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IT Must Step Up in Workplace Strategy


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For each year’s iteration of Enterprise Connect, we try to introduce a new session track as part of the conference program. As our industry has grown more dynamic over the last several years, it hasn’t been a particularly difficult challenge to come up with candidates, and this year was no exception.
With our new Workplace Strategies track for our September event, we aim to help our audience understand how the pandemic-driven changes in the workplace will impact IT, as well as the role IT will play in shaping workplace strategies in the coming years. Many of these workplace changes were already in place pre-pandemic, but like so many other elements of digital transformation, the experience of the last year amped up the pace of change and forced enterprise leaders — both from IT and business units — to think about communications/collaboration technology differently.
We’re focusing the sessions in this new track on a few key issues: How to drive user adoption of the new tools; what’s required of you to support the future of work; the role of employee experience in enterprise IT strategy; and how to use the wealth of back-end data generated by your systems in a way that helps users be more productive and respects their privacy.
User adoption is hardly a new topic; we’ve been doing sessions on how to get users to adopt UC tools for several years. In a narrow sense, the pandemic “solved” the user adoption problem, because everyone had to adopt the tools. As enterprises plan the next phase of their approach to work, however, the issue has morphed into one of managing the sometimes-chaotic environment created by the last year’s helter-skelter rush to deploy remote-work technologies. Our session on user adoption, led by Blair Pleasant of COMMfusion, will look not just at the traditional user adoption and training strategies, but at the benefits of employing a broader change management approach to help users find the right tools and techniques for getting more out their communications/collaboration apps.
In addition, Adam Holtby of analyst firm Omdia will deliver a session based on a Future of Work survey he’s conducting, and Adam’s colleague Tim Banting will discuss employee experience in another session. We’ll have additional sessions to announce over the coming weeks.
IT/communications folks have always been important to employees’ job experience. But the technology and societal changes brought about by the pandemic will elevate IT’s strategic importance at this critical moment when enterprises are crafting their plans for what work will look like in the next generation. We’re excited to dig into this topic for our Orlando show, and to continue following it in the coming years.