The modern workplace.  It probably takes little explanation, especially if you’re reading this in your PJ’s, at a coffee shop, on a train or waiting for the dentist to call you in.  We work in ‘moments’, any time, any place.  We work towards collaborative goals and we do so with teams that can be all over the world and sometimes that work for different employers.

Personally, they had me, when I didn’t have to wear a tie anymore.  Now I’m a cappuccino-a-holic (please don’t tell any Italian’s I drink them in the afternoon) with a hipster beard, I can well and truly say I’m part of this revolution.  Not only part of it, but part of making it happen.

We’ve certainly been part of 5 key technologies and IT trends that have come together to build the modern workplace, many I’ve already blogged about.

1 Connectivity

No question, I was a cloud denier.  Some of my oldest posts talk about the broadband haves and have not’s in the UK, in particular rural areas like Cumbria.  8 years on since that article, I can say things have improved, vastly.  I have to admit, I probably don’t even buy the fastest of connections anymore for my own personal use.  It’s easy to be content with 3G mobile, the new 5G seems overkill at the moment too.  I always felt until we got to this level of connectivity, then the cloud was pointless.

However, I can safely say in the last three years connectivity around the UK has vastly improved to the point where we can actually run our businesses in the cloud without too much fear of connectivity black-spots.

2 Unified Communications and Collaboration

The IT world likes to call collaboration, Unified Communications, it’s a pretty horrible term of about 10 – years ago.  There’s actually still some terrible radio adverts about collaboration now, but essentially the tech to bring your mobile, desk phone and soft phone all together.  As connectivity has improved, routing your calls over the internet rather than over copper wires has enabled this change.

A few years ago, it would be only us IT geeks using tools like WebEx, Zoom and now Teams – but now it’s pretty normal for all sectors and industries to use this.  The great thing is with tools such as Teams, is that Collaboration has truly been Unleashed (!) in the way you can collaborate with colleagues, suppliers, customers and all work on the same documents.  For bids and tenders like I used to work on in construction, this is a dream.

3 Security

If you’re not sick to death of hearing about Cyber Security, I’m not really sure which country you’ve been living in!  Once you’ve opened up the doors with fast ubiquitous Connectivity, started working Collaboratively with stakeholders, any where, any time, you need to secure things.  It’s rather obvious, however the security push in the IT sector has largely been around these two trends.  The fact we’re all using multi-factor authentication and identity and access management tools, is a sign that connectivity and collaboration is now for everyone and not just us geeks.

4 Consumerisation of IT and BYOD

The minute I read BYOD, it still says Bring Your Own Disaster to me, it’s supposed to be Device.  It’s actually a bit of a misnomer, I know only a handful of people prepared to use their own devices for work.  Maybe a few phones here and there, but very few people want the liability of bringing their own MacBook Pro or iPad into work.  That also is kind of irrelevant, as the real trend with BYOD was Consumerisation of IT, and what I mean by that is that your IT Department will the ones to provide you a MacBook Pro.  Albeit with a lovely branded asset tag on it.   Essentially, what we’ve seen is the same machines you desire for use at home, you can use at work.  You’re no longer limited to having the chunky corporate laptop weighing you down, have the device that you want and will make you a happy productive employee.

5 Digital Transformation

The latest buzzword and here at Unleashed, we’re no different in using it!  But, what is it?  Logically, it’s everything 1-4 coming together and changing the way we work.  Sprinkle on some Millennial’s who start in the world of work and can’t understand why the finance software doesn’t have an ‘App’ and loads in a green screen terminal emulator or on some clunky Java plug in for Internet Explorer and only that browser.   Digital Transformation is using better, more agile IT technologies to transform the way work is done, taking paper processes, old clunky IT and automating repetitive processes and giving managers better insights on others.  It’s ultimately the final step in achieving the modern workplace.

How can you achieve the Modern Workplace?

Unleashed work at transforming the way work is done, we use technology to solve business problems.  No matter what size or shape of your organisation or whether you’re even all employed by the same company.  We have solutions that can make work easier, reduce cost and enable your workforce to put their energies into more forward thinking for your organisation.  If you’d like to reach out to us, we’ll tell you how.