The workplace is transforming rapidly. The number of remote workers is growing dramatically, and people are using more devices than ever before. In the U.K., the number of people working at home has risen to 4 million. In Germany and the U.K., almost 50% of managers are allowed to work remotely.1 And by 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce.2
Today’s workers have high expectations for how technology can make their lives easier, more convenient and more productive — based largely on their experiences in the consumer world. They are demanding solutions that deliver greater performance, reliability, security, mobility and flexibility.
Organisations that don’t provide workers with current technologies for always-available communication, connectivity and collaboration are at risk of falling behind their competitors in a number of vital areas: worker productivity, customer satisfaction and the ability to recruit and retain the best workers, regardless of location.
The need to stay ahead of the curve
Forward-looking organisations have discovered that one of the most effective ways of supporting workplace transformation is by taking a strategic approach to keeping their endpoints current and secure. They accomplish this through PC lifecycle management, a process that allows them to deploy, manage and support their devices as an integral part of IT and business operations.
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PC lifecycle management is becoming more important because of the rapid changes taking place across organisations all around the globe. Research shows that the number of managed devices has increased by 72% since 2014 and each worker is now using an average of 3.5 devices. The specific technology used by these workers matters greatly — both to individual users and the organisation as a whole. Here’s why:
- User Perspective: Workers — particularly younger ones — are accustomed to using the latest technologies in their personal lives, and they have carried those expectations into their work lives. This concept of “IT consumerisation” means workers are less tolerant of technologies that cannot meet their expectations for performance, availability, security, simplicity and flexibility. It is important for business and IT leaders to recognise that this is becoming a much more vital aspect of job satisfaction and productivity. According to one study, 70% of millennials and 51% of other workers consider workplace technology an important factor when deciding on a new job.3
- Organisational Perspective: As endpoint technologies become more dated, they can have a negative impact on security, availability and productivity. For example, they are more likely to suffer from hardware and software problems, requiring more time from the IT team and expense. In addition, technology is advancing rapidly — particularly with hardware-based security, encryption and support capabilities — which means older endpoints can be less secure and costlier to maintain. Most organisations want to transition IT teams from "keep the lights on" functions to more strategic endeavors, and PC lifecycle management is an important step in that direction. In addition, the entire organisation benefits when users are more productive, happier at their jobs and experiencing less downtime due to technology glitches.
Typically, user and organisational perspectives are in sync with one another: If users are happy with their technology solutions and their ability to collaborate effectively from any location using any device, then the organisation as a whole reaps significant benefits. A great example of this is the Intel Unite® solution, which is available on select devices using 7th Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors. With Intel Unite, users can collaborate more easily and effectively, leading to greater productivity across business units and less burden on IT departments. This is the type of modern solution that is available on current devices to enable workplace transformation and empower the workforce.
Preparing for the inevitable
If workplace transformation hasn’t quite reached your organisation yet, don’t fret. It will. The forces that are driving this transformation — cloud computing, mobility, the Internet of Things, social networking, big data analytics, IT consumerisation, digital transformation and others — are all continuing to define and disrupt businesses and industries across the globe.
IT and business leaders are constantly looking to seize upon opportunities to simplify operations, increase agility and lower costs so they can be more strategic in approaching the challenges of transforming their workplaces and operations. That is why so many organisations are turning to the cloud. It is also why savvy leaders are also embracing PC lifecycle management: It delivers significant value today, and prepares you for the workplace transformation that will inevitably define your future. For many organisations, that future is now.
1 “5 Big 2016 Stats About Flexible Work, and 3 Predictions for 2017,” Flexjobs, Dec. 5, 2016
2 “The Millennial Generation Shaking Up the Workplace Rules,” BBC News, Feb. 2, 2016
3 “Dell & Intel Future Workforce Study Global Report,” research by Penn Schoen Berland, June 2016