Supporting a hybrid office? Start with a digital foundation – ITWeb

Supporting a hybrid office? Start with a digital foundation – ITWeb

Supporting a hybrid office? Start with a digital foundation – ITWeb 0 0 Alan Dickson

The new business supports hybrid working. It knows the power of the cloud, uses its data to drive new sales and understands customers better. That is the nirvana of where all businesses want to be. However, unfortunately, many are still facing challenges in starting the process of becoming digitally transformed, let alone being able to support a hybrid office.
A digital business is not one with a team or road warriors with a laptop and a smartphone. That is only a downstream part of the digital enterprise. Instead, it’s a business that lays a modern foundation to support integration, drive collaboration and get a grasp on its data. For many, it’s a challenge, but organisations are already making a start, as evidenced by Microsoft’s Q4 earnings data, where it highlighted that Azure and other cloud services revenue grew 40%, driven by growth in its consumption-based services.
Solid foundations
A rock-solid infrastructure foundation is needed to support the hybrid office, and it doesn’t need to be on-premises or bricks and mortar; it can be in the cloud. However, the clincher for clients is that they don’t want to be bamboozled by promises and then hit by sprawling costs because the cloud they bought is not the cloud they need.
As an IT industry, we need to take some responsibility for this. The almighty push to the cloud wasn’t always done with the client’s interests at heart and, in some instances, was done without the proper knowledge of the long-tail effects of the cloud. This makes it critical for companies to look to partners that not only sell the licence, but can support the total cost of ownership process while helping customers select services from a cornucopia of cloud applications.
Today, almost 70% of organisations worldwide use Microsoft Azure for their cloud services. This is important because it’s become a trusted force in the cloud market and is making its presence known as the solid foundation companies need to transform operations digitally.
The hybrid mindset
Undoubtedly, the workforce that marched to their armchairs and home offices in 2020 is not the same workforce that returned in 2022. The lived experience of the hybrid work model and the fact that employees understand it can be done is throwing shade on organisations trying to shuffle people back to their desks.
But this is not a debate about who should and shouldn’t be at the office or working from their patio. In reality, businesses, no matter the model they adopt, will have to include a hybrid model in their future workplace. What is happening is that many of the tools bought in a panic in 2020 to get the office online are now being vetted for their relevance – and shipped out if they fail the test.
We are seeing a more mature move to technologies like Microsoft 365 and even Microsoft Teams. Those companies with multiple collaboration tools are now looking for an all-in-one solution that supports the hybrid office need and can still ensure the in-office collaboration needed, which is why Microsoft is ticking their boxes.
Beyond the desktop
However, as previously stated, the digital enterprise is not just one that looks at the desktop. It considers all the moving parts behind the user interface. Data, for example, is critical to aid in directing the decision-making power of the modern enterprise. And data is supported by infrastructure foundations (think Microsoft SharePoint) and analytics and business intelligence tools (consider Microsoft Power BI).
Another overlooked area is the integration and migration needed to unlock effective and all-encompassing collaboration. For example, Teams should be enabled for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Microsoft 365 Groups. This allows seamless mailbox access; users can join teams and channels, create and view meetings, call and chat, modify user profile pictures and add and configure connectors, tabs and bots.
But none of this is possible if your tenants are hosted all over the place. So to kick off, be sure that your mailboxes, instances, OneDrive accounts and domains are hosted on the same tenant.
Putting the pieces together
According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index, hybrid work is up seven points year over year (to 38%), and 53% of people are likely to consider transitioning to a hybrid in the year ahead. While South African businesses are a little less inclined to let people work from home, the modern employee isn’t going to leave employers with many choices as the "Great Reshuffle" drives the demand for more flexible work options.
If I were to summarise the DNA of the hybrid digital-centric business, it would be a business that understands the perils of not securing its technology assets, communication channels with customers and partners, and data. It also knows the importance of using the right technologies and finding the right partners.

source

    Would you like to receive notifications on latest updates? No Yes