Taking Your Journey to Digital Transformation
High attendance at our Microsoft's Modern Workplace in Action event at Manchester's Etihad Stadium in April 2019 showed the thirst many organisations have for change. Thought leaders from Microsoft, Content and Code and IT Lab demonstrated that the route to simpler IT management, better user-experiences and stronger security is the cloud.
For those of you who couldn’t be there, we’ve compiled this whistle-stop tour of highlights of the day, together with links to useful resources, which are regularly updated. You'll also have the opportunity to tap into expert support, including a free workplace assessment to show you how best to approach your journey to digital transformation.
The view wasn't bad either...
What is Microsoft’s Modern Workplace?
“Don’t believe the hype! Configuration Manager is not Dead.” - Jack Lewis, Microsoft 365 suite of products architect, Microsoft
The technology behemoth’s Technical Architect explored how the workplace is changing and driving the need for modernisation. Many businesses are turning to the ‘Modern Desktop’ – Jack explained what Microsoft means by this:
“When we talk about the Modern Desktop at Microsoft, we mean Windows 10, with Office 365 ProPlus, managed by Configuration Manager and Intune. Don't believe the hype! Configuration Manager is not dead. Significant numbers of our customers rely on Configuration Manager day-in, day-out to provide desktop deployment, configuration and management services for the worldwide Windows estates.
There are, however, new and better ways of doing things said Jack:
“By introducing modern management, organisations can reduce their overall costs associated with device management and provide consistent experiences to end-users regardless of their location.” Jack acknowledged there are challenges around adoption, typically with:
- Configuring the technology appropriately
- Performing the migration to the target services
- Enabling end-users to take full advantage of the tech
Jack Lewis concluded: “If you’re struggling or don't know where to start, that's where the team at IT Lab can add value. Speak to them; they've been there and done this before.” Explore Launching the Next Generation of Desktop Management here.
The Value of a Modern Workplace: Building Your Business Case
Dan Coleby, IT Lab
“Now, the immense power of the cloud is available to your users through a single endpoint: a phone, laptop, PC or HoloLens.” - Dan Coleby, Modern Workplace Product Director, IT Lab
Many business and technology leaders are drowning in complexity. “The pressures on costs, the need to deploy updates quickly, the struggle to be ‘evergreen’, a shortage of IT talent – the list can feel endless. Rising to these challenges with a traditional infrastructure and technology services isn’t easy,” said Dan.
“Like me, you’ve witnessed the evolution of the cloud. To start with, it revolutionised our infrastructures. Software-as-as-Service followed, which altered the way we build, deliver and update applications. Then we had Platform-as-a-Service, containerisation, and artificial intelligence as a service (AlaaS) via an API. Now, the immense power of the cloud is available to your users through a single endpoint: a phone, laptop, PC or HoloLens. Think of it as the modern desktop."
Those at the event were among the first to hear about the ultimate modern workplace service offering; the Microsoft Managed Desktop, only available from a select list of partners, including IT Lab. The Microsoft Managed Desktop Service [eBook] spans the supply of preconfigured devices, their management and comprehensive user-support.
60% of Organisations Still on Windows 7 as Time Runs Out
“I wholeheartedly recommend moving to Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel to stay up-to-date and evergreen.” - Matt White, technology solutions designer and engineer, IT Lab
Windows 10 - a core component of the modern workplace - gets better with each release. However, many businesses are missing out on its security, productivity and management capabilities.
A delegate poll revealed that 60% still had Windows 7 endpoints in their estates, despite the imminent loss of extended support: National Cyber Security Centre: One year left for Windows 7 support.
“January 2020 isn't far away. What’s your plan to remain supported? I wholeheartedly recommend moving to Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel to stay up-to-date and evergreen,” advised White.
Catch Matt's blog: Microsoft End of Support - What You Need to Know. You might also find this blog from March 2020 helpful: Microsoft End of Support: Your Get Out of Jail Card.
Improving Your Security with the Modern Workplace
“95% of successful cyber-attacks start with a phish.” - Michael Bateman, cyber-crime expert and advisor to government on national security, IT Lab
Michael painted a dark picture of the security landscape: “Criminality in cyberspace is changing; it’s a professional, connected and congested network. Attackers are moving from exploitation to disruption. And despite growing awareness, people remain highly susceptible to phishing attacks.
“This demands new ways of thinking and involving your users. Plus, there’s the opportunity to explore some cool stuff!”
Good security underpins Microsoft’s Modern Desktop. Microsoft’s Intelligent Security Graph combines advanced analytics with vast amounts of security intelligence to protect:
- User identities
Michael Bateman's message to delegates was clear: “Identity is the key to everything; poor security management unlocks doors for the bad guys too. Cyber actors are using more techniques and automating; in turn, we need to improve our cyber hygiene.”
So, what’s available? Michael gave an overview of the core Microsoft Threat Protection technologies that come with a Microsoft M365 E5 licence. When combined with the data from the Intelligent Security Graph, these tools manage risk, evidence value and deliver end-to-end security. Unsure where best to start? Click on the button below to request a free cybersecurity assessment.
How to Integrate and Simplify Your Workplace
“52% of information workers report using three or more devices for work.” - Peter Wilson, technology consultant and business advisor, IT Lab
Peter Wilson shared how mobility is the new normal:
- In 2017, 90% of enterprises had two or more mobile operating systems to support
- By 2020, 70% of workers will be working remotely
- 52% of information workers across 17 countries use three or more devices for work
Traditional device deployment and management doesn't lend itself to the ‘new normal’. “The demands on IT are incredible," said Peter. "They call for a cloud-powered solution that enables the delivery of IT in a modern way. We need the ability to support multiple device platforms, not just PCs. We have to support employees with mobile phones all the way up to workstations.”
Peter continued: “‘We also need to support 'bring your own devices’ as well as corporate-owned ones. Moreover, we require the means to achieve this in a cloud-managed way with Software-as-a-Service applications.
“And we need to drive automation to reduce costs and be proactive in how we respond to changes in the environment, so we can take action before problems happen. To save money, we also want to enable more self-service for users and - most importantly, improve their experience."
Peter Wilson’s main message? “It ultimately falls on IT to make this happen. A cloud-powered, modern platform is the only viable solution.” Peter and Matt White delivered practical demonstrations of the ‘Microsoft Modern Workplace in Action’ and demonstrated how to simplify:
- New device provisioning – get devices business-ready with Windows Autopilot and Intune
- Configuration and compliance
- Application deployment
- Device management and device life-cycle management
You can watch these demonstrations yourself – email email@example.com to book an online demo with the team - just mention this blog.
Microsoft Teams – A User-friendly Hub for Your People and Documents
Tim Wallis and Steve Goodman of IT Lab company Content and Code
“You can stop being tied to emails all day.” - Steve Goodman, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and expert on all things Microsoft, author and international speaker, Content and Code
Steve shared the common problems he hears frequently from business leaders:
- I get 200 emails a day
- No one knows what others are doing!
- We work in silos
- We have pockets of brilliance and need a way to bring that innovation together
There’s an abundance of communication, collaboration and file management tools on the market. How do you choose the right tools for the right job? Equally importantly, how do you avoid introducing new silos? Delegates enjoyed a practical overview of Microsoft Teams, which affords:
- A chat focused workspace
- A hub for collaboration, integrated with Office 365
- Separate channels for fast-paced discussions
- Rich meeting, video and voice call capabilities
- Mobile workers’ access to the same resources
Steve Goodman also gave a quick tour of the benefits of:
- Yammer – the social network for work
- SharePoint – a secure document management system and the glue for everything you do in your organisation
- Microsoft Flow – automate business processes without the need for code
- Microsoft Stream – effectively YouTube in Office 365
But how do you bring all these tools together? Fresh is the centrepiece for your modern digital work-space and allows your users to surface everything they need in one place.
How to Plan Your Journey to the Modern Workplace
“Many organisations are stuck in old ways of working and too busy to even think about digital transformation.” - Tim Wallis, digital transformation expert, change management specialist and founder, Content and Code
Tim Wallis answered the big question many of us struggle to answer easily: What is digital transformation exactly? According to Tim, digital transformation is:
- Reimagining the customer journey
- Transforming your products and services
- Redesigning your operational and business processes
- Challenging your business models
And to assist you on your journey, we're offering:
- A free mini-assessment to review your workplace and make recommendations for your success.
- Help to create your business case and demonstrate ROI for modernising your workplace.
- If you want to get started with the Microsoft Modern Desktop, advice on funding available.
Take your first step to modernising your workplace and email firstname.lastname@example.org - and do mention this blog if you'd like to take advantage of any of our free offers.