Part 1 in this series explained the background to our Future of Work Virtual Roundtable held on the 16th of June 2020 and discussed The Agile Dilemma – Sustaining the Momentum for Change.

Part 2 discusses Modern Workplace Technologies as a key success factor in transforming ‘how we do things around here’.

Roundtable participants agreed that the utilisation of Modern Workplace technologies, especially the Cloud, Microsoft 365 and Teams, had been critical in supporting the rapid shift to remote working over the last few months.

The challenge now is to leverage the full potential of these technologies to digitise key processes and reimagine how work is done.

In particular, the ability to streamline and automate key business processes using low-code software development tools available through the Microsoft Power Platform (PowerApps, Power Automate and Power BI) was identified as an exciting opportunity.

Although not discussed in detail during the Roundtable, the implementation of a robust cyber-security system was also identified as a key foundation of the Modern Intelligent Workplace.

“We spent five months trying to convince colleagues to use Microsoft Teams. Following lockdown, it took five minutes for them to start using it.”

“We have tried for years to get people working differently. Within weeks, we now have 110,000 people worldwide using Teams.”

“We are using lots of online collaboration tools including the O365 suite. It is really important to keep reviewing what is being done and continuously adapt.”

“As a parent of a P6/P7 child, Teams has been a lifesaver for my kids and the school. I hope it changes how homework is delivered going forward.”

“It is not just a question of using digital tools for collaborative working. Collectively, we all seem to have made good progress in that area. The next step is to simplify, update, automate and digitise our key processes. Looking at how we do things differently and better rather than just doing the same but using Teams.”  

“Microsoft Power Platform presents exciting opportunities for process automation. We are working with quite a lot of customers just now looking at their processes and how they can be simplified and updated. Digitising is part of this but it goes hand-in-hand with just simplifying how things are done.”

“We are currently helping a growing number of organisations to improve/re-engineer their core business processes including the NHS, Housing Associations, Property, Transport and Food & Drink companies.” 

“To support flexible, remote, collaborative working, we are focusing first on simplifying then digitising processes where we can”.

“We have had to review back office processes because of enforced new ways of working. Some of these are now being automated using MS Power Apps.”

“The shift to remote working creates a huge cyber-security problem. It is a constant battle. Everyone needs to stay vigilant, implementing robust security systems and Advanced Threat Protection.”

Many digital transformation programmes will fail due to the lack of attention paid to human and cultural barriers to change.

Part 3 in this series covers people and culture as key success factors in sustaining the momentum of organisational change in a VUCAD world.