Our understanding of the Microsoft Modern Workplace is evolving at a rapid pace.
Although many articles discuss the Modern Workplace as a rigid concept, we at Micro Pro would like to provide you with some insight into the fluidity of the Modern Workplace.
The Modern Workplace is not prescriptive, but trend-based, capricious, and—perhaps most importantly—exciting.
Up until recently, the business world was traditionalist by nature. Some might even say that it has been stuck in the past, with the notion of “business casual” only being introduced in the 1990s.
The Journal of General Management published a research paper titled “Why Organizations are Slow to Adapt and Change—and What Can Be Done About It”. The paper highlighted Xerox as an example of a company that failed to adapt and modernise when Canon became a threat.
Xerox had a 95% market share in the 1970s. But it lost a significant portion of this because it was shackled to old tech and restrictive leasing policies.
The company’s infrastructure was not designed to contend with change and couldn’t compete with Canon’s modern approach.
This is a familiar tale for many businesses, old and new—but the business world is changing. In what is being described as The Fourth Industrial Revolution, businesses have been struck by the stark reality of their circumstances.
Survival in an environment that changes from day to day means priming your workforce, your workplace, your technology, your culture, and your infrastructure at large for evolution at a moment’s notice.
Enter the Modern Workplace.
What is a Modern Workplace?
The term “Modern Workplace” has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years. As a reasonably abstract and evolving term, the Modern Workplace has come to mean different things for different people and industries—and this has led to some confusion.
So, what is a modern workplace and what does it mean for your business?
In its simplest form, the Modern Workplace refers to a strategic, operational setup designed to satisfy both the technological and physical needs of your employees and your business as a whole.
A Modern Workplace is the sum of many parts, which means that no single Modern Workplace is the same as another.
The one component shared by all Modern Workplace environments is a drive for company-wide transformation that facilitates a modern office workspace capable of adapting to and contending with our increasingly digital and automated times.
The Need For Modern Workplaces
Overall, the need for Modern Workplaces is largely due to the increasing changeability of the business world—with many businesses, even big name brands, failing to keep pace and stay competitive.
There are also a number of practical requirements that have given rise to the need for modern workplaces. These include the increase in remote working, the mounting globalisation of business, and a decline in productivity.
The Rise of Remote Working
According to Global Workplace Analytics, flexible working conditions are rapidly becoming the new norm across many industries and countries. Globally, there has been a rise in remote working by 159% since 2005, which is eleven times faster than the rest of the workforce.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this growth, with many businesses that had not even considered remote working committing to it on a permanent basis.
There are, however, challenges that come with remote working.
To accommodate remote working, businesses must have access to an ecosystem of tools that facilitate collaboration, productivity, security, and efficiency. With your workforce decentralised, it is especially critical that you are able to centralise your processes and operations.
Without the right collaboration, productivity, and security tools at your disposal, remote working can quickly lead to operational chaos for your business.
The Modern Workplace helps your business overcome this challenge by using the latest technologies to facilitate communication, collaboration, and adaptability.
Growing Globalisation of Business
Increasingly so, business is conducted online. Which has created enormous opportunities for businesses to globalise their operations. You can even launch an ecommerce store in a matter of minutes, allowing you to sell to anyone in any country across the globe.
With business becoming less local, it becomes more difficult to streamline operations and facilitate collaboration. Many businesses have employees scattered across the globe, suppliers on different continents, and multiple branches internationally.
Ensuring that each of these components function as parts of a whole is crucial to business success in the digital era.
The Modern Workplace can help businesses unify geographically distant parties, by empowering each to collaborate and communicate.
The Decline of Productivity
In Microsoft’s “Insider’s Guide to the Modern Workplace”, research suggests productivity among office workers is on the decline.
On average, office workers spend approximately 20% of their time searching for the resources and information necessary for them to do their jobs.
To improve productivity, companies must ensure that their employees have access to productivity tools. The Microsoft Modern Workplace—which we will explain in further detail later in this guide—includes a range of productivity tools. Their aim is to organise workflow, improve organisation, and centralise resources.
With a single hub for all their tools and resources, employee productivity can be significantly improved upon.
Not only is workplace modernisation important for productivity, but it also contributes to employee retention. A study by Avanade found that over 85% of IT decision-makers think workplace modernisation plays a key role in attracting and retaining the best staff.
What is Microsoft Modern Workplace?
A Microsoft Modern Workplace is simply a Modern Workplace that uses Microsoft technology. A Microsoft Modern Workplace leverages the latest Microsoft suite of tools to streamline and power key business operations.
Since its inception in 1975, Microsoft has become the most popular software vendor in the world. Microsoft has continually demonstrated its ability to keep pace with the times and is a pioneer of emerging technologies.
Microsoft’s suite of technologies is comprehensive and sophisticated. As well as being designed to facilitate the cultivation of a Modern Workplace. The Microsoft suite provides a central hub for key business operations, and establishes a hive-like system of interconnectivity. Which is both collaborative, and seamless.
In short, Microsoft positions itself to simplify the process of establishing a Modern Workplace.
What Does Microsoft Modern Workplace Include?
The Microsoft Modern Workplace, also known as the Microsoft 365 Modern Workplace, includes Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S).
A cloud-based, all-inclusive productivity solution, providing Office applications that you are likely to be familiar with (i.e., word, excel, teams etc.). Office 365 couples these tools with powerful collaboration and communication capabilities.
Windows 10 Enterprise
An industry-leading operating system that combines continuous updates, endpoint management utilities, advanced security, and an array of productivity capabilities.
Enterprise Mobility + Security (EM+S)
EM+S provides advanced security, mobility, and identity management. EM+S integrates access and identity management, threat protection, information protection, endpoint management, and cloud application security into a single solution.
The Microsoft Modern Workplace also includes a range of collaboration and productivity tools. Their unique design encourages and supports digital transformation. In additon, these tools secure your business, and can facilitate modern office workspace methods of working.
Microsoft 365 combines these components to deliver an intelligent, holistic, and completely integrated ecosystem formed of enterprise-grade security and workplace productivity tools.
Modern Workplace Automation With Microsoft
Within the Microsoft 365 suite is the Microsoft Power Automate tool, formerly known as Flow. This tool allows you to implement Digital and Robotic Process Automation across your business.
The automation of tasks boosts productivity quickly, freeing up time for employees to focus on less administrative, repetitive tasks.
With Microsoft Power Automate, you are also able to automate especially time-consuming activities by leveraging the built-in artificial intelligence features.
This application can integrate with more than 100 other programs, including Twitter, Google Analytics, and Microsoft Dynamics.
Modern Workplace Collaboration With Microsoft
Enabling streamlined collaboration between teams can be challenging, particularly when you are trying to juggle multi-site branches and flexible working conditions.
The Microsoft Modern Workplace includes a range of collaboration applications, such as Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft’s collaboration tools enable your employees to work together, even if there are hundreds of miles between them, on documents and other resources.
With the Windows 10 Virtual Desktop, you can even remotely access desktops from other devices.
Modern Workplace Security With Microsoft
Another notable advantage of the Microsoft Modern Workplace is that Microsoft applications provide high-security by design.
Microsoft 365’s security stack provides insights into how your business can proactively defend itself against even the most sophisticated threats. This includes phishing, zero-day attacks, and malware.
The security stack also includes identity, data, device, and application protection via Microsoft Intune, Windows Information Protection, and Azure Active Directory.
Other Benefits of the Microsoft 365 Modern Workplace
The range of benefits associated with the Microsoft 365 Modern Workplace is extensive. In addition to facilitating collaboration, automation, and improved security, the Modern Workplace also provides the following benefits:
1. Holistic Technology
The Modern Workplace is underpinned by seamless integration.
With Microsoft, you can achieve a comprehensive Modern Workplace by eliminating the need for costly, disjointed third-party programs. This allows you to benefit from a holistic technology suite and a fully integrated system of programs that are synchronized and secure.
2. Adaptability, Agility, and Scalability
The Microsoft Modern Workplace provides a suite of Modern Workplace technologies. Each is designed to facilitate agility, flexibility, and scalability for your business.
As an integrated ecosystem, Microsoft Modern Workplace is significantly easier to scale than traditional workplace technologies. It is also easily adaptable to suit your business’ changing needs.
The Microsoft Modern Workplace allows your business to bridge the gap between its geographically distant offices, departments, and remote employees.
Because the Microsoft Modern Workplace is cloud-based, your teams and employees are always able to stay connected, no matter where they are.
In a Modern Workplace setting, users are not limited to a single device or location. The Microsoft Modern Workplace allows users to securely access work from any company device or personal device, and from anywhere. Users can also use different device types, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and desktop computers.
In traditional workplaces, teams often work in silos, which means they have limited access or visibility into other areas of the business.
The Microsoft Modern Workplace facilitates access without compromising security by establishing a centralised, cloud-based location for data. This means that teams can gain visibility into other parts of the business when necessary, which streamlines communication and collaboration.
6. Continuous Updates
The Microsoft Modern Workplace updates continuously. Which ensures that your data remains protected and uncompromised. This also relieves your employees of much of the responsibility for updates, thus it reduces workloads and delays.
The Microsoft Modern Workplace is GDPR compliant by nature and provides a range of tools that can help your business verify compliance, monitor events, establish an audit trail, and prevent data leaks.
The Unified Audit Logs feature allows you to log who has shared a file and with whom; it also allows you to track file and folder deletion.
Another useful compliance utility is the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tool, which enables you to establish content-based rules that prevent users from sharing specific document categories.
Implementing Microsoft Modern Workplace
Migrating to a Microsoft Modern Workplace environment can be challenging, particularly if you are a larger business, because it requires a complete upheaval of your current ecosystem.
If not managed appropriately, this upheaval can easily result in errors, lost time, reduced productivity, significant disruption, and lost revenue.
We at Micro Pro provide expert IT Support in London and are specialists in Microsoft installations and our expertise in this area allows us to execute migrations and IT relocations with minimal disruption to business operations. We are able to provide fully managed installations, with email and telephone support, as well as remote and onsite assistance if necessary.
If you are intrigued by the benefits of implementing the Microsoft Modern Workplace and would like assistance or advice, please get in touch.