Boutique beats big in the digital workplace

Workplaces have been transformed by technology over the last 25 years. From the large beige boxes sat underneath desks and the clunky monitors and telephones of the 1990s, to the smart devices, wireless network capabilities, and software and services that allow people to work wherever they are, digital innovation has reimagined working practices.

The promoter of digital workplace is the cloud, providing a feature-rich, ever-capable set of products upon which businesses can consume the latest applications and services. But while the benefits are clear, enterprises with hidden and complex legacy IT can run into a myriad of issues when trying to transition.

“The first and critical objective is to establish robust co-existence,” says Simon Reid, managing director at OKTiK Technology. “The complexity of workforce demand in large enterprises, their reliance on current configuration data and services often at volume, constrains the ability to rapidly migrate. The key failure of most transformations is business disruption caused by problems related to this, which makes a robust co-existence solution crucial.”

Irrespective of co-existence, there are other aspects of a transformation which need focus for a successful outcome. These include addressing infrastructure and application issues, security protocols, and users’ appetite for change and adoption.

Large organisations are realising they can benefit more from engaging with niche, highly specialised, flexible consultancies

In the face of these challenges, many enterprises turn to the large IT consultancies and outsourcers hoping their resources and experience can help deliver the transformation. But while these companies appear low risk with a well-defined new world, typically they are not able to undertake the client’s most difficult challenges, where assistance is most valuable, in mitigating the unknown and complex legacy challenges.

“Asking these companies to deliver complex change rapidly and without disruption seldom results in the outcome envisaged,” says Mr Reid. “The ability to execute and the caveats in the contractual terms formed at early engagement are often inhibitors. The ‘unknown’ frequently results in unpredicted overspend and the pressures of having spent millions to only migrate a handful of users become too much to bear.”
Given the complexities and legacy issues, large organisations are realising they can benefit more from engaging with niche, highly specialised, flexible consultancies that leverage the local knowledge within in-house teams to deliver the objectives.

OKTiK Technology has assembled a team of leading experts who collectively have transformed workplace environments for some of the largest and most complex enterprises globally. The company has developed a suite of applications – bespoke mechanics, environment intelligence gathering and analytics – to deliver a user-centric, automated, “one-click” experience for transition to the cloud.

“We have a process to bridge the gap between legacy and new technology, while we’re in the background continuously mitigating those unknown difficult challenges,” says Mr Reid. “It’s all about acceleration with consideration. The faster we go with minimal risk and impact, the lower the cost to the customer. That’s how we differ from the big guys: we’re able to adjust to unforeseen environment or technical blockers quickly, not bound by an A-to-B service agreement.”

OKTiK Technology was retained by a large European enterprise after a strategic move to combine countries operating models and acquire new companies and brands, following which a large IT consulting firm was chosen to create a single organisation-wide digital workplace to service a userbase of 25,000.

Eighteen months into the programme, however, it was evident that the complexity of the proposed solution couldn’t guarantee a minimum user impact approach to transformation. The implication was then a higher risk, unknown project cost and time to transform. OKTiK was engaged to provide a rapid solution, plan and strategy to address these key issues.

“We immediately set about stabilising the current environment and implementing a robust co-existence strategy,” says Mr Reid. “By working with our client we have developed an effective solution and engaged the business through communications and education. Our core focus is user first and how can they be least disrupted. It’s destined to fail if you don’t have the community onboard with what you’re doing.”

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