The daily routine of many office workers has changed significantly this year. The question is, can they still do what they need to do, effectively, in the new normal. As Nick Scholz explains, employee empowerment comes from flexible technology.
In 2020, leading brands shifted their perspective on the future of office life. Banking group Standard Chartered listened to employee feedback to offer a “hybrid approach” that enables staff to mix where they work. Tech giant Microsoft recently announced that working at home would remain an option for everyone long-term, the latest in a growing list of major employers to support remote working.
Such decisions have significant operational impacts on organizations and employees alike. Even the simple things, including the laptop you use, the connections you expect, the files you rely on, and the way you interact with co-workers need review and remodeling. “Remote collaboration in some form or another is the new normal,” as this blog puts it. Users, administrators, and teammates can assume nothing - their infrastructure and means of collaboration require scrutiny as follows:
- In the new normal, how do organizations keep their workers productive with the right software, manage applications and patches on their hardware, and protect sensitive information no matter where they are located?
- How do we offer all of that without overwhelming a newly distributed IT function?
- Finally, how do organizations provide tools that offer the right information for teams to work together -- whether they are across the table or across the world?
With a newly distributed workforce, access to apps, systems, and even desktops is critical. Your organization’s end-user collaboration and productivity technology must provide a new-normal-ready, flexible, smarter, more collaborative working environment. With today’s mantra being “work from anywhere”, the control of the working environment must be in the hands of those who need it the most—the user.
A simple list of seemingly mundane requirements from pre-2020 creates a potentially highly complex operational challenge for today, which includes:
- Access to apps from a new, remote location
- Robust file sharing and editing and team collaboration
- Workstation-level encryption and security
- Asset and device management by IT
And it all must be available and accessible wherever the users go.
Meeting demands for employee flexibility in the context of good information governance is precisely what Micro Focus technology does best.
Using the Micro Focus Desktop Containers workspace and application streaming facility, IT admins can stream business-critical applications to end-users wherever they are needed. This solution also takes hardware power out of the equation by offering users the flexibility to access those core applications from Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, and much more, allowing businesses to deliver applications to team members whatever device they are on, and no matter who owns it.
The new normal is the opposite of being "anchored” to one place, one device, or even one operating system. Remote work can happen in a variety of places, with different tools, schedules, limitations, opportunities, and software setups. With built-in application profile management in Desktop Containers, administrators can choose to offer a clean application to end-users every time they stream, or allow worker’s application settings and changes to follow them from one session to another. This includes being able to follow the user from a Windows machine where they are running a locally executed container to any device they are streaming that same application from.
Today’s IT team must provide solutions in a way that supports the remote worker – from foundational technologies where business gets done like email, calendaring, contact management, and file sharing, to more advanced functions like virtual workspaces, online collaborative co-editing of files, or total endpoint management and encryption. By doing so, organizations can seamlessly, supportively, and intentionally care for remote workers while still protecting the currency with which we all do business: data.
Don’t Take My Word For It
Examples abound of organizations who have grasped the nettle of the new normal to empower their employees:
At the University of Bern, Micro Focus collaboration technology ensured “researchers, lecturers, and administrative staff a convenient way to share files with their peers while the university retains full control over the data.”
Micro Focus Collaboration solutions brought ease of use, standardization, security, and stability in uncertain times to FCP Fritsch, and vitally were delivered in a highly aggressive timeframe to support corporate and national lockdown guidelines.
Meanwhile, Micro Focus technology provided greater efficiency and security for Meijer Supermarkets. As the study reveals, Micro Focus ZENworks supported significant annual savings and a 6-fold increase in Point-of-Service software deployment frequency, which means better service for customers, better support for employees, and better reactivity in a fast-changing market.
The analyst community has also expressed their positive perspectives. For example, the IDC says about our Unified Endpoint Management portfolio, “The suite-based approach and multifunction capabilities of ZENworks allow small IT teams to manage large numbers of endpoint devices. The company had customer references of three- and four-person IT teams managing hundreds of thousands of devices[i].”
As a recent Forbes article commented, “COVID-19 will be remembered for many things and what’s becoming indisputable is how it is rapidly transforming business”. Transformation both in terms of strategy and focus, but also in terms of day-to-day operations - from the C-suite officers down to the last employee.
Remote working is no passing trend; this is here to stay. In a recent survey, 74% of directors said remote and flexible working would continue even after coronavirus.
By focusing on the productivity of the employee, and focusing on enabling remote workers to do their best in whatever circumstances they find themselves in, organizations can look to accelerate their transformation and protect their investments.
Know your data | empower your people | drive your future
[i] IDC MarketScape: Unified Endpoint Management Software 2019-20 Vendor Assessment, Doc #US45355119, Nov. 2019