We are likely to see a hybrid work model with some teams working in office and some remotely.
By Gaurav Agarwal
This year has seen more pets and children interrupt online meetings, video calls and even broadcasts than ever before, and be accepted. The global events of 2020 put workplace transformation on the fast track, driven by the need for business continuity in the face of disruption. The last couple of months proved that 100% remote working is not only viable, it also might just hold the key to many issues confronting urban India, including pollution and heavy traffic.
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At this juncture, it is safe to say that the workplace will never again be defined by a physical office space and we are likely to see a hybrid work model with some teams working in office and some remotely. This hybrid future of work and the workplace will involve systemic changes. On the one hand, digital transformation will be at the heart of the shift, enabling people to seamlessly work from wherever they choose. On the other, there will also be a sea change in our work ethos with focus shifting from controlling how employees work to focussing on outcomes. Here are a few trends I foresee.
A hybrid and intrinsic future: Increase in the demand for hybrid cloud platforms. The scalability, flexibility, security coupled with significant cost advantages make hybrid clouds a viable option for many. We will see a new era of cloud driven innovations at the Edge and faster emergence of trends like containerisation, hyper converged infrastructure. At the same time, it is a pre-requisite to embed security into every layer of IT infrastructure. The good news is that Indian organizations have realised the value delivered by intrinsic security strategies and demand is on an upswing.
Virtual and collaborative: Virtual desktop infrastructure has emerged to be a crucial part of an organisation’s remote working as well as business continuity strategy and this trend will grow. We will also see continuing momentum in the collaboration tools space. With time, these platforms will evolve further with deeper integration of security to make virtual collaboration absolutely seamless.
Bandwidth for more: Soon after India announced complete lockdown, the government had to clamp down on HD streaming on mobile data users in order to ease the pressure on telecom operators. While this was fine in an emergency, the government must now focus on ramping up India’s bandwidth and network capabilities to support a widely distributed workforce. 5G, and high-speed Internet must be key focus areas of development in the months to come.
Inclusive talent pipelines: The rise of remote working will unlock India’s deep talent pool. Persons with disability will not need to travel to an office any longer and they can work from anywhere they are comfortable with. Also, as remote working goes mainstream, women will find it easier to balance home and work and excel at both.
Over the last few months, it has become increasingly clear that without technology, this ongoing situation would have been extremely difficult to handle. From ensuring business continuity to helping drive employee engagement via video calls, technology is inextricably tied in with the modern workplace. As we move ahead from this point, technology will be more deeply embedded into every aspect of life and work. It will emerge to be a powerful enabler and equaliser that can help create a new, kinder more inclusive world. And the workplace will be distributed, vibrant, and inclusive, and industry will be better off for it.
The writer is senior director – Enterprise Sales, VMware India.