It’s becoming cliché to say it, but it’s true: we really do live in unprecedented times. Businesses all around the world have been faced with the immense challenge of transforming their operations in just a few weeks to face the reality of lockdown-life. For many, it has meant accelerating digital transformation initiatives faster than they expected. They have had to adopt new cloud solutions and embrace processes and policies that enable remote working.

But a culture shift like this is extremely demanding. The question for many organisations, and especially for essential services like the financial sector, is how do you create a connected workplace that both keeps people safe and the company thriving?

In early May 2020, we partnered with Dell Technologies to answer exactly that. Joining Craig McCartney, CEO.digital’s Managing Director and webinar presenter, was Bradd Lewis, the VP Global Financial Services Vertical at Dell Technologies. Over the course of an hour, we discussed the strategic transformation businesses have made and the best strategies for overcoming the challenges that remote working bring. Here is our brief summary of the webinar and details on how to view the full recording.

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Meet Our Sponsors, Dell Technologies

As a powerhouse of seven technology leaders, Dell Technologies is committed to transforming businesses, shaping the future of innovation and developing technologies to drive human progress. Dell Technologies purpose is to drive human progress, through greater access to better technology, for people with big ideas around the world.

Human progress is a journey, one Dell Technologies believes should be travelled together. Learn more on Dell’s innovator page now.

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Workforce Transformation Is New Terrain

To kick off our webinar, Craig McCartney took the reins and introduced the theme and speaker. During this webinar, we wanted to focus on the financial services industry (FSI) to show how this core and essential service has responded to remote working in time of lockdown.

For Craig, technology teams with FSI have reprioritised their efforts and placed workforce transformation at the centre of their strategy. But this is all new terrain for many leaders. They must learn to adapt to the new reality of remote working to both maintain operations and to ensure their customers, employees and communities stay safe. And they must do so at an accelerated rate.

Laurel Farrer, a remote work strategist, recently claimed that it “typically takes six to 12 weeks for a smooth transition from on-site to remote work.” But once Covid-19 hit, IT teams had a little under a fortnight to ensure their entire workforce could work from home.

However, some were better prepared than others. Craig shared a story about a connection of his who works within FSI in the UK. This individual had watched the film Contagion last year and had since worked with their CEO to implement a crisis/business continuity plan that is now being implemented.

Others haven’t been so lucky. They have had to deal with “work from home” challenges all at once, and the biggest challenge they’ve found is maintaining collaboration and communication while in lockdown. The problem isn’t only that remote working makes it harder for people to talk – it’s that everyone now wants to use collaboration tools at the same time. Tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack have seen an influx of users and there was an initial struggle to scale and meet demand.

For those who can overcome challenges like this – as well as challenges like overcoming loneliness, working in different time zones, and maintaining motivation – Craig highlighted that there are benefits to be gained. Citing a study from Global Workplace Analytics, he showed that a typical employer can save about $11,000 a year for every person who works remotely half of the time. Similarly, remote working could “save US employers over $30 billion a day in what would otherwise have been lost productivity during office closures due to Covid-19.”

But even then, there is one glaring challenge that has yet to be faced: security. More devices connected to the organisational network mean more attack surfaces for hackers, especially given that these attack surfaces may be connected through unsecure home networks. Social engineering attacks prove an even greater risk, and there is a lack of talented cybersecurity staff to deal with it.

Craig then broke down the three parts of the Connected Workplace: organisational needs; client needs; technology challenges. To learn more about what he shared, hear it directly from Craig and download the full webinar now!

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How Dell Technologies Helps FSI Organisations Stay Connected

Craig then handed over to Bradd Lewis, VP & Global Lead Financial Services Vertical at Dell Technologies. Bradd is an expert in business and IT transformation, and he’s helped FSI organisations to transform for over a decade. In particular, Bradd’s focus has been on helping FSI organisations establish a connected workplace through a variety of solutions.

Bradd began his half of the webinar by talking about Dell’s customers. He revealed that many of the largest FSI organisations had already been moving into a remote working mindset anyway. If you dial it back a year, these forward-looking organisations were looking to connect their distributed global workforces.

Now, workforce transformation and establishing a connected workplace is everyone’s aim. The pandemic has simply accelerated the programs. But moving to a remote working operation isn’t as straightforward as moving some systems to the cloud. For Bradd, it’s all about the user experience (UX).

Many FSI organisations already understood that the UX of their internal systems was poor. The quality and experience of workplace IT is no longer positive. Gone are the days were people waited until they got into work to use the enhanced IT systems to shop online or check their emails.

Nowadays, many consumer-based products feature better UX and have more capabilities than enterprise infrastructure. FSI organisations are looking to change that perception by bringing their dated UXs into the modern age. The problems poor UX for enterprise IT pose are myriad. Bradd discussed how one of his clients lost out on talent because individuals would quickly leave the company if the IT was dated.

This is the first area Bradd looked at during the webinar, but he didn’t stop there.

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Building a Consistent Experience Is Crucial

To maintain collaboration across the connected workplace, Bradd pointed out that you need to provide a great UX and a consistent experience across devices. Achieving that means turning to a workforce transformation solution framework.

Bradd showcased an example of workforce transformation he has worked on. It detailed a complete organisational shift in the way that enterprises arrange their IT infrastructure to streamline the end user experience with back office systems. It prioritised lifecycle management and security, making these two factors the gel that binds the back office with the end user, no matter where they’re based.

Moreover, Bradd shared how Dell Technologies plays an integral role in this workforce transformation. Whether it’s Dell’s role as a device provider, as multi-cloud Internet-as-a-Service provider, or as a lifecycle management software through the VMWare brand, Bradd showed that a true workforce transformation is multi-faceted and requires multiple types of technologies to function.

After this part of the webinar, we moved swiftly into a Q&A with Bradd. Our audience had plenty of questions to ask, from how Dell Technologies responded to the coronavirus pandemic with its business continuity plan, to how connectivity can aid economic recovery. To find out the answers to these kind of questions and more, download the full webinar now.

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Continue the Connected Workplace Journey

Ready to glean more insights from our exclusive webinar with Dell Technologies? You can download the full webinar now to hear further insights from Bradd Lewis and Craig McCartney.

This is just an introduction to the Connected Workforce, but for FSI organisations looking to overcome the current situation and secure their economic stability the journey doesn’t stop here. We also have a selection of content from Dell Technologies to help accelerate your workforce transformation. You can access this content and so much more from our Dell Technologies portal here.

But the best way to gain insights from webinars is to attend them live. Not only can you acquire new knowledge first hand, you can ask your own questions and get tailored advice for your situation. Sign up to future CEO.digital webinars now!

One more thing before you go. If you’re looking to get your solutions in front of more people, we want to hear from you. Contact CEO.digital Managing Director and All Things AI presenter Craig McCartney to discuss webinar sponsorship options today.

Get in touch with our presenter, Craig McCartney