Tag Archives: future of work

The End Game for Collaboration #FutureofWork

Innovation comes from giving teams space, some constraints, and a bit of time pressure

Author:  | CIO

The long history of business IT has been one focused on efficiency and optimisation. From the early days of computing power being used to help food manufacturers to crunch numbers, enterprise technology has been focused on automation and process improvement. The CIO has been, as one of my old bosses used to put it, “Director of Gross Margin”.

But today the game is changing. IT is upending many sectors, and even those that are structurally immune to being Ubered are seeing significant shifts in customer expectation as everyone raises their digital game. And here lies the central challenge for IT: to be able to both optimise and innovate.

In my work at the moment there appears to be one area where this transformation is starkly in relief: the world of collaboration.

Collaboration means people working together. It also means a category of software product. And IT groups need to be extremely cognisant that not only does the latter not guarantee the former, but also that teams that are able to collaborate effectively (not just efficiently) are crucial to an organisation’s ability to innovate.

You don’t innovate through optimisation of processes. You don’t, crucially, get insight from poring over masses of data – much psychological and neurological research shows that true moments of insight are most likely to be triggered when the brain isn’t thinking “logically”. Innovation, as soft and as woolly as this will sound, comes from giving teams space, some constraints, and a bit of time pressure. Good tools to support that can then help.

Think about that when you are next reviewing a business case for collaborative tools in your organisation. What’s the story? Is it one of efficiency and person hours saved? One of cost effectiveness in infrastructure? If your organisation is driving purely for efficiency, then great. But if innovation is on your agenda, collaboration itself should be seen as a crucial lever, and so effectiveness should be as big a goal (if not eclipsing) efficiency targets.

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Catherine Stagg-Macey at CIO will be speaking at the Future of Work Summit, taking place on the 24th November 2015, at the Amba Marble Arch (formerly known as the Thistle Marble Arch) in London. To hear from her and 25+ fantastic thought leaders in the FoW space, make sure you register for your FREE pass here.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE PASS!

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Speaker in the Spotlight with DeeDee Doke #FutureofWork

In conversation with…

deedee

DeeDee Doke, Editor
Recruiter / Recruiter.co.uk

We recently caught up with DeeDee and asked her a few questions around the future of work.

  1. What are the top 3 biggest challenges and/or opportunities you see in the FoW space?

    Challenges are: to refocus on basic human skills such as one-to-one and group communication so to best use technology and not be a slave to it; reimagining/redesigning jobs and organisational structures and operations; to align the burgeoning project work culture with a tax and benefits system; developing new ways to manage and develop workforces that operate remotely.

    Opportunities: to redefine “talent” and all of the challenges listed above!

  2. What are the main Future of Work trends you’re currently seeing from your market coverage and insight?

    A lot of “awareness-raising” going on about increasing gender diversity in certain roles and in certain career specialisms but not a lot of problem solving going on. A focus on trying to fit working parents and careers into existing kinds of roles. Some engagement in developing flexible work spaces instead of committing to long-term office leases. Much greater emphasis on creating apprenticeships. Mobility comes in different forms and varieties and has different purposes. In global mobility terms, there is an ever greater focus on talent issues within global mobility functions and on the selection of talent to mobilise and in what capacity – a standard tour of duty (two to three years), a secondment or a project which could take on a “disruptive talent” aspect.

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DeeDee will be speaking at the Future of Work Summit, taking place on the 24th November 2015, at the Amba Marble Arch (formerly known as the Thistle Marble Arch) in London. To hear from him and 25+ fantastic thought leaders in the FoW space, make sure you register for your FREE pass here.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE PASS!

Speaker in the Spotlight with Rocco Labellarte #FutureofWork

In conversation with…

rocco

Rocco Labellarte, Head of Technology and Change Delivery
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council

Rocco Labellarte is CIO and Head of Technology and Change Delivery for the Royal Borough Windsor and Maidenhead, a unitary local authority in Berkshire.

His work experience spans commercial and public sectors, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Unilever, Calvin Klein and several local authorities. He was ranked in the top 20 UK CIOs by “Computing” in late 2014. He has delivered various models of shared service, an end-to-end hybrid cloud solution and translating digital innovation into hard business benefits.

We recently caught up with Rocco and asked him a few questions around the Future of Work. 

  1. What are the top 3 biggest challenges and/or opportunities you see in the FoW space?

    a. Simplifying how we communicate and collaborate at work. Making the tools more intelligent, optimising the time we spend in dialogue, providing more time to be productive.

    b. Re-defining the boundary inside and outside of work. Technology allows work to spill over into our non-work space. It is not about limiting where and when we work, rather, making us more effective at doing our work, in work.

    c. Developing the skills necessary to transform existing business processes and technologies into consumer-style solutions – commoditised, standardised, simple to use, reliable solutions that eliminate back office processing. End-to-end automation of business.

  2. What is/are the main FoW innovation project(s) you’re currently leading to benefit your organisation?

    We are developing a blueprint for local government organisations called “Council as a Service”. It will deliver three game-changing benefits: a transformational “all-in-one” Email, Case, Record, Document and Meeting Management collaboration solution; simplified automation of business process workflows and a 40% saving on back office case and document management systems.

  3. What are you looking to achieve by participating in the event?

    Networking, exchanging ideas, getting to see who had delivered real innovation, and what the future holds.

  4. Which specific recent FoW project/ key initiative have you led or been part of that you’re particularly proud of?

    We recently completed the first full implementation in the UK of a local government hybrid Cloud infrastructure environment, as reported in the July 2014 blog of Government Digital Services (GDS).

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Rocco will be speaking at the Future of Work Summit, taking place on the 24th November 2015, at the Amba Marble Arch (formerly known as the Thistle Marble Arch) in London. To hear from him and 25+ fantastic thought leaders in the FoW space, make sure you register for your FREE pass here.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE PASS!

The Future of Work Summit, live!

The 2nd annual Future of Work Summit is currently taking place, with 130+ attendees discussing the latest trends in enterprise mobility management, collaboration, mobile device management, apps and file sync & share. With keynote sessions and industry leadership panel discussions from the likes of Aon, BBC, Greenpeace, Wipro, SAP, Telstra, Linklaters, and Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College, there has been a great deal of knowledge-sharing at the event, with more to come! Here is a selection of the best photos from the day so far:

“Businesses need to realize that they need to market themselves to their existing employees far more than to prospective new ones”

Ahead of Future of Work Summit, we caught up with Peter Armstrong and Len Epp, co-founders of Dashcube, Innovation Sponsor of the event. In a fascinating, in-depth discussion, they explore their perspectives on the future workplace and technology, and their experience to date.

Peter Armstrong: At Future of Work, I am most looking forward to hearing the perspectives that different people we talk with have about the future of work. At Dashcube, we have been thinking about this for a long time, and building our thinking about the future of distributed collaboration into the product. We really value conferences such as Future of Work since they give us the chance to get out of the proverbial building and do the customer development process, talking with people and learning more about their business problems and testing our assumptions about what we are doing with our technology.

I believe the Future of Work means that distributed teams are not optional, and the tools and processes which need to evolve to support them can also be applied effectively to teams which have the luxury of being in the same building. I believe the Future of Work will be fantastic, since social forces such as so-called “millennial entitlement” will mean that people won’t settle for bad tools and oppressive processes. Fundamentally, the Future of Work will be about people, and about how better to use technology to connect people and then get out of the way.

Ovum: From a learning experience viewpoint, what has been your most valuable lesson in your working career, or your most successful failure?

Peter Armstrong: My most successful failure was trying to productize the concepts in my first book, Flexible Rails, into a commercial framework. While the framework was technically strong, largely due to the efforts of my cofounder, it failed spectacularly as a commercial product. However, the experience led to the formation of my boutique consultancy, which led to the creation of Leanpub, which led to me working with my old friend Len and to meeting Chris, and to us creating Dashcube together. In terms of lessons, the main lesson it taught me was that doing public-facing things that genuinely try to improve some small subset of the world can lead to totally unexpected successes with people you have never met.

Ovum: What technology would you like to see changing the way we do business in the future?

Peter Armstrong: I would love to see the Apple Watch and its inevitable imitators eliminate the security disaster and overstuffed wallet that is the reality with modern-day credit cards. Len wants it to open doors too, but if it just fixes payments then I’ll be happy. Paying for stuff is a disaster.

Ovum: Describe your ideal working environment 10 years from now?

Len Epp: Regarding wearables, I believe the biggest change in our working environments is that we are going to be using smartwatches as our keys, not just for unlocking doors, but also for unlocking our devices and even our apps. This will have a profound impact on the way every enterprise manages security for its people, physical assets, its IP and its data.  Here’s a blog post I wrote a few weeks ago (before the Apple Watch launch) that goes into some more detail on how watches will become keys (and wallets): https://medium.com/@lenepp/why-smartwatches-should-be-keys-and-wallets-e141facb95ad

Ovum: 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 customers?

Peter Armstrong: Businesses need to realize that they need to market themselves to their existing employees far more than to prospective new ones.  Continue reading

Experimenting with new technology, stretching the limits of what is possible, developing solutions

Martin SadlerMartin Sadler is the Head of IT and Shared Services at Walsall Council. He has led the IT service for 7 years and delivered significant technical projects and cultural change; prior to that he worked for Fujitsu Services in the Retail and Financial services. This gives him a rare perspective of being able to look at the Future of Work through the eyes of a supplier, enterprise and public sector agency. He is a devotee of home grown solutions, open source products and anything that make life simpler or better value. We caught up with him to talk about this, about his role as a public sector IT leader and about his thoughts on the industry.

“My most valuable experience is that some people will only be happy if they have something to complain about”

Firstly, when thinking about the Future of Work Summit, Martin is “most looking forward to hearing more from people who are ahead of the work anywhere curve. I am discussing the move to mobility and smarter working in local government at Future of Work; I believe that I have experiences that others do not need to repeat”.

“My most valuable experience is that some people will only be happy if they have something to complain about. This led to the need to do changes sequentially in order to pinpoint what the real issue is”.

“Respond quickly; have integrity; explain thoroughly”

The complexity of a local council is unique in business terms, and presents a lot of challenges for an IT leader. Martin knows this as well as anyone, affirming that “[a council] has conflicting purposes and more diverse activities than any reasonable organisation would be expected to do”. To manage this challenge, he sets in place clear generic activities: “respond quickly; have integrity; explain thoroughly; with a huge degree of flexibility in how and when services are provided”.

There is currently a big drive towards smarter working within the public sector, with a need for increased efficiency in IT delivery, which, while exciting in many ways, presents a challenge in itself. As Martin puts it, “The diversity and number of legacy systems is a real impediment as is the pace of suppliers to convert their applications to be web based. This is then hampered by the price of providing a hosted solution”. And then, paraphrasing Einstein, “never underestimate the ability of groups of people to do stupid things”.

On a more positive note, we spoke about what Martin’s most rewarding project of his career has been: the Rolling out of Thin Clients across Walsall Council, which he describes as “one of the most exciting things I have achieved. The mix of experimenting with new technology, stretching the limits of what is possible and seeing the staff develop the solutions has been fantastic”.

Continue reading

What’s Your Work Pattern?

SAP Jam is Silver Sponsor at Future of Work Summit. The SAP Jam solution facilitates collaboration at every level of your business. Here’s what it’s all about.

Enterprises can claim a complimentary pass for Future of Work, by registering here. Take a look at the event agenda with just one click. Ovum has a strong legacy in this area, with many years research experience in enterprise mobility, collaboration, file sync and share, mobile device management and mobile application management. We are continually working with the people and organisations who are seeing the Future of Work become a reality. Moreover, our Future of Work, Mobile First and BYOX events have seen fantastic discussion with the leading lights in this growing industry sector.

Who will be the major players in the workplace of the future? What does future workplace technology look like, and who will make best use of it? Join us to find out.