The lines between work and play, home and office are continuing to blur as technologies make it easier for employees to be productive from virtually anywhere and at any time. As a result, where employees work is fast becoming a dominant topic of conversation for many business executives. In fact, several large companies have recently clarified their stances on telecommuting and working remotely, and there’s been a strong reaction from people and businesses across all industries. While some claim forcing workers to be physically present in the office is not an efficient use of time and hinders productivity amidst the realities of our always-on world, others argue that collaboration works best face-to-face.
While the debate over the pros and cons of working remotely isn’t going to be settled any time soon (if ever), where work gets done is just the beginning of the conversation about the dramatic changes in how work is actually done nowadays.
The evolution and adoption of new technologies together with trends such as BYOD, social and big data have driven significant changes in how work gets done. It has forced IT departments to embrace a new role that more directly caters to the needs of the end user. Success in embracing this new role comes down to how innovative and agile IT is, and is at the heart of a vision that Avanade calls Work Redesigned.
Today we are partnering with our customers to help them tap into entirely new ways to get work done in their organizations. For instance, we are creating a custom Windows 8 application that will allow hospitals to fill prescriptions bedside while utilizing Lync video conferencing, so patients can interact with a pharmacist on demand, as if they’re in the same room. We’re in the process of delivering an embedded Windows 8 tablet to help a major grocery store chain with order fulfillment and greater customer satisfaction. And we’re helping a large Spanish bank replace paper with flexible, mobile-enable Windows 8 tablets, updating workflow to reflect the new ways employees are working. And internally at Avanade, we are also embracing changes in the way that we get our work done. For example, we are in the final stages of an enterprise-wide roll-out of Windows 8; and we have deployed a number of social collaboration tools (including Lync) which enable our people to connect and communicate quickly and easily.
Finally, to make sure that we keep the innovative ideas coming, we have challenged our people to come up with some new ways to deliver results from the latest technology trends in our annual Innovation contest. I look forward to sharing some of the great ideas with you in a future post. In the meantime, we will continue to seek out new ways to get work done – both at Avanade and at our customers.