At the start of this month, we hosted our CSS2021 Digital event. We had 22 industry speakers taking part from Google, CeX, The Bannatyne Group, Ocado, Simply Business, Pressure Technologies (to name a few!), with over 110 attendees representing 296,332 end users. We brought together like-minded people from some of the top businesses in the UK to share ideas, trending topics from Google, and relevant technology themes in the world right now. The topic that came up, again and again, had to be ‘how do we master hybrid work?’.
This three-day event, exclusively for our CSS community, proved to be a fantastic platform for sharing ideas, solving problems and opening up several discussions. As much as a community event as a company one, attendees get the chance to discover how they can get more from their Google technology as well as the chance to speak with their peers and other members of the CSS community. Here are the biggest takeaways from the event:
Create hybrid working success
Employee expectation of hybrid work is evolving. We must learn how to embrace this opportunity to create hybrid working success. In a 2020 survey, 93% of C-Suite Executives said they saw an increase in remote working and collaboration, with over half believing the changes will stick beyond the pandemic. At the event, we uncovered that there are still ways we can improve to build on this digital-first culture. Several topics came up, including the importance of change management, security, and digital leadership. These are the core elements to enable us to thrive in the future.
Build an inclusive culture with technology.
Almost every organisation that introduced remote working over the last 20 months has probably upgraded their tech stack to continue working. Sure, we all know how to make a video call, but how do we use this technology to grow and foster a culture to get remote workforces happy and engaged? How do we maintain impact, connection and well-being? The answer does not solely lie with technology. It is about the people, and we must ensure that we do not leave anyone behind.
“Google’s mission is to help organisations transform how work happens with a people-first approach. The workspace is no longer in the office – it is wherever you are! Whether you are returning to the office, working from home, or a mix of both, they have the products and features you need to connect, share ideas and get more done together, no matter the location.” – Google Cloud Representative
Google technology has a big part to play in being able to master hybrid working. It allows teams to connect, create and collaborate from anywhere. To make hybrid work successful, you must keep people productive and engaged and make the hybrid experience accessible for all.
Tips to make an impact on your organisation:
- Design meetings that remote workers and office workers can both participate in.
- Create an environment where every team member feels comfortable to share their ideas.
- Give your workforce a sense of purpose and explain how they contribute to the company’s success.
- Ensure that the in-office experience promotes collaboration – use this time for team building activities, workshops and brainstorming sessions.
Add extra security for your hybrid environment.
A remote workforce means businesses may have to adjust their security strategy to be more robust. One of the hot topics to come out of the event is implementing App Access Control. This is a great way to put processes in place to reduce the risk of data breaches through APIs, as admins can prevent users from installing dangerous 3rd party software. You can restrict access to services like Gmail, drive and contacts, and it allows you to trust specific apps that have a business use or are deemed safe. This is especially useful if you have a big organisation with lots of users, or domain merges mean you might inherit different conflicts from different companies, so accounts can become messy and hard to manage.
To implement this technology, you need to identify the apps you want to control. Then you can assess them to ensure they are in line with your compliance policies, and you can check if due diligence has been done on the app to ensure it is safe for your organisation.
Tips to get started:
- Communicate to the rest of the business that you will be auditing all the APIs.
- Create an error message for users detailing the new process for approval of installing APIs.
- Get a list of every single app you need to review.
- Use tools like Token Report to help determine which apps are critical to the business, based on how many users use them.
Once you have a documented app approval process, you will end up with a defined catalogue of approved business apps to help your workforce stay productive without compromising security.
Achieve your business goals with digital leadership.
Ultimately, the most effective way your business can draw success from hybrid work is by having a digital-first leadership team. You could have all the technology at your fingertips, but without buy-in from the decision-makers processes, strategies, and new technology will be hard to put in place.
“We are now in a world that understands it is not the place of work that is special or important. It is our people. With the right tools and attitude, businesses can thrive even when fully remote. Of course, hybrid/remote working is not without challenges, but this is an opportunity to become a more visible, more valuable IT team.” – Martin Russell, Director of CSS, Netpremacy
For more ideas on how to boost tech team culture and visibility in the hybrid workplace, read Martin’s article here.
Our CSS programme provides you with a first-class engagement partner who will be there every step of the way in your cloud journey. Our Customer Success Managers act as an extension to your IT team and are the link to solving problems. Whether we go directly to Google or host networking opportunities, like CSS2021 Digital, so peers in the community can help too. These exclusive events have been for our CSS community to show how their businesses can continuously improve, stay updated on emerging technology, the latest trends, and how to use them to continue to thrive.
Want to be part of this exclusive community? Get in touch to learn more firstname.lastname@example.org.