“The way we work and live around the world is changing rapidly,” said Stephen O’Donnell, CEO, Chalet Tech, Inc. “For most knowledge workers, there is no such thing as 9 to 5 anymore, and time zone differences matter less than ever before. We are living in a time of 24/7 connectivity, where boundaries between work and play are less marked.”
“With today’s increasingly tech-savvy workforce and outcome-driven employees, companies have everything to gain from fully embracing the IT consumerization and mobility trend that is redefining the workplace,” said Adriana Karaboutis, CIO, Dell. “Companies are realizing that by enabling employees to work from a location of their choice using their preferred technology, they are taking one of the single most important steps in motivating business productivity.”
“At Dell, we’re engaging with customers to understand what the end user needs are,” said Steve Felice, president and chief commercial officer, Dell. “As a solution provider, we have expanded our vision beyond what device does the end user have to having consultative conversations with our customers about how data is being accessed, used and secured to find the right solution to help their employees be more productive and drive results.”
“While reinventing the operational landscape through IT can have a positive impact on productivity and employee morale, we shouldn’t lose sight of the challenges that these changes create for the business,” said Ed Goldman, IT CTO, Intel. “Every company will need to find the right balance between implementing changes to bring benefits to employees while matching the strategic objectives of the business.”
Among the key findings of the report are:
· Technology choice leads to productivity: there is a growing awareness in the business community that companies can benefit from increased workforce productivity by allowing employees to have some level of choice in what technology they use and the degree of mobility they have. Depending on the individual organisation’s circumstances, clear parameters around levels of choice need to be established. It is then that business leaders can better see how technology catered to individual working styles can create efficiency gains and optimize results.
· Productivity vs. traditional business concerns: companies are clearly trying to determine whether any increased productivity generated from greater technology choice among employees outweighs the associated risks. There is consensus among business leaders that the use of personal devices in the workplace exposes the company to increased security risks and potential data mismanagement. As well as the challenge of measuring productivity levels accurately, businesses are faced with the obstacle of “knowing what data is where and if it’s properly protected.”
· Changing attitude towards mobility: business leaders accept that the arrival of tablets, smartphones and cloud computing creates the need for companies to challenge themselves to be more mobile-led. Many experts believe that the convergence of applications across devices will foster an even more mobile dependent workforce in the future, meaning that businesses wanting to be more productive must first address legacy concerns in order to be mobile-ready.
· Employee transparency: the issue of transparency with employees regarding IT decisions that affect them presents a challenge for management, with business leaders noting that if any aspects of a company’s IT consumerization policy are hidden from employee view, they may backfire. They agree that being transparent with employees helps build trust and goes a long way in harnessing the productivity that businesses seek from new technologies and devices.
· Strategic innovation: in order to stay relevant in a fiercely competitive market and make strategic decisions about operational efficiency, most expert commentators believe that businesses should adopt a smarter, more mobile-centric and integrated approach to IT. This requires businesses to embrace the consumerization of IT with a considered approach and an open mind, working with technology partners to develop tailored solutions that meet the individual requirements of both the organization and employee.
The Evolving Workforce is a global initiative to identify and explore future workplace trends and the role that technology is playing in its evolution. The project has comprised several stages to form an iterative journey of learning began in October 2011 with the Expert Insights report, where seven future trends were introduced alongside commentary from futurists, technologists, analysts and HR professionals. The second report, the Workplace Perspective, summarized the findings of a global survey of 8,360 workers from 11 countries.
Dell and Intel commissioned TNS Global Research to execute this project. Additional information about the study, in addition to the previous reports, can be accessed at www.dell.com/evolvingworkforce.