By Carmen Ene, CEO of 3 Step IT.
The pressure is on for companies to rethink their strategies and improve performance. As businesses demand more from their staff, they face the constant challenge of keeping employees engaged and productive in the workplace. High employee productivity is the heartbeat of a successful business, and when staff become distracted or unhappy, their work – and ultimately the company – suffers.
One key to improving productivity in the workplace is through employee engagement. While that remains true, businesses can also see a significant boost to productivity through better use of technology, which already shapes the culture of the workplace. Technology infuses just about every aspect of a modern business – a shift the C-Suite has to address. While it is no surprise that technology plays a crucial role in the way employees work, it may be news that many feel constrained by the way they are equipped: 53% of workers reported that they would be more productive if their employer gave them better technology to use.
Most businesses use technology to improve customer processes, with advances in automation and self-service optimisation, for example. Even so, many organisations tend to overlook the benefits improving technology may offer their own business, enabling employees to complete tasks more efficiently.
Services like Slack, Skype and Trello are modern alternatives to email that promote productive collaboration. They have made their way into the workplace, helping employees save time and work more efficiently. Whilst these are a great addition to any organisation, you need suitable IT equipment to exploit them and allow mobile users to work effectively and collaborate from any location. Mobile working is an enabler of agile working practices, which can have a significant effect. A study by BPS World found that 67% of employers who adopted agile working saw significant productivity increases.
If using high quality technology in a smart way helps organisations to boost business productivity, the converse is also true. Cost is a barrier though: regularly purchasing IT devices makes a big dent in budgets. It is tempting to keep using ageing devices for as long as possible to extract the maximum value from the original purchase. While extending the life of IT equipment might seem to relieve capital expenditure budgets and conserve cash, it is a false economy. As devices age, their performance and reliability decrease, and maintenance and user support increase. Every call to user support is a symptom of an unproductive employee, frustrated by equipment that holds them back.
There is an affordable alternative. Organisations can use a device-as-a-service approach to support a refresh discipline. Regular device refresh will keep technology up to date – so it works with the same ease and speed that employees enjoy on the devices they acquire for their personal use. Planned lifecycle refresh replaces large purchases with manageable rental payments that are easy to forecast and plan into budgets. With modern technology, support costs fall, IT can focus on delivering innovation, and employees have the tools they need to work in a more productive way
Device-as-a-service offers more. For example, tools that monitor the health of devices while they are in use. Equipped with this level of insight, the organisation can fix performance and reliability issues before they affect employee productivity.
A well-managed regular technology refresh offers a counter-intuitive opportunity: while it may sound like an unaffordable dream, the device-as-a-service lifecycle approach can reduce the total cost of providing, managing and supporting the many IT devices a modern business needs. As you relieve the pressure on budgets, a workforce equipped with up-to-date technology becomes more productive.
IT lifecycle management offers a compelling business case: exploit a more effective lifecycle discipline, modernise your IT estate, save money and boost productivity. Is it an impossible dream or a dream come true? You need to decide what a well-managed technology refresh discipline might offer your organisation.