Build the Workplace of Tomorrow...Today
Author:Town Hall On-Demand
For more than 60% of users, the workplace is any number of mobile devices being used at home or at the airport – anyplace but the office. Keeping those workers productive and driving innovation requires new approaches to the workplace.
In this Town Hall, we review strategies for meeting mobile needs and ways to reduce complexity and manage costs in transforming your infrastructure for the workplace of tomorrow. We discuss new requirements for network connectivity and more agile platforms, and offer practical tips and best practices for creating tomorrow’s workplace today.
- Jonathan Marshall, Global Portfolio Director - End User Services, CSC
- Sunil Bhargava, Global Portfolio Executive for Cloud and Hosting, CSC
- Jim Petrassi, Managing Partner, GBSNA Technology Consulting, CSC
- Rick Nuñez, Global Portfolio Executive for Mobility, CSC
- Jeff Caruso, Senior Managing Editor, CSC
The Workplace of Tomorrow
The workplace, as it turns out, is no longer defined by place. Big Data, cloud computing, mobility, and IT consumerization are combining with changing user expectations to evolve the way companies organize teams and build infrastructure. Work that once occurred in an office on a desktop computer and a landline phone can now occur anywhere, on any device.
In CSC’s Town Hall meeting, “Build the Workplace of Tomorrow… Today,” a panel of experts discussed the implications of a changing workplace and strategies to capitalize on emerging trends for the benefit of the company, employees and customers.
Technologies critical to tomorrow’s workplace are available today. Sunil Bhargava, portfolio lead for cloud offerings at CSC, says today’s as-a-service offerings, whether software or infrastructure, are a foundational technology that allows companies to react to the demands of the modern workplace.
“Businesses have the opportunity to be innovative, to try new things, to bring users on in new regions and new markets - as needed, with no pre-planning on capital budgets, no pre-planning on duration or volume. These are all elements of agility that the new workplace offers,” Bhargava says.
Jonathan Marshall, portfolio director for end user services at CSC, sees additional benefits for employers. “Eliminating ‘place’ as a condition of work gives you a huge pond to fish in. You’re no longer geographically limited to looking for talent. With these flexible policies, you can pick from a global talent pool,” Marshall says.
The changing workplace isn’t limited to the private sector either, Bhargava says. “Governments are facing the same changes caused by consumerization of IT that are affecting the private sector. The desire to work at home and avoid the commute is growing. And in a reflection of broader IT trends, governments are finding that they don’t need a government-specific solution. They are more willing to use off-the-shelf solutions,” he says.
Companies have to address these changes because the new generation of workers expects to be connected, says Jim Petrassi, managing partner at CSC.
“The way we think about applications is changing dramatically. We see it in our own lives. We have our personal devices, we interact with app stores. We just download applications onto our devices and start running them. The next generation of employees expects this. This is how they were raised. And this idea of self-service application delivery is really starting to catch on in the enterprise,” Petrassi says.
The idea of “any device, anywhere, anytime” is really changing how IT manages infrastructure and sets policy, says Rick Nunez, CSC’s global portfolio director for mobility.
“IT no longer has control. You have users entering the workplace with a wide variety of mobile devices. IT has to find a way to make sure it can manage that availability. It becomes more prudent to look at the management of devices from a data perspective,” Nunez says.
Petrassi agrees. “The change in workplace technologies is creating a radical shift in how a company delivers IT - and that’s probably a good thing,” he says. “The consumerization of IT is creating a strong IT knowledge in the business. So instead of controlling every aspect of what employees do, here’s a chance for IT to give them guardrails to do things in a reliable, secure way. Create a do-it-yourself model. ‘We’ll give you the tools you need to do what you do.’ That’s a radically different model than we see in businesses with an IT that’s designed to drive efficiencies by moving people to common platforms.”
That doesn’t mean IT will hand over the key to the kingdom anytime soon. Building the workplace of tomorrow will require companies to evaluate the infrastructure they have today to determine what changes need to be made to support more bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive applications like video collaboration.
“Most networks were optimized to connect to their own data centers from a set location. Now with cloud services, those data centers could be anywhere,” Petrassi says. “You have to think about service-oriented architecture rather than a location-oriented layout.”
Larger challenges will likely revolve around changes to processes and culture – that is, how the company manages a virtual workplace and the role the IT department will play.
“The way we manage deliverables has to change to support this style of work. You need more touch points to ensure work products match your expectations. You can’t walk down the hall to collect your team, so there’s a process of learning new tools and protocols,” Marshall says.
While the task seems overwhelming, Petrassi says companies can find a number of places where they can begin implementing future-oriented technologies to start building tomorrow’s workplace for themselves.
“There are certain processes that are well served by mobility, and we encourage our customers to focus on those. Those are going to have the biggest business benefit because those are the ones that are going to justify the extra expenditure they’re going to achieve in terms of mobile infrastructure,” Petrassi says.
Bhargava agrees. “All of us, CSC included, can find opportunities to build that better workplace. It may be when the company needs a technology refresh, or perhaps during a data center consolidation. Or in the acquisition or divestiture of a business. There is strong motivation, there is already change afoot, and with all of these changes taken together, it is an easier pill to swallow.”