In a recent webinar, tech experts Bruce Michelson of HP and Dustin Pursel from Staples Business Advantage's Technology Solutions division discussed the evolution of technology in today's workplace. Bruce, Distinguished Technologist and Dustin, Field Sales Director, dove into the top trends driving technological evolution, as well as the challenges these trends present to IT departments and businesses everywhere. In case you missed the webinar, here were some of the top insights from these two experts in their field:
The ownership of devices in business has changed.
Historically, the technology and devices workers needed to get a job done were owned by—and stayed at—the business where the work was being done. But as technology has become more mobile and accessible, there's been in a shift in the ownership of devices from business-owned technology to end user-owned technology. "Work has become an activity," said Bruce of this shift. "Not just a place where you go." But this blend, and workers' increasing access to and dependence on personal tech, carries with it some unique challenges for IT, such as...
End users expect their workplace IT experiences to mirror their consumer experiences.
"IT departments are coming to us because their workforce is demanding options," said Dustin of the businesses he consults with daily. As workers have more and more consumer interface with the technologies they use for work, their expectations overlap, and IT departments are left to address that need. In a multi-generational workplace, this becomes even more challenging.
"It's no longer a one-size-fits-all world," noted Bruce. "For the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace." And with each generation utilizing technology in their own way, and often using their own tech, IT departments have begun to see big risks.
BYOD and mobility mean increased risk of cyber attacks.
While Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies might help workers feel their personal technology needs are being met, these same capabilities and policies open companies up for greater and greater risk. Cyber attacks, once considered an anomaly, are now a norm that IT departments should expect and be prepared for. "I've never talked to a customer who didn't list security among their top three IT concerns," said Dustin of the current climate among business IT departments.
Bruce agreed—with the risk growing greater (and the largest number of security breaches stemming from employee error), it's important that IT departments adjust accordingly. "IT departments need to revise their governance on mobile devices," he advised.
So what can IT professionals do?
Luckily, despite the challenges of rapidly evolving technology, the growing expectations of end users, and the rising threat of cyber crime, IT departments aren't completely without options. Bruce and Dustin had several key pieces of advice:
- Continue to educate and encourage users to strengthen their passwords and make use of dual-level authentication to protect their own information and the information of their employers.
- Partner with lifecycle management providers who are vendor-agnostic, have a business model based in best practices, and who are certified and credentialed.
- As you plan your IT roadmap, keep an eye to your existing warranties, near-term opportunities, and long-term direction of the tech industry.
- Prioritize the end user experience and be open to creating a more open, collaborative environment between IT and the end user population.