Workplace 2025: bring the future to you in three steps
At Fujitsu Forum 2017 I joined Citrix’s Christian Reilly, VMWare’s Shawn Bass, Microsoft’s Anna Kopp and Google’s Harald Fratz onstage to discuss the future workplace.
The session was a chance for us to answer questions about various issues concerning Workplace 2025 – the subject of our latest white paper.
In terms of where companies should be focusing, three main points came out of the discussion:
- Put users first
- Support the next generation
- Make work something you do, not a place you go
Let’s go into each of them in more detail…
1.Put users first
We’ve been talking about putting people at the heart of our technology for a long time now.
And it’s still incredibly relevant as we move towards 2025 and beyond. The end goal of human-centric service is continually evolving, so we need to keep evolving too.
There are three developments that will allow us to do this:
The value of these three factors cannot be overestimated, because they all improve the user experience.
Take personalization: using data on a person’s preferences – what they like to do, how they like to work – we can create their ideal work environment, which will make their experience more enjoyable and enable them to be more productive.
Contextual services are similarly important. It’s all about being able to deploy services in just the right time in just the right way, so that we don’t disrupt the user.
Finally, providing services in a simplified manner is critical as users today simply do not want to worry how it all works – they just want to consume the service they need.
Think about turning on your tap in the kitchen. If no water flows out, you would be incredibly frustrated – but you wouldn’t care that the fault might be in a pipe somewhere. You just want the water!
We’re bringing these pieces of the jigsaw together in our application fabrics and our network fabrics so that we can deliver the most human-centric service possible.
2.Support the next generation
As an industry, our upmost priority should be reaching out to young people and involving them in the world of tech.
At Fujitsu, we do this through ‘hackathons’ or ‘garage’ events where we run innovative co-creation sessions with either partners, university students or customers.
We use these projects to leverage small groups of like-minded people who want to make a difference in the workplace but in a much more agile manner.
As an output, we produce business change ideas or minimum viable products that can be extended and grown back in the workplace to drive value for specific challenge. They are also a lot of fun!
And we work directly with universities in Portugal and Poland, welcoming students in the first year of their degrees to join us on summer work experience.
The new generation are our future leaders, which is why we’re making sure they have the skills and opportunities they need.
I particularly welcome the presence of lots of young people in the workplace – I may be, unbelievably, one of the older generation, but I consider myself a ‘Xenniall’ because the people I work with keep me young!
But catering for young people isn’t only about giving them what they want – you have to build a workplace that enables them without putting security at risk.
Younger generations don’t feel limited by security constraints – if they want to access something, they’ll find a way, probably by going outside your system and using shadow IT.
This means that you can’t just look after the perimeter any more – you have to take care of account identity, so that your users can go anywhere they like and still be secure.
3. Make work something you do, not a place you go
When it comes to discussing the future workplace, there are two main schools of thought: the idea that the workplace is the office or the idea that work takes place wherever you choose.
One of my fellow panelists, Christian from Citrix, made an excellent point on this topic: work is a verb, and not a noun.
This means you shouldn’t have to go to work, you should be able to do work.
After all, everything in the workplace has changed as a result of digital transformation.
Requirements for our employees have changed significantly – we no longer need a punctual employee, because being at your desk at 9 am isn’t important for a remote worker; self-motivation is.
It’s also important not to forget about the role data will play in changing our view of work.
As the workplace becomes smarter and accrues more devices, it will produce more and more data.
But when it comes to data, for many it’s like putting something in your loft at home: you store it and never see it again.
Instead, we need to start trying to use data to predict things – taking data from social media, for example, to see employees’ likes and dislikes and using it to create a workplace suited to them.
The panel was a great opportunity to consider some difficult questions about the future of the workplace.
Speaking for the panelists, I know we relished the opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts on these topics.
It was a great day at work for all of us – at Fujitsu Forum, one of the best workplaces in the world.
Watch the video to see the full Workplace 2025 panel