Digital transformation must be a top priority for business leaders and not just the IT department as it should be the foundation of, and driving force behind how, an organization is structured and run. This is because modern workplace solutions go beyond simply upgrading and optimizing IT systems and processes for time and cost saving purposes.
Instead, they are about overhauling your fundamental business functions and using IT products and services to operate more seamlessly, efficiently and securely. So, what exactly are modern workplace solutions? They refer to cutting-edge IT solutions, applications and services that support the day to day running of your business.
The way businesses are run and managed is constantly evolving with new challenges to be faced and overcome all of the time. Digital transformation enables organizations to put themselves in a position to adapt to these challenges, overcome them, and ultimately capitalize on the opportunities presented.
For example, businesses may find that markets they are in suddenly become regulated or they may want to expand into markets that are tightly governed. Data sovereignty laws can differ from market to market and, in some cases, organizations can be required to have servers located in that particular country.
Companies that have undertaken digital transformation by adopting IaaS, PaaS and SaaS have invested in flexible, scalable, consumption-based technologies. These modern, cloud-based technologies provide unparalleled agility, allowing rapid change, and enabling businesses to leverage opportunity whilst meeting any regulatory requirements.
Such technologies are available to businesses of all sizes. They are subscription based and allow hyper scale growth without the need for large Capex investment or complex, lengthy deployment times. Another timely example of why digital transformation should be undertaken as a matter of priority is Covid-19 and the transition to wide-spread remote working. A traditional solution would be to create secure connections allow your remote workforce access to your on-premise technology.
Many business were caught out and ill prepared for this change with under resourced infrastructure, a lack of remote access tools and insufficient licensing and security. In addition, many employees found themselves without the necessary tools to work from home (business laptop, headset, etc.).
Those with modern workplace solutions already in place – Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop, Amazon Web Service and secure remote access, etc – were able to scale their remote working facilities instantly and securely, enabling them to adapt to this rapid increase of remote workers.
They were able to deploy these changes quickly, with minimal disruption to the day to day running of the business and employees could even use their own personal devices to access critical resources safely and securely.
These technologies not only enabled businesses to function, but they also enabled the workforce to communicate using HD video and audio via Teams. Remote workers have felt less isolated and more engaged as a result.
Organizations that had not undertaken digital transformation had to shift focus and resources in order to implement remote working, disturbing the day to day running of the business and often requiring significant investment.
In some cases, these businesses have transitioned to remote working but without the necessary security measures in place, leaving them exposed and vulnerable to attacks and breaches.
So how do modern workplace solutions actually help organizations operate more seamlessly, efficiently and securely?
Again, let’s take remote working as an example as it is likely to be how we work for many months ahead and perhaps long into the future.
The recommended remote working set-up:
Windows Virtual Desktop is a best of breed VDI solution that brings together IaaS and PaaS to deliver a secure, familiar desktop for employees to access apps, files, data and communications.
This can be done from any device and from any location, making it the best solution for organizations with employees working from home as well as the office.
Windows Virtual Desktop includes built-in intelligent security so that systems are fully secure no matter where employees are working from. Azure Identity Protection uses powerful AI technologies to understand where and how your employees are logging on, and dynamically changing security controls to ensure your company data and end users are protected at all times.
Microsoft Endpoint Manager enables complete control of the devices connecting to your network. Only approved devices can access the Windows Virtual Desktop whether working from the office or home.
There is a rise in organizations allowing staff to bring their own device and Windows Virtual Desktop allows for this with high levels of protection provided.
The benefits of digital transformation for remote working:
There are several benefits of migrating to Windows Virtual Desktop, including a more seamless and collaborative way of working no matter where your employees are located.
But the most significant upsides are regarding system, data and communication security; Windows Virtual Desktop is unrivalled in the protections it offers.
This is due in part to the way it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning. For example, AI is used to track where users are located and the devices they are using.
If an employee tries to log-in from an unknown or unapproved IP, such as a coffee shop, additional layers of security will be activated before they can log-in.
Another example is impossible travel rules; if an employee logs-in from their smartphone in the UK and then logs-in from their laptop ten minutes later in Germany, a security warning is triggered.
This warning can be sent the Chief Information Security Officer so they can evaluate the situation and take action based on the information and data available to them.
Ultimately, this gives the business a lot more control and far greater insights over user authentication and where systems, apps, files and data are being accessed from.
Digital transformation ensures you are ready now and in the future:
Modern workplace solutions allow businesses to become more seamless, efficient and secure while ensuring they are ready to adapt to any challenges or opportunities that come their way.
While cost savings should not be the main reason for undertaking digital transformation, ultimately modern workplace solutions mean greater efficiency which in turn streamlines costs.
This is why digital transformation should be a priority for business owners, as well as the IT department, which is often handed responsibility for implementing modern workplace solutions.
The added value digital transformation can bring means the solutions and processes adopted must come from the top down, and in most cases with support from digital transformation experts.
Of course, the IT department then plays a vital role in implementing modern workplace solutions and managing them day to day once they are in place.
Businesses that have undertaken digital transformations are already reaping the benefits and those that do not undertake their own transformations today risk falling behind the curve.
Jamie Seddon, Solutions Architect, BCN Group