How the digital workspace aligns IT with business strategy

25 January 2017 | Chris Marshall

Our series so far has covered a lot regarding the digital workspace – what it looks like, how it works and what the experts say  – and today we’ll be exploring the impact it can have on creating a more modern, technology-centric business strategy. So let’s get started.

Two parts to a whole

Aligning IT with your business strategy is a phrase you might have heard a lot, despite its apparent vagueness. Also known as Business-IT alignment, successfully aligning the requirements of implemented technologies with the objectives of your business can prove challenging. However, when done well, it can be extremely fruitful. Through regular communication and by working in harmony, IT managers and business executives can help drive a business by utilising the technological advantages at their disposal.

The more advantages technology provides; the more freedom you have when considering future business decisions – which is why you want the most up-to-date, relevant technology at your disposal. For those who have yet to read any of our previous posts, the digital workspace makes use of digitisation to host a continuously evolving, collaborative working environment that improves company efficiency.

Aligning a digital future

As we mentioned in our previous post, a ‘true’ digital workplace provides employees with all the necessary tools they need to get work done as efficiently as possible; with notable improvements to communication, collaboration, content management and business processes. A digital workspace should assist considerably in aligning IT and business strategy; marrying the two through modern technologies to create a more synchronised and efficient working environment. As the modern working world looks more and more to how technology can improve day-to-day work, platforms with a large selection of collaboration tools such as Microsoft’s Office 365 – give IT the power to actually influence and align with your business strategy rather than cause frustration and extra work.

The traditional, static Intranet is now very much a thing of the past. As technology – and competition – has grown, as have expectations from users. With the advancements in technology, an Intranet should at the very least be a place that provides value; be that enabling people to work better or faster, whether that’s individually or together. With Fresh for Office 365, you can deploy a collaborative enterprise platform that will create a great environment for communication, document storage, knowledge discovery and much more.

Connect with colleagues As Twitter celebrates its 10th birthday, it’s now becoming increasingly difficult to call the realm of social media a ‘new’ trend. Even though the platform is younger in the enterprise world, tools have had time to evolve to best fit the online needs of workers. Microsoft’s Yammer is built around open communication – providing company-wide information and the ability to ‘chat’ between colleagues.

Users can share updates, add files, post polls, praise and mention colleagues for group conversation, or share private messages for individual interaction. Yammer also boasts instant message translation through Microsoft Translator, completely removing the language barrier.

The power of the Cloud

While the Cloud may be a fair bit younger than social media in terms of adoption, its introduction into the workplace has been just as (if not more) impactful. An example of this is OneDrive for Business, which lets users store, share and sync their work files in the Cloud. It enables users to update and share files from any device, and work on Office documents collaboratively alongside others at the same time. For a company looking to save cost on their infrastructure and encourage collaborative working, the power of the Cloud can bring considerable benefits.

Intuitive information gathering

Across large organisations, finding the right files and documents can be an arduous task. Supported by research from AIIM – The Association for Information and Image Management – they found that over 40% of information professionals were struggling with electronic records

and finding documents. This is where Microsoft Delve can help. Delve gathers relevant and personalised content from across Office 365 so it’s much easier to find exactly what you want. Powered by the Office Graph, Delve rather cleverly brings you information based on what you’re working on, who you’re working with and your user permissions. All accessed content is separately stored so users can quickly return to their work.

As this content is guided towards users, connected conversations come as a natural by-product: colleagues can connect through relationships to content, topics and each other.

An ROI of 162%!

Huge improvements to the long-term success and sustainability of your company can be achieved through successful Business-IT alignment. Your first step towards successful alignment? Gathering the technology to help you do so.

As the number one cloud suite provider for businesses all over the world, Office 365 offers undeniably benefits. However, one area that is missing is an Intranet. By choosing Fresh, our easy to deploy and scalable Intranet, you still get all the ‘goodness’ of Office 365, while also getting so much more. Fresh is designed specifically with Office 365 in mind. It’s fully integrated, meaning you can reduce your IT estate and rid yourself of those unnecessary costs. You can take advantage of Delve and people search on your mobile and you can rest assured adoption won’t be a problem as Fresh provides all the core features and UI that people are familiar with today.

Whether you choose the Essential or Enhanced variant, Fresh is designed as a platform that can be deployed rapidly at a low cost, and is incredibly easy to maintain.

Sounds like the Intranet for you? Talk to us today for more information on how Fresh can turn your Office 365 environment into a true digital workspace. Next up in our series, we take a deeper look into why a digital workspace is a better option than custom made portals.

Need help?

We’re happy to help with whatever questions you have.

Get in touch