IDC Workplace of the future event – Alexandra Hotel Dublin April 25th
Agenda and all presentations can be found here.

So last week was my first IDC event as both an attendee and a presenter. I’d like to thank IDC and MobileIron (our partner and event sponsor) for the opportunity. You can see Achi Lewis from MobileIron in action below.

Personally, I thought it was a great event with some very interesting speakers covering topics from knowledge management, outsourcing strategies and mobility. The real-life case studies from AIB/HCL and in particular Tim Willoughby from An Garda Siochana helped put some interesting and, I found, very useful context on the vendor topics and hopefully provided some food for thought for the attendees.

Personally, apart from Tim’s excellent presentation, my favourite presentation of the day was Richard Hughes from Broadvision on knowledge management. Increasingly the discussions I am having with my clients revolve around management of data rather than devices and this is really only possible with a robust but easy to use document management solution or more accurately a knowledge management solution.

Richard highlighted the difference between the two in his section on the post email fragmentation of corporate knowledge. Describing the rise of social business networks (Slack, Yammer, etc.) and multi mode communication (chat, email, SMS, voice) creating more important business conversations outside of formal documents and the traditional channel of email. This knowledge needs to be managed, auditable, and available on all user devices to really be useful. I know from experience that most organisations are struggling to manage or even understand the level of impact of these multi channel collaboration tools. Shadow IT (unauthorised use of IT tools) is therefore rife and this presents a massive risk of data loss either of commercially sensitive data, IP, or increasingly PII data with incoming data privacy legislation (GDPR -see our GDPR blog here for more detail on potential impacts).

The other key takeaway from Richards presentation was “Make it easier to do the right thing rather than the wrong thing”. I think this is key and is why we always talk about user experience being the other side of the coin of security and delivering good corporate tools.

First of all if you just ban or block a useful tool without offering an alternative option then staff will be a) upset, and b) likely to go around you in a now unknown and possibly even riskier way.

Secondly, even if you do offer an alternative tool if its not intuitive and relevant then adoption will be low and you won’t get the benefits.

Careful evaluation of collaboration and knowledge management tools should be done before embarking on any project as otherwise you may end up with yet another fragmented toolset.

Finally the overall impression of the day and something which Marianne Kolding from IDC picked up on was there were some common threads running through all of the presentations on the day. Namely that:

  • Cross functional governance was key to successful projects, whether outsourcing services, implementing a knowledge management system, or providing mobility solutions to staff. If you don’t involve all relevant business functions you increase the risk of failure.
  • Having strong CEO involvement or at least C-Suite is critical to ensuring projects succeed.
  • Moving to a more mobile workforce with access to corporate data anywhere and on any device is a critical strategic step. This came across in the output in my own presentation as well as the IDC numbers.
    • 89% of European organisations have digital at the heart of their corporate strategy
    • 57% of European organisations believe mobile technologies, including devices are of high importance for digital transformation
    • 35% of European organisations had Workplace, endpoint, mobile devices as an investment priority for 2017

I’d recommend checking out the presentations in the link at the start of this article and if you want to hear more from me on enterprise mobility we are running a Mobile Thought Leaders Ireland (of which we are founder members) event this week. Full details here.

 

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