Interview: the vision of the future workplace from Richard Dallimore, Director, IT Risk and Governance at Baker Tilly

We’ve been speaking to Richard Dallimore, Director, IT Risk and Governance at Baker Tilly Business Services about the future workplace. Richard will be speaking at Future of Work Summit on 21st November as part of two panel sessions: ‘Integrated policy management tools across app, device and network’, and ‘Trends to watch in 2014’. Join us at the event to find out more!

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1.)    What piece of new technology has made a considerable improvement to your day to day working life recently?

It has to be my Android tablet – its light and flexible. Allows me to work on the train, or read a book. I can use internet resources for personal use or use Citrix to securely access the office and work. Certainly saves my shoulder carrying around a laptop.

2.) What in your opinion will be the next big change in the way that we work and the way in which businesses engage with their employees – and specifically the way IT has to service their internal customers?

Choice – employees are expecting a choice of platform – they don’t really care how they access the corporate app – they want to be able to access it on whatever they have with them – whether that’s  a corporate issued laptop or a Tesco Android tablet.

3.) We see employees increasingly self-selecting the devices and even the apps (especially File sync & share, VOIP & IM, and enterprise social networks) that they use for work. Do you see this trend happening in your organization and if so do you think it presents a challenge or an opportunity?

I’m not sure it’s an opportunity for an Information Security director – it’s a headache! But we have to move with the trend if the firm is to attract the right kind of graduate or recruit. The biggest challenge is the ever expanding security perimeter that cloud storage and remote working presents to the firm and ensuing the firm understands risk that goes with the expanding perimeter.

4.) New ways of engaging and collaborating with colleagues online and from multiple different devices are fundamentally changing the way that people work. What do you think will cause the biggest change to working practices in your organization over the next 24 months?

  • Mobile device proliferation and working from multiple devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets and PCs) – as I mentioned above – it’s about choice – the user expects to able to access the corporate app on whatever he/she has to hand
  • Improved mobile data and WiFi networks – the UK lags behind the rest of Europe – we have to improve

5.) What is your vision for the workplace of the future: how will we be working in 2015, and what further developments might we see by 2020?

It’s already happening and it’s a continuation on the shift to the ‘application is king’. Employees are already expecting a choice when it comes to the hardware to work from and the IT department has to be able to deliver the corporate applications on a wide range of diverse platforms   – do they wish to use a corporate device or their own shiny new tablet ?  Expanding on this, employees automatically become more flexible and can work from remote locations – the big city office will slowly disappear due to the impact on the environment, expansion of communication capabilities and secure remote working solutions. Travel costs will increase  due to a new carbon tax that will make traveling to the office financially more difficult, products such as Microsoft Lync will become the normal for office communications and the face to face ‘in the flesh’ meetings will become a rarity.

Firms don’t want to own IT hardware anymore – it’s a lot of capital tied up, of which you may only be using a small percentage of its compute and storage power. As tighter controls on emissions and carbon usage grows, organisations will want to ensure they are getting their money’s worth from the compute power and storage, and only pay for what they use.

At this point in time Cloud is seen as a way of being more flexible, being able to react to a sudden demand or change in business and to turn some CAPEX into OPEX – but in the  near future a  big incentive to switch to cloud, could be to becoming a greener business in the eyes of the client and employee and lowering that new massive carbon bill !

6.) Where/how do you personally work best? Where are you at your most productive? And where did you have your last Eureka moment?

That depends massively on my week – I work from home and the office, and I get value from both. My last moment – in the office surrounded by the stimulus of my colleagues – I guess I’m old!

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