The Productivity Problem Causing IT Stress – and How to Solve It

20/09/18

A flexible solution to promote business agility

In a 2016 study, it was found that 87% of employees1 were already somewhat dependent on using a mobile app to go about their duties. Two years later, few people don’t use their laptop, tablet or smartphone to check emails, scan products, upload photographs or any of a rapidly-growing number of functions that have quickly become normal. Mobility is one of the key drivers of workplace change, and for the IT department, it represents both challenge and opportunity.

Equipping each worker with the right tools for the job is vastly important to their productivity, but making this happen is a challenge to most IT departments. There is of course, the process of sourcing devices, installing the right software, handing it to the user and fielding any ensuing support calls. If that were all it took, the burden of manual processes might be somewhat manageable.

Now, though, things in the workplace are different than even two or three years ago. It is hard to make plans when technology emerges so fast that even the most organised technology team cannot see far ahead. There are some key trends that further shift the way IT teams must work.

First, solutions are becoming more people-driven and less machine-driven, which means aligning outcomes very closely to the needs of a mostly tech-savvy workforce. As those user skills and needs change, the technology that supports them may need to be adjusted. The tablet that is perfect in one role may no longer cut it after a promotion or change of direction.

Second, there is the fluid nature of digital transformation. As the workplace adjusts to a new landscape, the expectations of staff and customers will change. The IT team must develop new apps and services that guide the organisation into its digital future – this is a sink or swim time for businesses, and every employee must perform at their best to end up on the right side of that equation.

As a nation, we’re used to punching above our weight. After a devastating loss in 2013, the members of Team New Zealand had to pick themselves up and continue. With little funding compared to their billionaire rivals, the team had to get creative. If they couldn’t be richer, they had to be smarter, and find the best tools for each person to perform at their best. With every person armed to do their job well, Team New Zealand proved that underdogs can become champions. The philosophy pays off in business as much as it does in sport, and that means working smart and getting the right device to the right person at the right time.

Thirdly, in support of that right person, right place, right time principle, it is now accepted that each machine must be running the latest version of the operating system and installed software. Aside from the significant security implications, modern workplaces depend on quickly grabbing the benefits of the latest technology. This also impacts on device choice – attempting to run modern software on old devices is a frustrating exercise, often slowing down users and sometimes making it impossible to run certain apps. 
Making sure every member of the workplace team has the right tools is no longer a matter then, of handing them a laptop and hoping for the best. The people-driven workplace is incompatible with the four-year IT cycle that the IT department is used to. Already one of the more labour-intensive administration tasks, device provision is swallowing more skilled time, just when those skills are sorely needed for digital transformation projects.

The alternative is to decide those tools are something better provided as-a-service, keeping the focus firmly on growing the business. CloudNow gives the same opportunity to shift from capex to opex as other as-a-service options you’re familiar with, along with the same flexibility and agility. 
If you had unlimited time, CloudNow is the device provision program you’d design yourself. Users choose from a range of pre-approved equipment, matching their needs to the right selection. Even though devices may be acquired throughout the year, you still get access to bulk purchasing prices. The machine is prepared, with software installed, security monitoring in place, and it is delivered to the user’s workplace ready to switch on and go.

The story doesn’t end there. The device is managed throughout its lifecycle, with security patches and software updates applied remotely, and user access to a 24/7 helpdesk. If the user’s needs change, or new technology drivers mean a different device is needed, it is provided with minimum fuss at the end of the contracted term. The commitment can be as little as 12 months or up to 4-years. The old device may be re-deployed where it is needed, or if it has reached its end-of-life, it is disposed of using environmentally certified methods.

None of these steps require the IT department’s intervention – they are busy innovating those new apps for their well-equipped users to enjoy. It is one of those win-win scenarios that saves a lot of time and money, and increases opportunity.

Time to escape the time drain of device management and equip your users for an exciting business future? Contact our friendly CloudNow team today.

1 Syntonic