Windows 10 and the tools for agile working
The shift to Windows 10 is the perfect time to get your agile workforce moving
It's no secret that broad strides forward in technology have been key to the development of modern agile working culture. Desktop computers demanded that workers stick to their allotted desks, and even clunky, old-school laptops weren't convenient or widely available enough to permit employees to pick up and settle wherever they liked in an office building or beyond.
Cheaper, more efficient mobile devices enabled the agile revolution, where workers can be equipped to hotdesk, work remotely or even on-the-go, and can pack up and move at a moment's notice. But having a laptop and an internet connection isn't enough for effective agile working – you need to supply your staff with the correct tools for the job. With support ending for Windows 7, moving to Windows 10 shouldn’t just be seen as an OS necessity, but also the catalyst to upgrade your hardware and optimise your agile workplace.
Representing a modern business
The prevalence of quality laptops in the modern workplace has created an expectation among employees. When someone starts a new job, they are likely to assume they will be given a reliable, up-to-date machine to work from, and to a certain extent, your business' desirability to a potential hire may hinge on the hardware you have on offer and its ability to enable agile working. Running a fleet of the cheapest possible PCs isn't going to make your organisation a tempting prospect to new talent.
Agile working opens another related issue that you might not have considered. The ability to work externally will increase the visibility of your workforce. Laptops will be taken to external meetings, and your employees may even choose to spend the day working with clients or agencies in order to build stronger ties. It's not only your workers that are more visible, but the hardware that they carry with them.
When it comes to agile working, your mobile devices represent your company too, and to project a professional image you need to keep them up-to-date. That dented laptop from five years ago just won't do if you're trying to impress a client.
Efficiency and security
It's not all about keeping up appearances. A decentralised, mobile workforce opens up new security risks, whether through lost devices or stolen data. A laptop in a cafe is much easier to swipe than a desktop computer in a secure office building, and you need to be prepared for the worst.
Windows 10 offers a host of new security features that will mitigate these risks with features like Find My Device and BitLocker dynamic encryption. But to get the most out of these features, you need not just the updated OS but new laptops – like the HP Elite Dragonfly or HP EliteBook x360 – which include the hardware to maximise those safety features. For instance, these newer models come equipped with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) that, coupled with BitLocker, will make your hard drives functionally impossible to decrypt. HP's Elite range also includes biometric sensors that use fingerprint or facial recognition to enable Windows Hello's secure login system.
The reliability of your hardware becomes even more key when you factor in agile working. It goes without saying that an old laptop with a tendency to crash when its user is calling in to an important meeting is a liability. Newer devices are more likely to be compatible with any apps your business uses, and will run faster, cutting down on any time wasted waiting for the computer to catch up and sparing you from the egg timer/pinwheel icon – never mind the dreaded blue screen. Removed from proximity to the IT department, serious tech issues are even more inconvenient for remote workers.
Battery life is another basic issue that can become a major agile working roadblock. Old devices whose batteries run down in a matter of minutes – or don't retain any charge at all – need to be replaced, because your workforce's mobility will be seriously limited if they can't stray more than a few metres from a plug socket without their laptops dying. Each generation of laptops also delivers lighter, sleeker machines – the newest models are now genuinely portable and won't leave your workforce with incipient back problems.
Fortunately, upgrading your hardware doesn't have to be the enormous expenditure that it once was. Managed service providers (MSPs) and the ever-increasing 'as a service' options available – such as HP Device as a Service – can provide your business with the latest equipment, shifting high capital expenditure into more manageable operating expenditure – as well as bringing in outside expertise to assist with your shift to an agile working culture and take some of the pressure off your IT department.
Adopting one of these models will allow a smooth transition to a fleet of updated laptops, securing your agile working environment and demonstrating that yours is a modern and desirable business to work for.
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