When the majority of Australia was forced to work from home in March this year, the world as we knew it changed. Roads became deserted and prime real estate in some of the world’s most expensive capital cities, sat empty.
So now that workplace transformation has been forced on us by necessity and knowing with certainty that employees want to maintain an element of working from home. How do we as leaders continue the job that COVID started and push ourselves further?
Logicalis had been working with one of our Citrix customers, Peninsula Health on the potential move to public cloud (Azure) when the COVID-19 pandemic began to emerge. Although they were a traditional on-premise organisation in every sense of the word, conducting all of its services onsite, they were forced to move a thousand employees to remote working or the hospitals wouldn’t be able to operate.
There were a couple of challenges Peninsula Health had to solve for:
- All their infrastructure was on-premise which wasn’t suitable for remote working at scale
- They had strict compliance requirements on the security of patient data which meant accessing remote working technologies had to be watertight from a security perspective.
They had to turn their entire operating model on it’s head. So how did it work out? Seven months down the road, there have been no complaints from staff; they are even discovering a whole new way of working and efficiencies they never thought possible.
In a recent webinar hosted by Logicalis and Citrix, Warren Kulpa, IT Infrastructure Director at Peninsula Health, talked about how the technology transformation led to operational change as well as the need for a mindset shift.
“We had to make changes – we redefined the definition of workspace to become a virtual workspace with teams working from home.
The benefits were almost immediate, including a more productive workforce, increased staff availability as they stagger at the start and end times of the day but most importantly, enhancing patient care options through the introduction of telehealth services. Particularly for the elderly, if we can prevent customers from having a challenging experience in coming into the physical clinic, that’s a game-changer”.
The organisation plans to build on the momentum of COVID transformation and continue building on these practices. With a secure cloud platform to support Peninsula Health’s workforce, the organisation can deliver seamless access to applications regardless of location or device.
When asked about the future plans for Peninsula Health, Warren says digital literacy and enablement is critical:
‘Platforms and tools are great, but we can’t bring old ways of doing things into new workplace methods. We need to change people mindsets and practices to really take on these enriched features to get all the value add from these new platforms and maintain the engagement levels. Failure to do so will cause frustration”.
So what are the lessons other business leaders can take from Peninsula Health’s experience to keep transformation fatigue at bay?
- Leaders need to continue the transformation momentum
Leaders need to ensure that the organisation maintains its momentum and desire to transform and grow. This will involve thinking bigger in what’s possible, which will include operating differently, investing in new technologies, and driving a new type of culture and productivity output.
- The operating model needs to evolve for the hybrid workspace
Like Peninsula health, there are many benefits to employees working from home, but digital and security literacy is an integral part of allowing employees to work from wherever they want.
The new hybrid working culture needs to be established, supported by changes to operating models and policies/procedures. Employees need to understand what is expected of them when offices start reopening such as how often do I need to come to the office, can I dial into all meetings or is face to face expected?
A secure cloud platform can underpin your transformation strategy
Without a secure cloud platform like Azure running Citrix workspace, Peninsula Health could not have achieved the scale of remote working for their back-office staff. Now they have a solid foundation for scale, and they can build on it and add other workloads such as medical applications.
For further reading on thinking big in how technology can help deliver on your organisation's transformation goals, check out our whitepaper.