Much has been written about the modern workspace and yet it remains one of the most misunderstood concepts in business today. Many types of C-Suite have heard about how this is key to business success in today's rapidly changing climate and wish to implement it in their organization. The problem is, they often approach it awkwardly.
The perception is often that this is something that can be ordered from Amazon and installed in the office suite. That would be nice, but it just doesn't fit the way it really works. The simple fact is that the modern workspace cannot exist on its own. It's not about buying high-end computers and fancy ergonomic chairs and putting them in your office. The modern workspace is a state of mind - a way of thinking about work wherever you are. An environment that provides and empowers employees to work in the most effective way for them as individuals. It is a way of approaching work that has only become possible thanks to the latest commercial technological developments of the last 10 to 15 years.
To fully appreciate the modern workspace, it's important to understand how it interacts with the other big trend of recent years - the integration of the cloud into the data center. In the fall of 2019, I wrote about the journey to hybrid IT. In it, I explained how consumer demand for a stronger digital presence in business has driven the transition from physical servers to a combination of physical servers as well as cloud-based servers and storage, which is commonly referred to as hybrid IT.
Hybrid Information Technologies are the Foundation
Important as it is, hybrid IT cannot be seen as the end goal. It is simply the foundation that allows the modern workspace and the future of your company to thrive. Imagine your business environment as a home and hybrid IT as the basement of that home. It serves as a foundation that supports the weight of the building. It maintains the physical integrity of the house but is invisible. And even if it is underground and out of sight of passers-by, all the critical systems of the house (furnace, electrical panel, etc.) are there.
In the case of hybrid technologies, much of the basement is virtual because all the many systems are virtualized in the cloud. No matter where they are located, these systems are the foundation on which the rest of the business is built. The commercial applications that run on these systems become the floors (the solid platform on which you place all of your beautiful furniture) of the house.
The essence of the modern workspace
When you have the foundation or basement of hybrid IT and corporate applications (email, Office 365, etc.) comparable to the floors of a house, you have an environment in which the modern workspace can prosper. But remember what I said earlier - the modern workspace is not a physical entity per se, but rather a way to approach your work in 2020.
I defined the modern workspace as the ability to think about your work anywhere. Notice I didn't say the ability to work from anywhere, but rather the ability to reflect on your work from anywhere. In the real modern workspace, you can sit anywhere, have an idea, and once you have that idea, you can actually connect that idea to action. It is the modern workspace.
To illustrate it further, I will give you a personal example. The other day I was walking through the grocery store and someone wrote me an email asking for my intervention. I accessed my emails and then searched for the relevant information on my phone. I stood in the aisle of the grocery store with my basket under my arm and wrote a short message. 15 years ago, I couldn't have done this. I would only have acknowledged receipt of the message and acted on it only when I returned to the office.
The modern workspace has almost made the physical office obsolete for doing real work. What the modern workspace has done is use the office as a meeting place for conversations that may have nothing to do with work. The office as we know it changes, its purpose changes, and it is no longer defined by your physical location. The "office" becomes wherever you are connected. It is a space that occupies your mind at all times. It is the possibility of connecting this space to an action related to work without physical constraint. The result is a reliable and consistent customer experience.
The right balance between Hybrid IT and the Modern Workspace
The Hybrid IT architecture was built by some really innovative giants in the field such as Dell EMC . They had the foresight to bring together servers, storage, networking, and virtualization under one software layer; thus, organizations can manage both cloud and on-premise storage having a single storefront. Much of what is being done through hybrid IT today is possible thanks to the work of organizations such as Dell.
When I talk about the relationship between hybrid IT and the Modern Workspace, these four short sentences are the pillars that I use to crystallize the concept in people's minds:
o The modern workspace is literally based on hybrid computing
o Hybrid IT is the technological foundation of the modern workspace
o The modern workspace is where the customer experience lives
o The space modern workplace is where the consumerization of IT occurs
I'm proud of the fact that Compugen is in an ideal place where hybrid IT and the modern workspace intersect. We are the glue that holds the two together. We are proficient in both the infrastructure game and the modern workspace game which is the user experience. From a Canadian market perspective, few organizations can work in both worlds and connect them to reduce their clients' business risks.
To learn more about how Compugen can help move your organization forward on the path to the modern workspace, contact me anytime. I would love to discuss it with you.
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