The nature of work is changing rapidly, but workplace technology has not kept the same pace. Along with dynamic technology, workplaces must also meet the new demands of end-users. Their interaction with advanced digital tools in their personal space have increased their expectations in the workplace.
A Gartner survey found a significant divide between satisfaction with personal technology versus work-related devices, reporting “while 64% indicate they are completely satisfied with the devices and applications they use for personal purposes, only 44% indicate complete satisfaction with the devices and applications provided for work purposes.”
In order to boost employee satisfaction, workplaces must implement and support the new technologies users want to use.
Laptops are the most popular computing asset for workplaces as well as personal use, taking over after a tablet boom in 2014. According to one forecast, laptops will continue to gain popularity over the next four years.
The prevalence of laptops (and tablets) over desktops changed how businesses had to approach IT support. Desktop computing allowed IT to operate from one location, with issues, updates and upgrades happening in a traditional approach.
Laptops transformed the way we work, allowing users to work remotely and to expand work hours to 24 hours a day. Practically speaking, where you go – so goes your office. IT had to respond by recognizing the traditional avenues of offering assistance had to change to the match expanded hours of coverage and catering more to remote or work-from-home employees. The industry shift to enhance support for a mobile workforce working flexible hours culminated into the now common phrase ‘anytime, anywhere.’
It’s time to add to the ‘anytime, anywhere’ model: with ‘any device’. Businesses were not immune to the tablet boom in 2014, with many employees requesting support for iPads and tablets. We can now expect to see new and more complex devices enter the workplace.
Let’s start with the most prevalent, mobile computing. In fact, one study found mobile is preferred for reading emails nearly 2 to 1 over webmail, and desktop software is even less popular. While this study was not limited to the workplace, our personal preferences crossover into the workplace. The trend of mobile computing requires workplaces to have a mobile strategy which also includes support.
This creates new challenges for IT. How do you secure emails, passwords, applications, etc. on mobile devices? How do you support the use of personal devices at work?
In BYOD, Bring Your Own Device, businesses must have a clear strategy for asset management, network infrastructure, and security services. BYOD can create data breaches if you don’t have a roadmap for implementation and support which include BYOD in the workplace. While these are newer challenges for IT, best practices have emerged to enable a balance of personal privacy and corporate security.
Mobile is only the beginning when it comes to the ‘Any Device’ trend. The recent surge of Digital Transformation is creating new technologies that must be secured and supported. These include AR/VR, drones, automated tools/bots, and IoT. The impact of the Internet of Things will be widespread with more and more devices connected to the internet for monitoring and data collection, and will demand more support and integration from IT.
The future workplace is creating challenges for CIOs, but by recognizing the need to adapt to engage and satisfy end users, business can find success in the digital-first world.
Looking for guidance as you tackle the challenges of a digital workplace? At Stefanini, we have the expertise and experience to support the new digital tools. Learn how our workplace and infrastructure services can digitally transform your business on our website.
*Scott Kessler is the Vice President for Workplace and Enterprise Services at Stefanini