People-centric computing. Citrix defines this as “digital workspaces that are designed around the end user’s workflow.” As more employees and businesses become more digitally aware and embark on digital transformation, the demand for digital workspaces and cloud-based applications is rising significantly.
The reality is flexible work is no longer an option. A survey by the Intelligence Group found that 74% of surveyed millennials want flexible work schedules. Even further the same survey found that 88% want work-life integration where work and life are indistinguishable. Deloitte’s 2016 Millennial survey reported that work-life balance is the leading factor in a millennials evaluation of a job opportunity.
Digital transformation is the way of the future. And the future of work is flexible, secure, and mobile.
The Future of Work: Flexible
As discussed in a previous blog, we believe that digital transformation involves the “profound transformation of business and organizational activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the change and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies.“
It is stating the obvious anymore to say that businesses who don’t effectively transform digitally will struggle to compete in this highly competitive world. Businesses and employees need agility and flexibility to be the most efficient and productive and research continually points to the necessity of a flexible workplace in order to get things done.
A collaboration between Wakefield Research and Citrix found that 50% of office professionals who work in a flexible work environment have found that increased productivity and 40% of professionals would turn down a job opportunity if it did not include the opportunity of flexible work. 87% of surveyed employees reported seeing positive outcomes as a result of their corporation’s dedication to providing flex work solutions.
Providing a flexible workspace, however, does present challenges. How does a business promote this type of culture while maintaining the security of sensitive corporate data and ensuring employees remain productive even when outside of the physical workspace? The same by Wakefield Research and Citrix reported that 57% of office professionals at corporations with flexible work environments are using cloud-based applications and herein lies the solution. Cloud applications, because of their dependence on offsite locations and not a physical device, are inherently flexible and increase productivity. The way it does this is by enabling employees to use whatever internet enabled device they currently have access to in order to access their work product. Whether on the road, at the library or coffee shop or airport, employees can continue to participate in work activities as if they were still physically present in the office.
Future of Work: Improved User Experience
Employees who feel appreciated and are satisfied with their job are naturally more inclined to produce more. In an economy where entities are pressured to do more with less, the ability to get the most out of your workforce can be paramount to your success. As Forge says in their blog on the growth of flexible work arrangements, employees who receive autonomy and mastery of their work find greater purpose in their work. Workers who have this autonomy to choose when and how they work, maximize the time they have by working when they can be the most productive.
For a flexible work strategy to work, however, businesses must provide the appropriate technology to the employees that enable them to be the most productive. So the technology must incorporate the tools the employee needs, not the other way around. The technology does not define the way the employee works, but the employee determines how they work. Decisions on technology and available programs cannot be made in a vacuum and unilaterally. IT needs to take into account the types of applications and processes employees use to complete their job.
Citrix rightly states that organizations who do not design workspaces around their employees will encounter serious problems, including talent acquisition and higher costs. This, in turn, can affect customer experience and profitability and the ability to compete. The workspaces provided to the employee need to take into the account business stakeholders needs for flexibility and interoperability while maintaining security that also delivers an improved user experience. If businesses ignore this imperative, they risk losing up to $800 per person in productivity.
Future of Work: Enhanced Security
One of the major objections to flexible work has always been security. How is IT to maintain strict compliance and control over a users workspace if they are not physically tied to one device and one location? What happens if an employee loses their device or it is stolen? Weak passwords (or even no passwords) and insecure networks being used to access sensitive corporate data? These are the kinds of things that keep IT departments up at night.
However, the thing about embarking on a digital transformation and a flexible work strategy is that IT can enhance and strengthen the security of their data and information. At this point, the IT Departments of the past are probably rolling in their graves, but this is the new reality of the future of work. If you are asking how the answer is simple. Without diving into all the technical details (which you can read if you are curious) digital workspaces are inherently more secure. Especially if the chosen strategy utilizes cloud-based solutions like Desktop-as-a-Service. The reason being, all of the maintenance, storage, security, everything lies in the hands of the provider. Who has built their business on providing access to secure servers and has the latest knowledge and information on cybersecurity. These experts live and breath cyber threats and learning how to combat everything malicious sources can throw at them. And the problem of a lost or stolen device? Since the desktop and the data resides on the secure server, a lost or stolen device becomes a nuisance of procuring a new device instead of an emergency situation.
Future of Work: Digital Workspaces and DaaS
In case you haven’t been convinced yet, the Wakefield Survey also found that businesses that utilize a flexible work strategy and cloud solutions realized the following benefits:
- Increased employee morale (51%)
- Increased employee productivity (50%)
- Reduced employee turnover (35%)
- Attracting more talented job candidates (34%)
It has become a matter of not IF corporations move to flexible work strategies but when and how. dinCloud’s Hosted Desktop solutions provide the perfect combination of flexibility, stability, and security, ensuring that your critical workforce remains productive despite weather, illness, disaster or whatever roadblock you encounter as you grow your business to become the dominant force in your industry. If you are considering implementing a flexible work strategy, check out our white paper on “Making a Case for DaaS” to learn how DaaS can get you on the road to transformation.
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