How CIOs can drive workplace transformation

Steve Evans

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Mobile and cloud technologies are driving massive changes in the workplace. CIOs have the opportunity to put themselves at the heart of that transformation. Here’s how.

The workplace is changing. We’re entering an era of technological development that will transform the way businesses across the globe operate. At the centre of this transformation will be the IT department and, more specifically, the CIO – the one person in charge of all the company’s technological resources.

That means that in order to play an important role in driving workplace transformation, a CIO has to take a more proactive role in ensuring the company has the right technology at its disposal.

For the CIO, that means forward planning. Keeping on top of the latest technological innovations is crucial, as is an understanding of which ones will benefit the business. There can be a lot of hype generated about emerging technologies but not all of them will bring genuine benefits to all businesses.

Part of this forward planning process making sure that the right systems and processes are in place to enable new technologies to be adopted and used to their full potential. Research referenced in our Future of the Workplace white paper points to the fact that the vast majority (87 per cent) of workers believe “advanced technology will positively impact profitability if it has the right processes around it”.

That’s a huge part of the CIO’s role; fostering the right technological environment. That means starting with a thorough examination of the current workplace strategy and then using those findings to build a future strategy. Collaboration is a vital part of the mix: workers will likely know better than you what tools they need to operate in the most effective manner, so get them on board early and include them in the planning process.

This future workplace strategy should mean a central role for the technologies your business will need going forward, from mobile to social to data management and analysis to cloud computing.

It will also mean physical changes – workers are increasingly demanding more flexible ways of working, meaning activity-based working (ABW) is becoming more common. From a CIO’s point of view, this means delivering multi-use devices and secure, cloud-based services that allow access to data and applications at any time and from any location.

Ultimately, the workplace of the future is one where flexibility is key. There’s not going to be a one-size-fits-all approach to having the right strategy in place, so keep an open mind about what will and, perhaps more importantly, won’t work for your business. Make sure you understand the requirements of the business and its workers, and develop strategies from that starting point.

Much more information about preparing for the workplace of the future can be found in our new free white paper which you can download here.

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