In the post-pandemic world, remote work is predicted to become three times more common. For many employees, work from anywhere has become a way of life. Many companies continue to operate remotely. Others are embracing a hybrid workstyle. And then there are companies, like Apple for instance, who have been met with major pushback after requiring employees to return to the office.
Regardless of which camp you fall in, people have become accustomed to working on their own terms. Location and device have become less restrictive when it comes to getting the job done.
As organizations’ return to work plans continue to play out, it’s increasingly unlikely that we’ll see a sweeping migration back to the typical nine-to-five office dynamic of yesteryear. That trend had already blossomed before the pandemic, and now, it’s in full bloom.
So how do IT managers adapt to the new risks and demands of the modern workplace? Fortunately, Microsoft is leading the way in ushering in this change.
What is the Microsoft Modern Workplace?
The Microsoft Modern Workplace is a comprehensive suite of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools designed to empower organizations and enable efficient teamwork. This suite includes various components that work seamlessly together to enhance communication, productivity, and data management within an organization.
The Modern Workplace's core is Microsoft Office 365, which provides shared email, calendars, and contacts through Exchange Online. This allows teams to collaborate effectively and stay connected, regardless of their physical location.
Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) is another critical component of the Modern Workplace, offering device management solutions to ensure data security and compliance across all devices. EMS enables businesses to protect company resources, manage user identities, and enforce security policies in a mobile and remote work environment.
Microsoft Teams, a powerful collaboration platform, enables real-time video conferencing, instant messaging, and document sharing. It brings teams together virtually, promoting seamless communication and effective collaboration on projects and tasks.
Power Automate and Power BI are automation and business intelligence tools that enhance workflow efficiency and provide valuable insights into organizational data. Power Automate helps connect various applications and streamline processes, while Power BI offers interactive data visualization and analytics capabilities, allowing businesses to make data-driven decisions.
SharePoint, a cloud-based document management and collaboration platform, is a central repository for storing, organizing, and sharing files within an organization. It facilitates efficient collaboration, version control, and secure access control, making teamwork more cohesive and ensuring information is easily accessible.
Additionally, Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform, provides secure and scalable data storage solutions that can be leveraged within the Modern Workplace ecosystem. Azure enables organizations to store and manage data securely and efficiently, ensuring high availability and disaster recovery capabilities.
By leveraging the Microsoft Modern Workplace suite of tools, organizations can create a robust ecosystem that fosters collaboration, enhances productivity, and facilitates efficient information management. This comprehensive solution empowers teams to work together seamlessly, irrespective of location and enables businesses to thrive in the era of remote and flexible work environments.
Is it secure?
Security is baked into every step of the Microsoft Modern Workplace. In fact, Gartner named Microsoft a leader in its Security Magic Quadrant across five key areas:
- Cloud access security broker (CASB) solutions
- Access management
- Enterprise information archiving
- United endpoint management (UEM) tools
- Endpoint protection platforms
Within Microsoft 365, you’ll gain insights into your security stack that can be used to proactively defend your organization against emerging threat. The stack is continuously updated to handle even the most advanced malware, phishing, and other zero-day attacks.
How will it help my business?
Mobility is perhaps the most important attribute of today’s modern workforce. Team members must be able to access the applications and resources they need to do their job, wherever they are and whenever they need them. But beyond connection and collaboration, Microsoft Modern Workplace gives organizations the following advantages:
1. Scale your resources
Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based model that’s priced on a per-user basis. This allows you to pay only for what you need while reserving the
right to make changes as your needs evolve. Because it’s cloud-based, Microsoft handles all the updates, patches, and maintenance on your behalf. This takes the pressure of your internal IT team and guarantees you always have access to the latest versions.
2. Drive digital transformation
Most businesses are on the trajectory to true digital transformation. With all of Microsoft’s applications accessible through the cloud, employees have the freedom and flexibility to work securely, wherever they are logging in from. Digitizing critical workflows is also a smart business continuity measure in the event of another lockdown or crisis.
3. Delight your customers
Customers expect businesses to be accessible 24x7 and Microsoft’s Modern Workplace tools ensure that line of communication is always open. Since all the tools are integrated, data is easier to store and track—making for a more personalized customer experience.
4. Keep your employees happy
A recent study revealed that 77% of employees believe flexible work increases productivity. In an economy that is struggling to keep up with a pervasive labor shortage, improving employee retention carries a lot of weight. Expectations are rising, and employers must acknowledge these changing needs.
Equipping your team with the tools they need to be productive whether they are inside or outside the physical office instills trust and confidence which can lead to better morale and higher levels of productivity.
5. Collaborate anywhere everywhere
Consider Microsoft Teams, a virtual hub that enables instant messaging, meetings, calling, file-sharing, app integration, and more. It makes it easy for companies to stay plugged in and connected to their colleagues, customers, and business priorities. Got to take that late call from the soccer field? No worries. Need to refer back to a meeting recording? It’s in there. Have a quick question that could be settled in a chat? No problem. When your employees are working from anywhere and everywhere, Microsoft Modern Workplace keeps the communication centralized and organized.
6. Embrace the cloud
A cloud-based workspace means applications, tools, and resources are accessible through the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s server.
There are many benefits to a cloud-based workspace. First, your office can easily keep up with ever-changing technology. Software updates and security patches are a breeze. And, instead of paying to replace and manage new hardware any time it goes end-of-life, you can just upgrade or downgrade your subscription.
7. Keep compliant
Managing compliance in large organizations is an overwhelming and complex process, but it doesn’t have to be. MS 365 includes inbuilt and up-to-date capabilities to govern data discovery, classification, retention, archiving, and disposal. These features simplify the execution of compliance workflows. The MS 365 Security and Compliance Center is where compliance management takes place. It is integrated with MS Teams, MS Exchange, SharePoint,
and Azure Active Directory to gather important data across cloud services and for local discovery or retention.
Creating a modern workspace environment has never been more relevant to recruiting and retaining top talent. It's important for businesses to transition to a workplace that focuses on innovation and meets employees where they are at.
Let us connect, secure, manage, and optimize your modern workspace.