Market observers and tech users are now well versed in the value proposition of cloud, mobility and collaboration technologies. But how these work together to empower new levels of workplace productivity is less well understood. With the support of Dell Canada, InsightaaS is exploring the merging of these technologies in a series of Viewpoint documents entitled Collabmobilicloud.
The first in this series, “A New Work Era,” is now published and available for viewing here. In this whitepaper, InsightaaS examines seismic shifts in notions around workplace productivity that are now underway. While conventional thinking held that work was productive only when measured, monitored and on-site at a physical office location, cloud and mobile connectivity are delivering virtual access to materials that defies requirements for a specific time and place for work. And while the ‘the office remains king’ – as recent Dell/Intel research that is explored in the paper has concluded – work is increasingly mobile both within and without the confines of the office cubicle. Approximately 58 percent of offices globally are now laid out with some mix of wired communal space to encourage greater collaboration – the new work process that has overtaken workplace monitoring as the source of productive output. The results are greater flexibility and better work/life balance for employees, more opportunity for talent recruitment and engagement and reduced expense for the employer – as well as productivity improvements for both.
While these concepts make logical sense, the proof is always in the putting. To document the transition towards cloud and mobile-enabled collaboration, “A New Work Era” shares some compelling research into technology deployment trends. While InsightaaS has forecast an aggressive adoption curve for cloud, where investment in traditional, on-premise software and infrastructure and XaaS (cloud)-based resources will be roughly equivalent in Canada by 2020, Techaisle Research has uncovered substantial investment support for the mobile worker. According to research for 2015, across virtually all sizes of US small and medium businesses, the deployment of mobile application categories (office apps, CRM, financial applications, etc.) is expected to double in the coming year. Equally interesting are tech changes taking place at the end user device level. The trend towards increased numbers of devices per user is commonly viewed as a key indicator of worker mobility; however, client devices themselves are also transforming – becoming “hybrid,” as Dell’s Amit Bhaga notes in the document, to bridge lingering gaps been mobility and efficiency in device lineups. As example, Bhaga points to more powerful laptops that have companion tablets, or 2-in-1 devices that enable use of the tablet in mobile settings, but support greater productivity once the keyboard is plugged in.
In the view of InsightaaS, new workforce patterns are a product of new thinking on workplace productivity. These ideas have been part of workplace discussions since the 1970s, however, and are only now moving into execution mode, enabled by powerful cloud, client mobility and collaboration solutions. By defining ‘the office’ in technology terms, these solutions are providing benefits across the range of stakeholder constituents, including the employee (and his/her family), the employer and society at large. WORKshift Canada has outlined productivity outcomes of increased mobility as follows: