The Best Tech for The Job: Investing in Your Workforce with Innovative Technology
Forget the nap pods, ping pong tables and La Croix on tap – job candidates really want better workplace tech.
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Today’s job market features historically low unemployment rates, which favors applicants and leaves employers seeking innovative ways to attract and retain desirable candidates.
According to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report commissioned by Insight Enterprises, 58 percent of respondents say “their organization’s technology offerings factor into a candidate’s decision to take the position.”
In an increasingly competitive landscape, updated workplace technology isn’t just a luxury – it’s a hiring tool. Businesses could be missing out on top talent, not because they aren’t offering competitive compensation or enough bean bags, but because their technology is out of sync with candidates’ personal expectations.
If a modernized workplace doesn’t already exist within an organization, employees’ productivity might be suffering. Even worse, they might be looking for the next best thing, in much the same way we’ve grown accustomed to cycling through new smartphones every year. By choosing to invest in new infrastructure, IT departments can promote recruitment, collaboration, and productivity by creating a seamless, immersive digital experience for employees.
Creating a Consumer-Like Technology Experience in The Workplace
As modern operating systems like Microsoft for Windows 10, Apple for iOS and Mac, and Android are architected and deployed, organizations should drive innovation by allowing the systems to interact with the cloud architecture as the manufacturers intended. By taking this first step, employers can begin to create a consumer-like experience for teammates.
Cloud architecture features advances including zero-touch provisioning and updating, more seamless navigation between cloud tenants, and the ability to access work materials from almost any device. Other key items include identity management, cloud security, and other integration technologies, which allow a company to achieve the “any device, anywhere, any cloud” experience consumers already enjoy on their personal devices.
We’ve reached the point where productivity on mobile devices has become as prolific as the personal computer – the convergence of the phone and the PC has finally arrived. Implementing mobility offerings, IT support and device choice can integrate to further create consumer-like experiences for employees in the corporate space. Mobility offerings, those technologies that allow employees to work away from their desks, are becoming more and more ubiquitous in the workplace, making the offering an expectation – rather than a perk – for candidates.
Adequate IT management of devices and software, as well as extensive device choices (Macs, tablets, etc.), are all part of creating a technological experience for employees that optimizes productivity and collaboration. The consumption trend of Anything-as-a-Service, particularly when bundling services, infrastructure, and devices together, has become more prevalent in 2019 than ever before because the provisioning of operating systems and the architectures they use are now cloud-centric.
An opportunity for employers to excel in their IT offerings includes taking a self-service approach to workplace services. With this approach, organizations can provide IT support through a self-service portal, conversational bots, and walk-up centers so that workers aren’t waiting around for IT to fulfill a help-desk request.
Overcoming Challenges to Modernization
Updating workplace technology is an investment in a company’s future, which can come at an up-front price that pays greater dividends in the long run.
IT budget constraints often prove a challenge in arming a workforce with new equipment. In addition to the cost of the equipment itself, updating and supporting modern technology also requires knowledgeable and experienced IT support staff, meaning that existing teams may benefit from education and training.
If the cost of modernization, however, is an organization’s primary concern, leaders might consider the impact of outdated technology on their bottom lines. In the Harvard Business Review survey, 38 percent of respondents said that “their systems hinder employees’ ability to work quickly,” and 39 percent believe their systems make it “difficult or time-consuming” to access business data without help.
If wasted time and unsatisfied employees are common elements of workplaces, it’s not much of a leap to assume these factors could be negatively affecting overall workplace productivity. In many instances, outdated technology could be cutting into an organization’s profit.
In some cases, drawbacks to IT innovations may exist. For example, security features of the cloud architectures may not suffice for government use, meaning that workplaces could be forced to keep private cloud architectures in place. Additionally, for organizations that haven’t yet evolved their technology, several workarounds may be necessary on the application layer to ensure critical apps will work in a new architecture. While complicated, these obstacles can typically be overcome by partnering with an organization that specializes in workplace modernization.
While there is certainly an investment that will need to be made to overhaul legacy systems, existing processes and how the workforce not only engages with IT but with each other and their work, waiting to modernize will likely become increasingly costly and painful. Especially as talent walks out the door.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.
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