- Executives must find common ground in competing styles and philosophies within a short time frame.
- Large data sets need to be migrated into a unified platform and then mined for intelligence to drive innovation and increased revenue.
- Multiple teams must work together to consolidate processes and data systems.
- Leaders must choose optimum digital workplace tools to elevate employee experiences.
Successful enterprises hope to boost collaboration, document tracking, and remote and mobile accessibility while optimizing the efficiency of their IT infrastructure. If it works right, they get lower TCO and more engaged employees who are happier and increasingly productive.
A lot of organizations answer these demands with a blended solution that gives workers powerful tools for sharing files and collaborating with colleagues and suppliers around the world.
To pull everything together successfully, companies must work out five fundamental issues:
1. Reconciling employee/IT conflicts
Employees chafe against workplace technology that bogs down their collaborations with co-workers, vendors, managers, and everybody else. IT professionals chafe against constant pressure to accept new technologies that seem to arrive every week.
There’s a tendency in enterprises to assume these conflicts are the natural state of things — with each side insisting the other is oblivious to their needs. This divide is unnecessary: There are plenty of tools to streamline the productivity of today’s digital workforce without compromising the legitimate security, compliance, and governance concerns of the IT department.
Indeed, Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint have deep, rich toolsets that can help reconcile the demands of mobile workers and IT people responsible for keeping cybercriminals out of corporate networks. These tools can be integrated with powerful CRM and ERP software to help companies realize their visions of digital transformation.
All this can be accomplished while fulfilling regulatory and security requirements. And it can work on any infrastructure — cloud, on-premise, or hybrid.
Many of the most powerful capabilities of SharePoint and other enterprise apps are buried deep within the feature set and unknown to all but an elite cadre of power users and system integrators. That’s why enterprises adapting to the digital workplace often prefer to work with a seasoned partner who knows how to look at a company’s business challenges and IT infrastructure and tailor a custom solution.
2. Streamlining document management
Enterprises need robust document management systems that can inventory documents, eliminate duplication, and make everything searchable. Otherwise, workers waste time tracking down files they need or needlessly creating documents that already exist.
Fortunately, SharePoint has everything enterprises need to build sophisticated content management systems that are well organized, indexed, searchable, and fully capable of meeting the collaboration needs of today’s workforce.
As a Microsoft Partner and a veteran of more than 200 SharePoint integrations, OnX, a CBTS company, has the kind of expert-level knowledge and experience companies need to design and build a custom content management system that gives workers quick, easy access to the files they need to get their work done.
3. Empowering remote and mobile workers
Remote and mobile workers need access to more than documents. They must be able to use and approve schedules, forms, and applications on any device in any location with an internet connection.
Increasingly, companies see that allowing remote work and empowering mobile workers is good for recruiting, retention, morale, and productivity. And they acknowledge that encouraging employee productivity can ease the pressure to control costs.
But they may not have the tools in place to embrace these realities. One fix is to develop a project portfolio management (PPM) system that helps manage digital workers effectively, encourage collaboration, and enhance productivity. Microsoft Services have great tools for building an enterprise PPM system, but again, companies often need help designing, configuring, and implementing these systems.
4. Embracing the consumerization of IT
Mobile workers want to bring their favorite devices and apps with them everywhere — and they expect their employers to adapt. If they prefer iOS over Android or a tablet to a smartphone, it’s the IT department’s job to adapt.
This underscores why the consumerization of IT has become so pivotal for enterprises. It’s no longer an option to impose old-school enterprise applications on the digital workforce. People who get fed up with one company’s balky technologies will be easy prey for more adaptive competitors.
Fortunately, the rise of software-as-a-service and cloud consumption is making it easier for companies to be a leader in the workplace and market as a whole. Enterprises need to work with agile, adaptive cloud technologies and make sure their in-house networks have enough capacity to handle the traffic of mobile-ready users, especially with the rise of bandwidth-heavy video services.
5. Simplifying identity management
The complexities of logging into corporate networks annoy mobile and remote workers to no end. Most people prefer a strong identity-management program that enables a single sign-on for all their devices.
Microsoft Azure’s Active Directory technology includes single-sign-on in its identity management suite. Most enterprises worldwide already use Active Directory, so it’s not a huge challenge to implement some of its more advanced features. It’s just a matter of having an experienced partner to help implement it on your systems.
A partner for today’s digital workplace
We address these kinds of challenges every day. As a premier North American technology integrator and a veteran Microsoft partner, CBTS has the people and the tools enterprises need to evolve with each generation of new workers and technologies.
We have the certified Office 365 and SharePoint IT consultants you need to develop robust, secure architectures, design easy-to-use interfaces, and implement solutions that do just what your people need. And you can focus on your key business goals and keep your IT people doing what they do best.