How modern is your digital workplace?

Digital workplace

 

“Modern workplace” – it’s quite the buzz word. Every SME we talk to wants to be a ‘modern workplace’.

Because they know they need to be a ‘modern workplace’ to attract the best team, give them tools and flexibility for how and when they work and to protect their digital assets. But how do you know if your SME has the right amount of ‘modern’?

 

Take our 2 minute ‘Modern Workplace Assessment’ survey to find out

 

 

What is a ‘modern workplace’?

 

A modern workplace is one that not only operates seamlessly in the digital world, but also leverages the best efficiency-improving technology and stays protected and secure.

The scalability and other benefits this brings mean the business can have big plans for leveraging new technology in the future.

 

How do you know if you’re ‘modern’ enough?

 

Our ‘Modern Workplace Assessment’ will give you a good idea. After working through a series of questions related to the essentials of a modern workplace, you’ll receive a personalised report. This report will give your SME a score, and rate it against other SMEs so you can see how you’re tracking.

 

What are the ‘modern workplace’ essentials?

 

At IT Smart Solutions, we know these four categories form the basis of any ‘modern workplace’. We’ve seen them raised time and again with the hundreds of clients we support.

The first essential is:

 

1st Essential: Information and Data Management

 

It’s great to be in the cloud and online; but it comes with security risks. You have to ensure your information and data is securely managed or your ‘modern workplace’ is at risk.

Look at things like:

– Where are your documents stored, edited and version controlled?

– What kind of reports can you run so you know how your whole business is performing?

– Can your team connect securely to their work environment from any device?

– How do you onboard and exit team members while ensuring the information they have access to remains with the company?

 

2nd Essential: Process and Administration

 

Technology moves quickly. As does your SME when it’s got all the modern tools and technology at its disposal. However, without adequate processes in place, it won’t move quickly for long.

How much time does your team spend searching for documents, logins, customer details or other business information?

Too much?!

You’re not alone. Most SMEs don’t have document storage, HR and administration processes defined within their business so, every time they need to access these things, they’re spending time trying to find them.

With the right processes and administration in place, you can free up your team’s (and your!) time to focus on income-producing activities.

 

3rd Essential: Infrastructure and Network

 

Personal Hotspot on your phone? Dodgy Wi-Fi that hasn’t been updated since 2016?

You’ll agree that a ‘modern workplace’ must be online, and online as close to 100% of the time as possible. Stable infrastructure and network are needed to support this.

Internet drop outs or phone connection issues not only affect productivity, but they break down your clients’ trust too.

 

4th Essential: Simple, efficiency-improving tech

 

Perhaps the most exciting essential of a ‘modern workplace’, the incredible array of tech tools available today is mind-blowing.

There are tools to make your team more efficient, faster and more collaborative. Tools for document reviews, client sign-offs, CRM and stock management, to name a few.

Access to these tools from any device, and any location, will keep your team in touch and able to progress their work with ease – even with flexible working arrangements.

But! Don’t just get every single tool out there. Too many tools does not an efficient team make! Pick and choose the best combination for your team’s and business’ specific needs. That way your workplace won’t get bogged down in tool management. Instead, they’ll be flying high with exactly what they need to be more efficient.

 

So, how modern is your workplace?

 

 

TAKE THE ASSESSMENT

 

 

The cloud move: Innovation scales up while IT costs scale down for recruitment company

SB Recruitment is a SME that was being held back by their costly and slow server-based IT environment, especially in regard to workplace mobility. They needed a partner that could help them shift to the cloud and found a can-do attitude and supportive match in IT Smart Solutions.
 

Objective: Upgrade to the cloud and reign in IT costs

 
With a workforce that benefits from flexibility and mobility, SB Recruitment needed an IT upgrade to help them reach for increasingly innovative business goals.

Their existing server environment was sluggish and expensive. Managing Director Sarah Bolster could see that it was really slowing the team down and preventing the kind of growth the business was primed for.

“The cost was huge in our previous environment and the systems themselves were going backwards,” said Sarah Bolster, Managing Director SB Recruitment. “Also, being in the server environment meant we couldn’t innovate as easily with things like Skype for Business. This was crucial in order for my business to grow and scale.”

“We had been working with another IT company for many years, everything was server-based. It was constantly slow, and we were always having to call them for help. The cost got very high. When I asked about moving to the cloud and to Skype Business they said, ‘your staff won’t be able to handle it all, it’s too much change’.”

– Sarah Bolster, Manager Director SB Recruitment
 

The right IT partner brings vision for innovation to life

 
With the business bursting with new potential, Sarah Bolster knew she needed an IT partner that would support her vision for innovation –  in how the staff worked and, importantly, in how the company was able to better service its clients.

“We met with a few different IT companies, but Steve from IT Smart Solutions really understood what we were looking for and he was happy to explore things with us,” explained Sarah Bolster. “Steve was also down to earth and easy to deal with. He had masses of experience with SMEs like my business, so his knowledge of what state we were in – versus where we wanted to get to –  didn’t seem to faze him at all.”

The company had staff members who needed to work from home for various reasons and Sarah wanted to be able to support this – including for herself. There was also an increasing need to be able to meet candidates via video rather than the time consuming and resource-heavy process of meeting face to face.

“The main thing we did after getting rid of the server and getting O365 was move our day to day files into the cloud. We had a few small teething issues but within a week everyone knew what they were doing. Being able to share files opened up a whole lot of flexibility with when and how we worked together.”

“I wanted to use Skype for Business as an interviewing platform, so we moved our phone systems across too. There are now no handsets on the desks, it’s all done from the computer. I can work from home and we can all have the same phone number.”

– Sarah Bolster, Manager Director SB Recruitment
 

The business can scale up while overheads and costs scale down

 
SB Recruitment has been able to streamline its operational needs while providing greater flexibility to how both staff and clients engage with the company. Sarah’s desired outcomes have all been met including:

Significant cost reductions: The company has seen a 60% drop in monthly IT costs. “This is huge for us. Being able to drop our spend by that much has been a massive benefit for the company. We can allocate that money towards other key innovations to help us grow.”

A workforce that is more mobile: Staff are no longer tied to desk phones and having to be in the same office. This improves efficiency and also helps Sarah create the kind of supportive work culture that is important to her. “I have a staff member who isn’t able to commute to Sydney anymore due to health issues. She now has no problem getting on with her job. She can work easily from home, she just logs on and gets on with it.”

Spreading wings to new geographical locations: Having a national reach will play a pivotal role in the kind of growth the company is striving for. “We are increasingly doing more work in Brisbane but we don’t actually have an office in Brisbane. We can have a national presence without having an office there, avoiding the expense this would bring.”

A more agile business model: Sarah Bolster has already found she can scale down both the physical and time resources the company needs. She and her accountant can work remotely, both looking at the one document. “Being able to do video interviews means we can move to a smaller office. This means my lease costs will come down. Our business can be much more mobile. This is a great benefit to us and increases our competitive advantage.”

“I can also now hire people on a national basis. My staff don’t have to sit in a physical office anymore, so it opens up who I can hire. I am not tied by their location anymore.”

– Sarah Bolster, Managing Director SB Recruitment
 

Words of advice from SB Recruitment

 
Taking the time to find the right IT partner is the single most important thing to ensure a successful change like this, advises Sarah Bolster:

“Make sure you find an IT partner that will support you. They need to be very pro YOU as a customer, not pro the technology that THEY want to use. If your supplier is saying: ‘that’s going to be too hard, no don’t do that, no don’t do this’, then you know they are not right for the future of your business. You might need to meet with a few IT suppliers. As soon as we met Steve we knew we wanted to work with him – nothing was too hard for him.”

 

Future directions

 
Sarah is excited about the potential of O365 that is still untapped. She also has a vision for a future virtual help centre.

“It would be like a mini intranet, the SB Recruitment help centre, for all staff. Wherever you are you can go in there and it tells you what to do. We’re also looking to get rid of paper across the business, for environmental reasons and also as another cost we can cut out of the business.”

Any future changes will likely involve the positive partnership SB Recruitment has with IT Smart Solutions:

“The staff are lovely people and easy to deal with. It has meant we’ve been able to move to a new platform in such an easy manner.”