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The intelligent workplace, powered by EncompaaS

Authored by Cassandra Bisset - May 13, 2019


In the press, barely a day goes by without a headline on organisations with impropriety, misconduct, opaque business decisions, missing information and investigations showing glaring compliance and governance gaps. When looking at the top issues concerning Boards and Leadership teams this year, themes around Strategy for Competitive Advantage, Disruptive Technology, Cyber Threats, Brand and Culture – are all echoed from organisations like PWC, EY, Deloitte and McKinsey. These challenges all place a significant strain on the business to implement new plans; however, an audit or investigation and remediation is deeply unsettling, expensive and distracting to business teams while it lasts.

With the heavy focus on goals, KPI’s and outcome centric targets, I can’t help feeling like there is a lot of support missing for the workforce, and a whole lot of hope that teams are doing the right thing – certainly in relation to compliance and corporate governance.

When we think of the modern workplace, it seems a long way away for many who work in large organisations. Battling through numerous legacy replacement projects and business transformation initiatives to reduce complexity and improve efficacy across divisions, end users are expected to do more with less – still waiting for a truly dynamic digital workplace to arrive. Something isn’t right about that…particularly when it seems so easy to manage our personal lives on our phones!

Some of the best workplaces you’ve probably been involved with are those with a strong business purpose – really focused on people, process and technology. Great systems can support businesses, protect against risk and really help us get more done without working our teams to the bone. It’s such an inspiring time to work in business with technology because software can do so much heavy lifting now, without the same budgets of the past. 

When I look at software, the first thing I think is ‘ok, impress me…I mean really impress me’. And not just the kind of bedazzled ‘wow’ from a nice shiny interface that looks good. Today, if software can’t anticipate needs, proactively deliver information faster, take away the complexity and really help, then it can buzz off. If we have to spend hours training staff and convincing them of the value, we’re in trouble. It should be self evident. Change management is still such a complex challenge for organisations to address, and many organisations knee deep in agile transformation (and even those who aren’t) have teams that are really suffering from change fatigue.

With all this change going on, you’ve probably heard about design thinking, a human centric or user focused way of solving problems, and challenging assumptions and approaches. In some industries such as Legal, this has been highly impactful. Take the movement to comic book contracts, for example; this is a significant departure from conventional legal problem solving. If we really challenge mainstream thinking and are customer centric with our approaches, often very simple solutions can be glaring us in the face. Technology is an important part of the mix.

When our teams are really supported with comfortable systems and can understand the processes to do their jobs, they’re not only more productive, they are happier at work, more likely to contribute and, importantly, more likely to stick around.

So how do you get a modern workplace that feels like it was made just for you and doesn’t take years to get there? If you’ve ever been tasked with the job of simplifying something – a process or document for example – it gets tricky quite quickly, mainly because we usually crack out the red pen and try to edit what’s already there. If you’ve hot come across it before, ‘design thinking’ can really help move away from a whole stack of rules holding you back, and you can probably get on with a few pretty incredible ideas. Modern workplaces should nail those issues and the solutions that follow shouldn’t leave people doing all the work.Some of the most interesting and innovative project successes we are working on are in partnership with firms like LiveTiles – intelligent software that doesn’t need a huge IT team to bring amazing user experiences to business teams. Teams can keep adapting from a kit bag of tiles and headstarts and evolve as their needs change – really tuning Microsoft 365 to deliver personalized experiences without the code.

When people ask about next level innovation without the risk, leveraging Bot capability in LiveTiles to do the heavy lifting for you is a whole new ‘outside the square’ kind of business enablement. And I don’t mean the kind of Bots to have a drawn out, irritating Q&A with, I mean the type that help cut through layers of complexity and automatically pull together information, processes and guide you to get the outcome you need, without hunting around for hours and logging in to heaps of business systems… the kind of Bot that really impresses you. It’s a modern take on workflow – emphasis on the flow.

If we think further on supporting our teams, who spend a significant proportion of their day in meetings, we want to bring forward some new thinking that could really free up time. Years ago the industry brought you portals to bring agendas, briefing packs and meeting minutes together, yet meetings still seem to remain largely the same – they take a lot of time. We focus on taking notes and the points we want to make rather than the quality and productivity of the meeting. 

I’m hugely spurred on by the opportunity to crash tackle that problem and bring some innovation to this issue, which has been problematic for a lot of organisations we come across. We’ve wanted to really go off-road with organisations who are ready for it – not only addressing the traditional internal meeting, but really improving any meeting that matters, where intellectual property should be available, should be re-used and should address quality and transparency in the case of client service delivery. Think about when you get advice from an external advisor, maybe legal counsel, risk management or your supply chain – unless you were in the meeting, or guidance was posted out to a channel you follow, you’d never know about it. Dialing in a digital assistant to support the meeting, track actions and key highlights would already be a big help. The next layer is to really help your teams detect emerging business themes, risks and needs. is an assistant ready for action at any moment of the day – even with no notice.

With Hendrix capturing the important details for us, we can start to really breeze through meetings and contribute meaningfully. And if you miss a meeting, you can now easily catch up with a summary of the discussion that’s always available and keeps everyone on the same page. The most traditional of business communication tools, the human voice, is still a big part of organizational transformation, but it takes technology to empower it in the modern workplace.

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotic Process Automation are native to our solutions, dramatically transforming your business processes and delivering data value to where it counts most. With these modern solutions all connected to EncompaaS to deliver compliance and meet regulatory obligations, teams can get on with their business, without being held back.

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