We live in a time where we can live a seamless technological life in our personal world. What do I mean? Should we choose to, we can tell our home goodnight and all the right things happen. The lights turn off, the thermostat sets to the right temperature, maybe our alarm gets armed. When I’m on the go, I’m 3-4 taps away from turn-by-turn directions. I can conduct pretty much all of my personal business from my phone. You get the point.
Why isn’t work the same?
The hard truth is that, for many, this seamless experience hasn’t made its way into the workplace. Technology is less of an enabler and more of a speed brake. For many, primarily in the small and medium business sector, it’s still difficult to do your best work because of the technology we’re stuck with. Take the classic walled garden, combined with the events of the last 2+ years. Many folks found themselves dealing with tedious VPNs that can be extremely slow and prone to failure. The distance meant those folks were hampered when working together. Trading versions of documents back and forth or running into that dreaded “this file is locked” all the time.
From an administrator’s standpoint, many found themselves scrambling to put hardware in place capable of handling a now entirely remote workforce. Security was sacrificed in the name of ‘making IT work.’ You may have found yourself dealing with the fact that the devices on the network were not portable (i.e desktops), so remote access tools were rushed into place. Pushing new policies to endpoints became next to impossible. Overall, that side of things just didn’t go well for many.
All of this creates friction for all parties and hampers the workplace experience.
Enter the Modern Workplace
I’m extremely fortunate to have an employer that’s forward thinking about their technology stack. Pax8 is a full-cloud organization, we don’t rely on on-premises metal in the closet (aside from our virtual lab for building out test environments). If I’m working remotely, it’s no different from a technological standpoint. I turn on my corporate, compliant device, connect, and get to work. Many in my professional network had the same experience. I was able to focus on getting used to the reality of having all my meetings remotely and use the technology we already had to streamline those efforts and find new ways to socialize our internal knowledge. Truth is, I rarely have to fuss with a VPN, I really only use one if I need to use our lab or I’m working on insecure WiFi (yes, I use an edge for that from Cloudflare).
As I look at things in retrospect, it honestly lines up with what I’ve been preaching all along. Better human experiences for employees. The math is rather simple: happier employees produce happier customers. Plain and simple. Nowadays, in a job market as competitive as this one, happier employees tend to stick around as well. For me personally, I wouldn’t even consider a job that pulled me back into the legacy workplace.
Cloud-First Means Happier, More Productive Employees
When I talk to companies about embracing modern and starting their digital transformation, I always use the human experience conversation. Obviously, as a practitioner, cybersecurity is top of mind for me. However, human experience is an extremely important, often overlooked topic. If I can help a company become a more competitive employer, who can produce better results, why wouldn’t I? Especially nowadays, when 81% of employers are taking a hard look at workplace flexibility offerings1. By bringing modern solutions, and a way to get there, I can empower a team to work when, where, and how they need to while strengthening the overall security posture of the environment.
To sum it up, the time is now to dig into the human experience your clients create for their employees. Improving that is a measurable business outcome that can drive growth.