The hybrid workforce is here to stay. Truly establishing a high performing hybrid workforce, through digital enablement, is a prerequisite to digital transformation ambitions.

Staff need confidence using their corporate technology tools. Unless their interactions with the day-to-day suite of workplace applications is seamless, trust is not established and the full benefits offered by modern cloud technologies are not realised.

Outdated remote working solutions are cumbersome to interact with, unreliable and complex to maintain. Seamless application integration is difficult to achieve and laptop deployment is time-consuming.

IT teams find themselves in a cycle of incident response and infrastructure maintenance, unable to move their focus to upskilling the workforce and improving business processes.


Stabilise > Simplify > Secure 

IT teams should no longer be spending time supporting complex infrastructure, that problem has been solved. The role of the IT team has changed.

Establish a modern IT Infrastructure Strategy and expedite its implementation. Then quickly move the focus of the IT team to enabling the workforce using the technology, through upskilling and process improvement initiatives.

The infrastructure strategy that should be in place is:

  • All staff carry lightweight laptops (to a good specification), docking in the office
  • Staff should work on the laptop’s local desktop not virtual desktops
  • MS365 should be used to deploy, secure and maintain the laptops (Intune & Autopilot)
  • Line of business applications should be cloud based and the user interface should be a web browser
  • Single-Sign-On should manage the access control for all apps, integrated with Microsoft Azure AD
  • Servers should be kept to a minimum and hosted in the cloud (Microsoft Azure)
  • Organisations over 100 staff should use a file server in Azure with seamless VPN access, Organisations under 100 staff should hold files in Teams
  • Meeting rooms should be configured for hybrid meetings, ideally as Teams Rooms
  • Telephony should be routed through MS Teams
  • Internet connections and wireless networks at offices and hubs should be fast and reliable

Prioritise the implementation of the modern infrastructure and set the IT team free, allowing staff and the IT team to start collaborating on business enablement and high performance hybrid working.

The workforce will not only be benefiting from technology that is intuitive to use and robust, but will now be receiving proactive upskilling support from the IT team. Working in collaboration with learning and development teams and business analysis teams, the IT team will drive forward organisational change and create a culture of high performance hybrid working.

Outcomes and Benefits

  • Digital tools that both enable work and increase efficiency
  • Communications and meetings technology that is simple, quick, and enabling
  • Engaged and confident staff who can effectively collaborate from anywhere; a reduction in siloed working
  • Improved staff inductions and enhanced learning and development paths for digital upskilling
  • An IT team focused on business enablement and workforce confidence
  • A fully future-proofed IT estate, all based in the cloud and no more physical servers


About the author: Smartdesc is an IT Service Provider and Microsoft Gold Partner whose focus is not-for-profit organisations, which includes charities, social enterprises, and the public sector.