‘Agility’ is a buzzword in boardrooms up and down the country. But what does it really mean and how do you enable agility in the workplace? Flannery Devine Gibbons, senior partner manager at CDW, explains
The ambition to be more agile usually stems from rapid change in competitive markets. Businesses are facing fundamental changes to models that used to be set in stone. We are seeing new market dynamics, rival innovation from start-ups, ongoing digitalisation and rising expectations among employees and customers. To succeed, businesses need to react and adapt to change.
Rooted in software development, “agile” means organisations must prioritise innovation, learn quickly from mistakes and adapt plans accordingly. What this looks like in the workplace is a more open environment with an outcome-led approach, based on flexible working and greater collaboration among teams.
Creative thinking is encouraged, while dynamic teamwork and data-driven problem-solving are rewarded. This creates a “new normal” model where employees can work when best suits them from wherever they are, meeting (or surpassing) the needs of the business
Exploiting untapped value
True agility also requires businesses to understand the importance of data and its ability to deliver a critical advantage. The most forward-thinking businesses are looking at how to exploit the untapped value of the huge volumes of data dispersed across their firms. But the challenges of achieving agility are preventing many from making large-scale progress.
According to a Gallup survey on The Real Future of Work, only a quarter of employees from Europe are strongly satisfied with co-operation between departments. Agile working requires commitment – and often a change in mindset – from managers and staff alike.
Alongside a cultural change, agile organisations use the latest technologies to unlock innovation, communicate more effectively, boost productivity and reduce costs. To achieve agility, businesses must address the following:
* Enabling “anywhere working”.
* Promoting collaboration.
* Utilising cloud technologies.
* Engaging customers.
* Encouraging innovation.
* Clarifying workflows.
Delivering business goals
At CDW, we’re helping organisations to realise the promise of workplace transformation. From assessing a firm’s IT environment to designing a cost-effective solution that delivers against business goals, we have the technology partnerships, technical expertise and consultancy skills to guide clients through workplace modernisation. Within these programmes, we work closely with Microsoft, which is pairing the capabilities of its cloud-based productivity suite Microsoft 365 with the updated range of Surface devices.
Microsoft 365 combines the familiar productivity features of Office 365 and Windows 10 with the enhanced security of the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite to drive productivity, collaboration and better business decision-making. For instance, Microsoft Teams is the hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365.
The Microsoft Surface range is a premium series of touchscreen Windows laptops, hybrid tablets and detachable notebooks that’s been designed to optimise the experience of Microsoft 365, boosting productivity, creativity and communication.
To help firms make the most of agility in the workplace, CDW and Microsoft have also published a free guide, Agile Working: Guidance for Business Leaders, which is available to download today.
Visit CDW’s website for more information and to access the guide