Microsoft Secure Productive Enterprise will not only secure your organisations’ information, but will empower employees to become more collaborative and productive. We look at the benefits of using this solution.
Digital transformation can certainly be labelled as one of the buzzwords of 2017 already, but unless firms continue to evolve and ensure their own businesses are future-proofed, it is unlikely they will be able to keep up with their own customers’ and indeed employees’ demands.
The concept of transforming a business to ensure it is up-to-date with the latest technologies and security requirements is not a new one, technology advances far too rapidly for that. However, the speed at which firms of all sizes and from all business sectors are transforming to a ‘digital first’ mentality has definitely ramped up over recent years.
And employee ‘empowerment’ goes hand-in-hand with digital transformation. Gone are the days of a nine-to-five job with employees working within their own little silos.
Instead workers are turning to a more fluid way of doing their jobs and interacting with colleagues, free from any constraints of time or location, and perhaps working out of designated office hours when the situation is required. The importance of being able to collaborate with co-workers wherever or whenever they need to is paramount.
As more ‘Millennials’ – those which have been described as ‘digital natives’ having grown up using the latest and most powerful technologies throughout their education – enter the workforce, ensuring a company is as technologically advanced as possible is going to attract the most skilled new workers and give said company a competitive advantage over its rivals.
Indeed the skills gap in many industries is a growing concern, none more so than the technology space, where industry association CompTIA warned that the skills deficit gap will grow to 15 per cent over the next eight years as older workers retire.
Never before has recruiting and retaining the right workforce – in whatever vertical sector/industry – been more important than it is now. And those companies that actively empower their employees will stand out from those that prefer to keep them on a short leash and stifle creativity and ambition.
Employee empowerment means more engaged, motivated and loyal workers, who are proactive and determined to make a difference to the business. They are willing to go above and beyond expectations to achieve positive results.
Most importantly, this translates into happy customers. If they are dealing with happy and positive contacts within their supplier business, they are more likely to be happy with the service they are receiving and keep coming back for more of the same.
So it is understandable that manufacturers such as Microsoft are keen to ensure their products not only drive digital transformation in the workplace, but also help to shape it for years to come.
Microsoft has been and intends to remain the provider of choice when it comes to office applications, its sales results speak for themselves.
The vendor’s own figures show there are 400 million monthly active devices running Windows 10, with 70 million commercial monthly active users of Office 365 and Azure Active Directory in EMS protecting one billion logins every single day. But it also realises that customer demands and needs change, and simplicity is the key to happy and satisfied customers.
This is the reason it has launched its Secure Productive Enterprise offering – the bringing together of Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise and the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite into a single license offering, designed to simplify the experience for its customers.
Julia White, general manager, cloud platform, at Microsoft said the firm had also addressed the issue of licensing with this bundling approach.
“As we’ve continued to innovate at a rapid pace in the cloud, we’ve heard from many customers that navigating Microsoft technology licensing options can be challenging,” she said in a blog post last year. “This is why we created the Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) a few years ago, to help simplify this purchase experience. Building from this approach, today, we’re taking the next step in continuing to simplify our enterprise technology licensing offerings while also delivering more value to our customers – introducing the Secure Productive Enterprise.”
White said that by bundling the products together, Microsoft can offer its customers even more value: “We are bringing together Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security suite into a single licensing offering called the Secure Productive Enterprise, that replaces the Enterprise Cloud Suite, and introducing even more value within this offering,” she explained. “With the Secure Productive Enterprise, customers have the latest and most advanced technology for empowering employees.” However, digital transformation is not something that can be achieved overnight, and the strategy needs the full backing of the whole C-level suite as well as those on the coalface.
A report by econsultancy entitled Effective Leadership in the Digital Age – claimed that for a business to successfully transform, its leadership and particularly the CEO, need to be ‘visibly literate’ in technology. A significant 71 per cent of nearly 500 respondents to its survey classed this as a ‘very important’ quality of a modern business leader.
Often this means the methods of how a particular technology set is sold is even more important. It is common for technology vendors to get carried away with the complexity of a particular product and not focus enough on what it actually means for a business customer. After all, for many, technology itself is not their core business. They just need it to make their business and their staff, more efficient.
By speaking the language of a business and crucially the CEO, a top-down approach can be adopted, to ensure the whole company is behind its digital direction.
Bob Tarzey, service director of Quorcirca, reiterated this point. “Digital transformation is an ongoing process, but it is not a new concept. It has been going on for years, such as when typewriters were replaced with word processors,” he said.
“I’m always amazed at how knowledgeable respondents to our surveys are, but often the industry focuses too much on how to digitally transform IT rather than the business itself. Customers need the focus to be on their business and what the technology can do for them. Customers need to see and read case studies from early adopters to see the success their peers are having as a result of the technology. This is really important.”
He also said in the past Microsoft has perhaps not been known for its security strengths but acknowledged the issue was being addressed with its latest technology offerings.
Validating this point, a Q4 2016 blog from Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president, Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, announced a raft of enhancements to the Windows 10 Security stack, including Windows Defender Application Guard, described as a ‘revolutionary’ security improvement to Microsoft Edge.
“[It] uses virtualisation-based security technology to protect against advanced attacks coming from the internet, helping to protect the enterprise’s devices, employees, data and even corporate networks,” he said.
Security is the number one concern of business customers globally, with the average data breach costing $4 million, according to the Ponemon Institute; with Microsoft’s own figures revealing breaches are set to cost an estimated $3 trillion in lost productivity by 2020.
Mathias Knoefel, enterprise analyst at market watcher at Context, said there is still a lot of work to be done in the security space by all vendors.
“[Enterprise] revenues from security software, but also data management software products have grown year-on-year, by about 14 per cent combined for the year to date November 2016.
“With all the security threats we have seen and heard about in the past year, I personally think that sales of security products should have grown even more. Yes, some companies (and consumers) are taking care of their own data security, but too many seem to still rely on others/third parties to do this for them. Online fraud and security concerns have increased throughout 2016 and chances are it is only going to get worse.”
He warned that firms need to get more proactive when it comes to security, and again, this is where the likes of Microsoft can capitalise.
“It seems that many companies only ‘react’ to bad news, and implement security measures when they read about someone being caught out (like it happened with TalkTalk last summer).
“Our data shows that security software revenues showed year-on-year growth in Q2, and data management in Q3, but since then have both dropped below the level of the previous year.”
Across Europe the pressure is added to by the GDPR rules coming into play in May 2018. If the rules are not met, firms could face sanctions of up to €20m or four per cent of global annual turnover – whichever is greater – from regulators.
Context’s Knopfler said there is growing concern that many companies have not implemented enough security measures to meet GDPR [in 2018].
And in the UK, the added problem of Brexit has thrown many business leaders into further confusion over how they are going to be GDPR compliant after Article 50 is triggered.
With the continuing shadow of increasingly complex and potentially lethal security breaches hanging over businesses, coupled with a growing thirst for digital transformation and a desire to retain and attract top talent, now is an ideal opportunity for a product such as Secure Productive Enterprise to really make a difference to all the progressive and forward-thinking businesses out there.
As a global cloud and software expert, Crayon is a trusted advisor to many of the world’s leading organisations. To find out how we are already optimising enterprise agility and security, whilst delivering best practice IT governance structures for clients, call us today or click here to read working case studies.