Today’s post was written by Catherine Boeger, general manager for Microsoft Office marketing
Today the rapid pace of change is challenging businesses and government organizations to rethink everything we do. What’s changing? For the first time ever, we have five generations in the workforce, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z, all with different ideas about how work gets done and different levels of comfort and expectations around technology. Constantly changing customer and citizen expectations are pushing businesses to innovate quickly and find new ways to leverage information from both inside and outside organizations. And ever-growing cyber security threats remind us we must remain vigilant in protecting our employees and customer data and in maintaining regulatory and industry compliance. One of the primary questions is, how can you embrace these modern workplace trends to help drive business growth? I want to share some of the ways Microsoft 365, which brings together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Security + Mobility, can help organizations like yours leverage digital transformation to enable people to come together in a secure way and get the best results from each other to drive business forward.
Let’s first look at the generational shift in the workplace. With five generations of workers on the payroll, how can you create a connected environment to leverage that diversity, which can be so critical for your success? At Microsoft, we’ve found that teamwork is key—bringing together groups of people, no matter their generation, function, or location, to address problems and opportunities with a shared sense of accountability to complete the task in front of them. That’s why we built Microsoft Teams in Microsoft 365: to help you create a digital hub for teamwork where everyone can easily share or access information they need and focus on a common goal. Powerful features like threaded persistent chats and access to recorded meetings can help create an ongoing dialog and enable people to learn from each other and get caught up quickly. And while we all may have a habit of thinking that mobility is more important to Millennials or younger generations, really the need and desire to be productive from anywhere has become a reality of all our lives, which is why Teams is accessible from almost any device.
Generational diversity isn’t the only gap we can bridge to help drive business growth. We’re building tools for the modern workplace that close longstanding technology gaps that separate employees from data, resources and expertise they need to do their best work. We believe a truly modern workplace can empower everyone in the organization to turn ideas into action – from the executive team to the Firstline Workforce.
Firstline Workers are often the first to engage customers, the first to represent a company’s brand and first to see products and services in action. They are the people behind the counter, on the phone, in the clinics, on shop floor and in the field. Their unique perspective provides the on-the-ground facts that help organizations spot trends, challenges and best practices. We see organizations take advantage of this firstline perspective every day to unlock innovation and growth. I’m reminded of a Microsoft customer, Fruit of the Loom, who recognized that “their greatest thinkers are within the company,” according to their Chief Operating Officer, Tony Pelaski. Fruit of the Loom is using Microsoft 365 Enterprise to connect the entire organization and foster an engaged workforce with the capabilities and tools to deliver against customer insights, market trends, and new ideas. Customer stories like these inspired us to create a version of Microsoft 365 specifically for your Firstline Workforce. We know that all organizations have critical data, and I believe it will be those that take advantage of their firstline data and empower all workers that will achieve a true and sustainable competitive advantage.
Of course, any data you collect must be secured. Today we all face constant pressure to have open flows of information to drive productivity and teamwork, and it’s as critical as ever to protect our organizations because threats today are complex and target everyone. Cyber threats have grown so pervasive that 74 percent of organizations expect to be hacked in the next year. That’s why Microsoft built security into all layers of Microsoft 365, powered by the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, to help you detect threats and protect your people, data, and devices without disrupting employee productivity. Customers like the UK Ministry of Defence have felt confident in shifting to the Microsoft cloud because capabilities like Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection and Customer Lockbox help provide the security and privacy controls they need to protect sensitive data.
And on top of security, we all worry about how best to maintain compliance and data privacy, because no doing so can stop any organization—no matter how innovative—in its tracks. Microsoft works closely with regulators and customers to ensure that our services are compliant with global, regional, and industry regulations. Microsoft 365 provides advanced compliance functionality to help adhere to these regulations, including General Data Protection Regulation, also known as GDPR. Microsoft 365 is ready for May 25, 2018 – the day when GDPR takes effect, and can help you accelerate your compliance journey.
As a keynote speaker at the upcoming Microsoft Tech Summit Toronto December 13 and 14, I’ll be talking in depth about how Microsoft 365 can help you create a modern workplace that brings people together in secure ways to innovate new products and services. I hope you’ll join me and Arpan Shah, general manager of Azure Infrastructure marketing at Microsoft, to discover the latest trends, tools, and product roadmaps designed to help you thrive in a new world of work.