Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Realizing YOUR modern workplace

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Sander Derix
I want to know what drives you as a business, what your goals are, what capabilities you need so I can design and help realize solutions that are both realistic and manageable. In short getting you to the next level. I do this partly by the use of technology. I mainly focus on the services of Microsoft 365.

I have been talking to a lot of customers lately about the latest buzz-word: The Modern Workplace. They want it because this will make their business more agile and more responsive to change. The best part of it is that I think they are correct! The problem is, as always, this new buzz-word doesn’t come with an install package. At best this concept consists of several capabilities that, when put together, create your digital workplace.

To realize YOUR modern workplace you need to do a couple of things:

  1. Stakeholders – Determine who can help you determine what your Modern Worplace should look like;
  2. Capabilities – Determine the required capabilities;
  3. Realization – Determine how to realize the required capabilities.

Determine your stakeholders

So as a business we need to do a couple of essential things:

  • Determine stakeholders;
  • Determine capabilities;
  • Establish sponsorship.

Find the stakeholders in your organization so they can help you determine the required capabilities. At the same time we need to find sponsorship and thus senior management buy-in (in case your sponsors aren’t at senior management/cio level). It isn’t necessarily a bad thing when your stakeholders aren’t at c-level. A good stakeholders can be recognized by 2 things:

  • has a genuine concern and thus a real (business) driver to get this show on the road;
  • has influence.

If they don’t have a genuine concern or influence….then they could be awesome chaps or gals but besides that – ignore them. Sounds harsh but it’s the reality.

Determine capabilities

Then we need to establish the required capabilities for OUR Modern workplace. In short a capability isn’t something technical like Microsoft Teams or Windows Intune. It’s an ability that an organization possesses or wants to possess.

Capabilities for your Modern Worplace could be:

  • Encouraging remote workers
  • Effective collaboration
  • Build trust – security and compliance

Realize capabilities

Since I didn’t present a viable case I need to guess what the here for mentioned capabilities mean. Let’s assume they have something to do with an organization that realizes ‘IT related projects’. So they need to talk to customers – create offers and need to realize the offered proposal.

The most important lessons I want to bring across is that realizing a capability – like the Modern Workplace – is a combination of people processes and technology.

Encouraging remote workers

Reorganize your organization to enable and create an environment that promotes working remotely. Something most organizations have in one form or another implemented.

Effective collaboration

Help your organization work together instead of against each other. It should be about realizing business value not business unit value. Effective collaboration is about multiple people working together. Real-time and off-line. Also let emerging technologies like artificial intelligence help you help your employees in providing the information to them before they even realize that they need it.

Office 365 tools that can help yout with this are (in a document centric environment):

  • Microsoft Teams
  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Office suite

Build trust – security and compliance

That’s all nice and good but nowadays it isn’t a matter of if but when someone tries to hack our network. So we better make sure that the entire proces is secure. Make your environment as robust as you possible can, without sacrificing usability. Here is a small list of tools/techniques that can help you create a secure and user friendly environment.


Realizing that there is no such thing as an ‘of the shelf’ modern workplace. This doesn’t mean that you have to build the whole thing from scratch, far from. Once you have decided what the Modern Workplace means for your company you can select the tools, services and capabilities offered by (e.g) Microsoft 365 and combine them into your Modern Workplace!

That is why – IMHO – the modern workplace is all about people, processes and technology.



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