Moving to a fully agile work environment

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Agile Working: It’s Tech 101

Before the pandemic, trust was a big issue. Companies were hesitant to offer flexible working and many leaders weren’t willing to take the leap. But the last 18 months have shown us that people aren’t any less productive when working from their living room – if anything, they work harder. Now teams are asking how to continue this path and evolve their agile working environment on an ongoing basis.  They want to employ people from anywhere in the world, making their business accessible from all sides – and any companies not adapting won’t be able to keep up. It’s reinventing the normal way of working.

Agile working is the ability to work securely from any device, in any location, at any time. It offers the capability to deliver what you would in the office, whether you’re at home, on a beach, or on the move. 

Creating a simple, seamless software solution

We’ve partnered with organisations in travel, hospitality, recruitment, and many more. Some of these have 10 employees whilst others have 10,000, and there’s a bucketload that sit somewhere in between. But whatever the company’s size or sector, implementing best practice is what comes first.

Across most of these businesses, Microsoft Stacks is our go-to technology software. It has evolved dramatically over the last decade and remains at the forefront of the industry through delivery of more back-office solutions. Integrated with Microsoft Teams and voice activation software, you find yourself immersed in a single suite of applications. Whether you’re a tech savvy school leaver or a technophobe, you’ll know how to use our technology because our eco systems are built using technology that’s familiar.

Many technology providers’ Teams solutions leave businesses paying for dozens of apps, but with only a few of them that get used regularly. We wouldn’t pay extra for flashy additional features that aren’t going to be used, so why should our customers? We like to keep it simple, providing external security and communications where needed to underpin the user’s interaction with these applications; it as seamless and easy to use as possible.

Evolving, sophisticated cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has had a similar evolution to airport security. There was a time when you could arrive at the airport, drop your bag off, show your passport, and be in the airport lounge 15 minutes later. These days there are a couple of extra steps for security, but in return travellers are receiving altogether more reassurance, security, and safety.

We approach agile working technology in a similar way, complementing how people work with a more secure package, including introducing company-wide two-factor authentication alongside comprehensive security training to raise employee awareness. Our recent blog details how we keep businesses safe from 2021’s biggest cyber threats. 

Tailored, agile tech solutions

More than a quick fix, agile working means constantly adapting to offer the best outcome to the evolving environments.  When overhauling a business’ approach to agile working, we want to get to the full picture – what’s a key outcome for them? From this we work backwards to understand what technology will create a solution is both achievable and the most beneficial for their specific needs. We have first-hand experience of the technology we offer – it’s what we use ourselves in day-to-day operations, and we want our customers to have the same seamless experience that we do.

One of our long-time customers was a very traditional business, operating out of regional offices with limited cloud technology in place. Prior to the pandemic, we had discussions with the directors about future-proofing their technology, and although they didn’t know specifically what they wanted, they understood the shortcomings of their old-fashioned systems.

We worked with them to create an environment which removed all the physical infrastructure in the head office, removing the dependency on it as a location. We enabled Microsoft Teams-friendly environments, with chat, video, and telephony systems all transferred into Teams. Implementation reporting helped us to monitor uptake, from which we could arrange training for the team on using the technology if it was unfamiliar, or scale it back if it was not as necessary as initially thought. Easy scalability like this is a key advantage of cloud infrastructure: dial it down when resources aren’t required and ramp it up when reinforcement is needed. This worked as a huge benefit to companies during the pandemic – when some revenues stopped entirely, cloud technology allowed them to press pause and use this resource’s investment elsewhere.

Now fully operational using cloud technology, the business isn’t reliant on any single location or device, and their back and front office are connected 100% of the time through this cohesive technology stack.  Fast forward a year and we have implemented similar solutions for many other businesses who were facing shortcomings due to outdated technology, but it took a global pandemic for them to make a change.

The future agile working environment

As we approach a post-pandemic world, the traditionally structured working day is gone. Previously, people may have been embarrassed to say they wanted the flexibility to work from home, but now it is increasingly seen as an essential job priority. Across the globe we’re witnessing this huge shift in working patterns, and businesses need to be certain that they are on the front foot. No one wants to be left behind, finally returning to the office only to find that the technology implemented pre-pandemic doesn’t support the new way of working.

Steve Hennessy

Steve Hennessy

Head of Cyber