It’s what you do, not where you are. Today work is becoming increasingly mobile by default as physical presence at the office becomes less critical and more people are hired to work on a project basis rather than on long-term employment contracts. This new reality is making it essential for businesses to reimagine the workplace and completely rethink the systems, technology and services that support it. And the workforce itself is changing as digital natives reshape expectations of IT in the workplace. Hence, flexibility, speed and ease of use are the new normal. Significant opportunities are opening up for businesses, yet the pace of change can be challenging. Konica Minolta has anticipated these developments and actively helps its customers with the solutions, services and guidance needed to step into a mobile future.
Flexibility is the key to successful business and workforce management
The workforce has never looked as varied as it does today. According to a recent report by Deloitte, “The changing workforce: a new kind of team”, the workforce is evolving and increasingly features a mixture of full-time, part-time, contingent, freelance, gig and crowd-sourced work models. This variety is reshaping both the nature of teams and their workplaces: only 42% of companies primarily consist of conventionally salaried employees, with 37% expecting growth in the use of contractors, 33% expecting greater use of freelancers and 28% an increased use of gig workers.
One of the defining trends of recent years has been the emergence of the gig economy,” explains Yoann Fortini, Team Manager ITS Development, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH. “Drawing on the language of live music, companies increasingly view projects as ‘gigs’, gathering the best possible talent for a project/gig. On conclusion of the gig, the workers/musicians disband and move on to the next one. With Konica Minolta’s solutions providing the necessary flexibility, this style of work becomes easy and seamless.”
This model can prove mutually attractive to companies and individuals alike. Within this on-demand economy, the drivers for such employment models are flexibility as well as opportunities to experience varied projects and secure higher wages. According to the Deloitte research, the majority of millennials see the ability to define their roles, their working hours, working location and type of employment contract as being important.
Advances in technology have made these alternative models ever more viable, which is helping organisations address new employee demands while also creating working environments that foster greater creativity, efficiency and freedom. At the same time, organisations can leverage this newfound agility to tap into new markets, handle fluctuating seasonal demands, discover skills and talent and save resources. Many roles are inherently mobile in nature: travelling sales executives, consultants, event coordinators and buyers all need to work outside of the office and these employees’ roles can be made easier by more effective solutions for mobile working.
“At Konica Minolta, the goal is to enable our customers’ ideal working environment,” said Yoann Fortini. “Thanks to our close relationships with our customers, we know they require appropriate IT systems and solutions that can be integrated into company environments and provide platforms for effective collaboration. With our deep portfolio of IT services and our broad network of top-tier partnerships with leading technology suppliers, we are able to create solutions that truly meet the needs of today’s workforce.”
How Konica Minolta enables flexible mobile work
Successful mobility relies on a complete ecosystem of services and products – a holistic vision that defines Konica Minolta’s approach. With experience as a provider of IT services spanning Information Management, Managed IT Services and Business Process Services, Konica Minolta is able to put in place the breadth of underlying systems required to enable remote work and flexible collaboration.
“Our goal is to provide a seamless and uniform user experience across all systems, irrespective of the individual or their location,” explains Yoann Fortini. “Konica Minolta can ensure this is achieved thanks to the ability to serve as the single point of contact for all IT needs. This has a radical impact on the nature of work, where mobile access to any data or team member can be taken for granted without having to sacrifice usability or security. ‘Everywhere and anywhere’ truly becomes the default location for work.”
Konica Minolta helps customers achieve their goals through a portfolio of products and services designed with workplace mobility in mind and also seeks to tailor these to each customer to ensure an optimal fit to their specific requirements. This is ensured by a thorough analysis of the company environment to fully understand the customer’s needs and business processes. Established systems do not have to be replaced and can become an integral part of this environment, which significantly eases the transformation processes.
One major offering included in Konica Minolta’s IT infrastructure services is a qualified help desk because providing one single point of contact (SPOC) for all IT issues no matter the location of the customer is truly essential. Trying to combine different systems and different solutions from a variety of vendors often complicates issue management and blurs the lines of responsibilities amongst service providers. Konica Minolta eliminates those inefficiencies in service delivery by being the exclusive SPOC.
As the workforce grows more mobile, not only the location at which they work becomes variable but also the time. Applications as a service in the form of monitoring and management are vital in order to ensure that mobile systems are up and running at any time. It is essential for all systems to be available and accessible 24/7 so that productivity knows no system-related boundaries.
Server monitoring and management for example are a part of Konica Minolta’s broad portfolio of offerings in the field of IaaS, which serves the ultimate goal of delivering the right infrastructure to suit the customer’s specific needs for mobility and remote working. These services, in combination with the possibilities of applying hybrid cloud solutions, substantially reduces the workload for internal IT departments in particular, as they do not have to focus their main resources on the monitoring and maintaining servers and switches but, instead, can focus on their core tasks of shaping the digital future of their companies and assisting their colleagues when they need help.
Data loss can have substantial consequences on businesses today and risks taking them to the brink of bankruptcy. Hence, backup and recovery services are the most essential services Konica Minolta offers its customers in this field, ensuring a business is up and running in no time again in the event that data is really lost for whatever reason. Backup and recovery solutions ensure that no data is lost in transmission, especially when data is generated by remote devices at different locations.
In all of its services, Konica Minolta places a special focus on IT security, especially for mobile devices, but also for the complete customer ecosystem. Today’s “always on” society opens up many possibilities for data, accounts and information to be accessed illegally. Making sure data is secure even when accessed from mobile devices is therefore mandatory. Konica Minolta therefore attaches great importance to cybersecurity by building advanced security measures into the products by default, thus providing security by design.
In addition, Konica Minolta has created Workplace Hub, an innovative and intelligent enterprise edge IT solution that unifies all of an organisation’s technology via a single centralised platform that empowers team collaboration. This new solution can be further customised through on-demand applications available from the Konica Minolta MarketPlace and can thus adapt to changing team demands and to the needs of the mobile workforce.
Konica Minolta enables safe information access from everywhere
Konica Minolta also enables mobility through Information Management Services. The Digital Inbox opens up the possibility for workers to receive digitalised physical mail anywhere, helping them further to increase their mobility. E-mail management in the form of universal e-mail inbox synchronisation across all devices provided through the Konica Minolta solutions serves as basis for easy and uniform information and document management that is not limited to a specific location. Directly tying into the digital document management is digital invoice processing. This enables all sorts of invoices to be processed on mobile devices, which helps to significantly reduce the time needed to handle these documents. People nowadays expect the same ease of use in business that they know from their private life. The app approach is therefore a key element in information management in order to attain the highest level of acceptance and to be as efficient as possible.
Konica Minolta also offers the digitalisation of archives such as internal personnel files or external customer files. This helps to separate vital business functions from traditional paper archives and makes physical storage obsolete, which in turn greatly empowers workplace flexibility. However, what are digital archives worth if you cannot find the desired documents and information quickly? Without appropriate tools, this can be very arduous, especially for mobile workers who do not have access to a PC at all times and therefore need to be able to search for documents from mobile devices. An enterprise search is thus a vital part of Konica Minolta’s service and product portfolio. Its solutions provide a single point of access to search all digital archives at once and therefore greatly reduce the time spent on document retrieval.