There’s no doubt that technology is having a big impact on today’s workforce. Any number of solutions are making us more nimble and flexible. We’re getting more done in the moment – whether that moment happens to be at work, at home, on the road or with a client – and many of these shifts aren’t just transformational, they’re evolutionary. Hype aside, our fundamental job isn’t changing – just the how, where and when we do it. What’s being created is a workforce that’s more dynamic, fluid and productive. Essentially, technology is granting today’s workforce the freedom to work smarter.
Taking to the field
Mobility is an area that’s delivering important and immediate benefits. From working across an increasing number of devices, to connecting with staff in the field, the opportunities for richer and more productive interactions outside the office are compelling. General benefits like lower levels of downtime, faster access to information and better customer service are flowing through organisations. Competitive advantages are also being found through the mobilisation of business-specific processes and applications that allow the workforce to achieve with customers what their competitors can’t. With lighter infrastructures and less investment in legacy applications, mobility is an area in which Mid-Market businesses have the jump on enterprise opponents. Tablets have thus far played only a small part in this story, however the need to develop programs for Android or iOS has hurt ROI equations. That’s set to change with the introduction of Windows® 8 tablets. These devices will enable ‘fat’ applications, allowing the workforce to carry out their day-to-day computing while accessing essentially the same applications as on their desktop. Tablets running Windows 8 will also be easier to manage, with tools for configuration, deployment and maintenance.
Unified as one
Estimates suggest that more than one third of attempts to reach a colleague fail on the first attempt – leading to an average 32 minutes of wasted time per day, according to Sage research. No surprise then that today’s workforce has a strong appetite for Unified Communications (UC). Features like real-time presence and click-to-call deliver operational fluency. For sales teams and customer service staff in particular, the productivity gains of the right UC system can be substantial. Undoubtedly, demand for UC and similar technologies is in part being driven by innovation in the consumer space. People see the communication possibilities of Skype, for example, and want the same for the workforce. Unfortunately, the security and service-level demands of business environments are much more strict, and things can take longer. It’s important in the meantime not to be tempted into lowering standards and increasing risks. At Brennan IT, we use video conferencing extensively. When appropriate, setting up a video meeting with a client or supplier rather than scheduling a face-to-face appointment can get more done in less time and improve customer satisfaction – making video conferencing well worth the investment.
This post is from the article “Enabling the Workforce” published in the first edition of The Buzz. To read more, click here: The Buzz Magazine