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Technology investments for remote workforce

Does a remote and distributed workforce change the way you manage your technology?

(Clue - yes it does)

Does a remote and distributed workforce change the way you manage your technology?

(Clue – yes it does)

The challenges of COVD-19 have brought a sharp focus on technology investments. Everyone knows that tech investments are a good thing right? But as a Business Leader, how do you know that the investments you are making are giving you the best bang for your buck? 

And when you have a workforce that is almost totally remote, how do you organise to ensure success?

For a number of years now, there have been changes in the way technology is created. The advent of cloud has brought access to really good, working enterprise technology within reach of every organisation. We can all relate to and marvel at, the speed at which almost every business has been able to access enterprise grade video collaboration tools. Zoom, MS-Teams, Google Hangouts, etc, they have been simple to access and for the most part, they have just worked. No longer does IT need 7 months to plan and build a service. A credit card can switch it on in moments.

But this success has brought new challenges. Now we have access to amazing tools, easily and cheaply, what is the best way to use them? What is the best way to drive business value?

The challenges of COVD-19 have brought a sharp focus on technology investments. Everyone knows that tech investments are a good thing right? But as a Business Leader, how do you know that the investments you are making are giving you the best bang for your buck? 

And when you have a workforce that is almost totally remote, how do you organise to ensure success?

For a number of years now, there have been changes in the way technology is created. The advent of cloud has brought access to really good, working enterprise technology within reach of every organisation. We can all relate to and marvel at, the speed at which almost every business has been able to access enterprise grade video collaboration tools. Zoom, MS-Teams, Google Hangouts, etc, they have been simple to access and for the most part, they have just worked. No longer does IT need 7 months to plan and build a service. A credit card can switch it on in moments.

But this success has brought new challenges. Now we have access to amazing tools, easily and cheaply, what is the best way to use them? What is the best way to drive business value?

How can Xonetic Help?

Xonetic help organisations combine the latest cloud technologies (Products) with modern ways of working (Business Technology). If you have the right products and you apply them in the right way, you can dramatically improve your effectiveness as a business. We call this Digital Energy and Xonetic exists to help organisations gain maximum benefit from it.

By measuring value and tasks, employees can deeply connect with the nature of the work they are doing which helps with morale and focus.

How can Xonetic Help?

Xonetic help organisations combine the latest cloud technologies (Products) with modern ways of working (Business Technology). If you have the right products and you apply them in the right way, you can dramatically improve your effectiveness as a business. We call this Digital Energy and Xonetic exists to help organisations gain maximum benefit from it.

By measuring value and tasks, employees can deeply connect with the nature of the work they are doing which helps with morale and focus.

Idea 1: Cloud- based Applications

Specifically, ones that bring the best of breed functional capability. 
They are so easy to deploy that
the traditional time spent first buying a package and then customising it for the business are reduced from years to months. Do
not build an HR tool. Buy one.

Idea 1: Cloud- based Applications

Specifically, ones that bring the best of breed functional capability. 
They are so easy to deploy that
the traditional time spent first buying a package and then customising it for the business are reduced from years to months. Do not build an HR tool. Buy one.

Remember though! Buying more business tools requires a different team focus – you will need better legal and commercial understanding in your tech teams to allow you to spin up contracts as and when needed.

The huge benefit of all of this is that time is freed up for the organisation to think about how business tools are arranged in terms of creating business value trains and not into the act of implementing the tools themselves.

Remember though! Buying more business tools requires a different team focus – you will need better legal and commercial understanding in your tech teams to allow you to spin up contracts as and when needed.

The huge benefit of all of this is that time is freed up for the organisation to think about how business tools are arranged in terms of creating business value trains and not into the act of implementing the tools themselves.

Idea 2: Operating Mindset

A digital mindset places the customer at the heart of every action. Think about this for a moment, are you really certain that every person in your business understands how their efforts contribute to customer happiness?

This is not a simple switch from measuring one thing to another. The business of measuring tasks, running projects, managing change incrementally, these are all skills that are vital to an organisation’s success.

Idea 2: Operating Mindset

A digital mindset places the customer at the heart of every action. Think about this for a moment, are you really certain that every person in your business understands how their efforts contribute to customer happiness?

This is not a simple switch from measuring one thing to another. The business of measuring tasks, running projects, managing change incrementally, these are all skills that are vital to an organisation’s success.

However, if the importance of the tasks themselves is the main focus rather than the outcomes then value is lost. I have personally worked on many projects with a great name, Horizon, Phoenix, Vision, where the link to the value is not easy to spot. I sense that a large ERP project will help the customer, but I do not know it.

The shift in mindset is subtle, emphasis is placed on tooling to measure the success of task activities, such as DevOps, whilst organisational attention is moved to the creation of value streams. This is a vital concept – keep measuring tasks. But don’t use people to do it – automate and then automate some more.

However, if the importance of the tasks themselves is the main focus rather than the outcomes then value is lost. I have personally worked on many projects with a great name, Horizon, Phoenix, Vision, where the link to the value is not easy to spot. I sense that a large ERP project will help the customer, but I do not know it.

The shift in mindset is subtle, emphasis is placed on tooling to measure the success of task activities, such as DevOps, whilst organisational attention is moved to the creation of value streams. This is a vital concept – keep measuring tasks. But don’t use people to do it – automate and then automate some more.

What is best for me?

Deciding on the value streams themselves should not be a monumental task, rather start small and then iterate to see what sticks. Virtual teams should be created to support the value streams, this is not an exercise in changing job titles and team structures – although this will come over time as the organisation learns.

Teams that are familiar with agile development techniques will be familiar with the concept of value streams – however there are many activities within an organisation that do not lend themselves to being managed iteratively and are more sequential in nature. So the trick is here is not just “do agile”, rather think about how to organise around value.

For example, one of our customers is a large European retailer, who are opening a store every single day (even at the moment!). This type of activity requires well defined sequential plans which are not agile in nature.  Having implemented our Business Technology Operating model their activity is measured by value – this activity is part of a value stream that is based around the customer experience, that also drives the customer online experience so that they are in tandem, in lockstep with the physical approach.

The Business Technology framework is now in its 11th year and has been used by many hundreds of companies across the Nordics to harness Digital Energy. Open source and developed continuously by the community, it represents battle tested strategies and ways of working. Our expertise and training academy offers the opportunity to access this model at your own pace. Self-led, guided, or consulting led models (or a blend of all three) are available dependant on what works best for your business.

But this success has brough new challenges. Now we have access to amazing tools, easily and cheaply. What is the best way to use them? What is the best way to drive business value?

What is best for me?

Deciding on the value streams themselves should not be a monumental task, rather start small and then iterate to see what sticks. Virtual teams should be created to support the value streams, this is not an exercise in changing job titles and team structures – although this will come over time as the organisation learns.

Teams that are familiar with agile development techniques will be familiar with the concept of value streams – however there are many activities within an organisation that do not lend themselves to being managed iteratively and are more sequential in nature. So the trick is here is not just “do agile”, rather think about how to organise around value.

For example, one of our customers is a large European retailer, who are opening a store every single day (even at the moment!). This type of activity requires well defined sequential plans which are not agile in nature.  Having implemented our Business Technology Operating model their activity is measured by value – this activity is part of a value stream that is based around the customer experience, that also drives the customer online experience so that they are in tandem, in lockstep with the physical approach.

The Business Technology framework is now in its 11th year and has been used by many hundreds of companies across the Nordics to harness Digital Energy. Open source and developed continuously by the community, it represents battle tested strategies and ways of working. Our expertise and training academy offers the opportunity to access this model at your own pace. Self-led, guided, or consulting led models (or a blend of all three) are available dependant on what works best for your business.

But this success has brough new challenges. Now we have access to amazing tools, easily and cheaply. What is the best way to use them? What is the best way to drive business value?

Find out more about our Business 

Technology Operating Model

So coming back to the distributed nature of teams. By measuring value and not tasks, employees are able to deeply connect with the nature of the work they are doing which helps with morale and focus. Organisations are able to focus on value – not what did an individual do today, but use metrics like the average value created on a monthly basis. You can start to measure and predict the value that your teams will deliver and this allows you to identify areas that need support, to improve predictability of results. This approach is holistic, inclusive and does not worry about measuring individual tasks.

Xonetic

At its heart, Digital Modernisation is about improving your customer experience. We define Digital Energy as the combination of highly digital and automated business applications and tools, combined with Industry leading ways of working, practices and techniques.

If you would like to understand more about our open-source best practice knowledge, training and advisory services then please drop in for a virtual coffee or register for a free seminar.

So coming back to the distributed nature of teams. By measuring value and not tasks, employees are able to deeply connect with the nature of the work they are doing which helps with morale and focus. Organisations are able to focus on value – not what did an individual do today, but use metrics like the average value created on a monthly basis. You can start to measure and predict the value that your teams will deliver and this allows you to identify areas that need support, to improve predictability of results. This approach is holistic, inclusive and does not worry about measuring individual tasks.

Xonetic

At its heart, Digital Modernisation is about improving your customer experience. We define Digital Energy as the combination of highly digital and automated business applications and tools, combined with Industry leading ways of working, practices and techniques.

If you would like to understand more about our open-source best practice knowledge, training and advisory services then please drop in for a virtual coffee or register for a free seminar.

 

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Coach & Facilitator

ELENA VAN LEEMPUT

I like my work best when I can motivate and help other people. I constantly strive for excellence in everything I do and I’m open to different ideas that challenge my views. I believe in constant change which drives my innovative mindset. My background is both in technology and business with more than 15 years’ experience ranging from demand, development to service management. I enjoy taking initiative and carry out new ventures.

I try to keep things simple and bring my skills when I coach and facilitate to inspire people and help them innovate. I’m passionate about all forms of facilitation and coaching be it face-to-face or virtual facilitation. I also enjoy creating different e-learning training, holding innovation workshops and design thinking hackathons.

I also find it very important to nurture my creative side along the way (visual arts: photography, sketching, videography and all areas of design) through both my work and hobbies – which I’m happy to say I get to do often enough.

elena.van.leemput@sofigate.com

Coach & Facilitator

THOMAS HUGHES

I work as coach and facilitator in the Business Technology Academy. My focus is business simulation games such as the DevOps simulation. I consider myself a full-stack Business Technology professional of sorts. During the past 20+ years, I’ve worked in wide range of various IT and business management roles in and with organizations ranging from global enterprises to startups in a variety of industries.

I enjoy looking for new perspectives to phenomena and challenging myself and others to continuously develop ourselves and to expand our thinking. Being in the discomfort zone is the way to grow. As a coach I like to cross breed theoretical frameworks, practical examples, illuminating stories and humour. I see simulation games as a perfect way to combine these into an engaging and fun day.    

I enjoy exploring life through various projects and experiments. Some of these involve focused self-development both physically and mentally, while others focus more on creative aspirations related to areas like photography, writing and digital media.

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