of your teams. When you’re reviewing your current environment, ensure you determine your security and compliance obligations, both internally and externally, and prepare a data protection and governance plan within your larger IT and hybrid workplace strategy.
Then consider secure modern workplace technologies that can transform your organization to take full advantage of a hybrid approach.
Cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft 365, for instance, are ideal for empowering and supporting users working remotely as well as those on-site. Microsoft 365 offers enterprise-level security while allowing users to access important documents and data no matter where they are. It also gives you visibility into how employees spend their time, through Workplace Analytics, and it offers device management, automated updates, and centralized data back-ups and storage.
A well-thought-out strategic IT plan positions your organization for a smooth transition to a flexible, hybrid modern workplace.
Download our “The Hybrid Workplace is the future of work” eBook to learn how to strategically align your technology, organizational structure, and policies to ensure success.
Read all about setting up your technology to thrive in the work-from-anywhere world, in our eBook.