Productivity-enhancing IT products and services are changing the way businesses work. What once were siloed technologies – conferencing, messaging, document collaboration, mobility and productivity suites, for example – are coming together in what CDW calls the digital workspace, where technology silos unite to enable any-time, any-place connections. Immediacy and quality of connection between coworkers or between companies and customers help create competitive advantage.
In a study performed for CDW earlier this year, with results outlined in The Modern Workforce Insight Report, organizations reported investing in an average of eight workspace solutions, with more than half saying they have recently increased the percentage of their IT budget allocated to workspace solutions as well as the number of workspace solutions they use. The key drivers of workspace solution investments are improved employee productivity (48 percent), improved automation and process efficiency (39 percent) and security (also 39 percent).
Long partnered with the leading providers of collaboration, mobility and print solutions, CDW took the innovative step in 2017 of unifying its solutions practices around those technologies in a Digital Workspace Solutions team.
In 2018, Cisco named CDW its U.S. Collaboration Partner of the Year, and Microsoft recognized CDW as its top U.S. partner in new sales of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft 365 powered devices. CDW is also ranked No. 1 globally for Microsoft Surface and Surface Hub, as well as for Cisco Collaboration solutions. This success is based on working effectively with customers that want to empower their coworkers with user friendly technologies that create the most innovative and productive work environment.
“Our U.S. and global awards attest that we have the technical expertise to build the right solutions for customers and then continually work directly with partners to update and bring new solutions to market,” said Bob Rossi, vice president, networking, digital workspace and security solutions, CDW. “We continue to win customers because we help them map collaboration technologies to business outcomes. We do this repeatedly through detailed envisioning workshops, working directly with the end users to craft the best integrated solution, customized to each customer.”
One global leader in sports apparel marketing moved to what its IT director calls an open workspace, physically and digitally, featuring a highly mobile workforce with ubiquitous Wi-Fi and a notebook in every coworker’s hands. The company offers a menu of collaboration tools that includes Cisco Webex and Jabber, Microsoft’s Yammer, Slack and many others. “Our objective is for all of our employees to get the information they need, the way they want to consume it,” the IT executive says. “We want to make sure that our remote teammates really feel connected and recognized, which means good Internet connections, good video – and keeping the video turned on.”
Getting employees to embrace new modes of communication, however, isn’t necessarily easy. It takes time and encouragement – from peers as much as from management.
“Customers tell us that simpler, better user experiences drive usage and further adoption of collaboration tools,” said Nathan Coutinho, director of digital workspace solutions, CDW. “Investments in the digital workspace are increasing at many organizations, and that’s being influenced by users as they share their experiences in their personal lives and with peers – driven by the users and enabled by IT. The more useful the tool, the more cost-effective it becomes, driving utilization and benefits to the bottom line, and that’s the opportunity for all of our customers.”
Eighty-three percent of respondents to the Modern Workforce Insight survey said it is very challenging or somewhat challenging to find the right combination of workplace solutions, software and services. “That’s because user opinions and experiences are a now significant factor in what ‘right’ is,” Coutinho noted. “Metrics in the digital workspace are about more than total cost of ownership or return on investment of the solutions. Making it easier to get work done also manifests in metrics such as responsiveness to customers or time to market. Simple and easy to use is in; complex and confusing is out.”