As seen on VMblog.com
The New Workplace Evolves, Creating Communications Challenges for Businesses
By Eric Bostick, CTO of NWN Carousel
It’s been a wild ride for everyone the last 20 months and businesses have felt significant disruptions. As we head into 2022, most companies have embraced, some begrudgingly, that hybrid workplace is here to stay. Driven by demands for a unified and personalized online experience, organizations need to take proactive steps to deliver outstanding employee and customer experiences.
As the COVID-19 pandemic nears its second anniversary, organizations are increasingly recognizing that systems and processes created as temporary measures to keep businesses functioning in a time of global change are no longer the band-aid solution. Permanent IT systems and processes need to evolve in order to modernize the employer-employee relationship while maintaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
But modernizing an organization requires intention and strategic direction. Shifting into the future of work has forced many companies to re-evaluate their expectations, not just around how work gets done, but what permanent systems and processes are needed for their employees to perform at the highest capacity. This starts by recognizing the trends around the future of work so organizations can provide a consistent and effective hybrid work model moving forward.
Hybrid Work will increase the demand for PCs, tablets, and other devices
Remote and hybrid work are not new concepts but at no time prior to the pandemic had organizations been faced with a fully hybrid workforce. While it’s too early to say what the ultimate future of work will look like, research shows remote and hybrid models aren’t going anywhere and secure endpoints are the key to success. Companies, including Forrester which is one of the most influential technology research firms in the world, are embracing the work from anywhere culture. Secure endpoints need to be reliable with consistent access to the applications that are required for employees to complete their jobs. Organizations need to consider permanent solutions for devices, network communication, security, customer service, and collaboration for an effective hybrid and remote workforce.
As work from anywhere strategies evolve, there will be a glaring need to refresh PCs, tablets, and other devices as employers invest in holistic platforms to gain visibility into network and device performance, as well as security, to support the hybrid work model. Unfortunately, if companies have been waiting until now to refresh those devices, they may be out of luck because we expect the global chip shortage will continue to impact shipment times into 2022.
Automation will enable customer engagement
The rapid adoption of automation coincides with rethinking the approach to business operations. Basically, as processes change, companies need to consider the impact on communications and security technologies including the support of those technologies.
To that point, we know that advances in technology can help businesses refine their methods and maximize their resources. By automating and reimagining processes, businesses could reduce operational costs by up to 30 percent. The challenge, however, is properly vetting which platforms will best meet an organization’s needs, and how to implement scalable communications and security solutions across a distributed workforce. Companies will lean on tech partners to create immersive customer and employee experiences that support hybrid work moving forward.
Companies shift to a proactive security posture
The best security strategies are no longer simply about the network, but also how it extends to the devices as well. This could require refreshing the infrastructure and including more network access control solutions, while also ensuring the end-point technology integrates accordingly into the new overall security strategy.
Businesses need to take a long lens approach to security to project future business outcomes and strategize around required capabilities from a tech perspective. In order to successfully implement a lasting security strategy, especially given anticipated 2022 budget constraints, business leaders must prove the ROI of a modern and holistic platform approach. Whereas a five-year ROI was once the norm, that’s no longer realistic; now, a three-year approach to ROI is standard.
We anticipate that we’ll see organizations move away from reactive security deployments and adopt a more proactive platform approach. This will undoubtedly include an intentional goal to reduce the number of security vendors organizations implement and, therefore, need to manage.
Meeting the demands of the modern workplace requires organizations to be more strategic about how to approach changes and trends. As global supply chain shortages strain budgets and timelines, and disparate technologies challenge both security and productivity, it’s more important than to create a 2022 strategy to mature your organization’s approach to the future of work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eric Bostick is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at NWN Corporation with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. His primary responsibility at NWN is the day-to-day offerings management, which includes working with NWN’s Customers to ensure NWN is delivering best-in-class industry solutions across all NWN GTM Regions as a technology service provider.
Prior to NWN, Mr. Bostick worked in the healthcare EMR industry spending time at both Allscripts (formerly named Eclipsys) and McKesson (formerly named HBOC). During this time, he held many engineering roles and worked closely with the Sales Organization at each company to design and architect network systems for a variety of hospitals throughout the US. Eric received a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters of Business Administration – MBA from Georgia State University.