In today’s digital workplace, businesses need to improve processes, workflows and create new solutions to existing problems, such as enabling business leaders to obtain a complete view of their company as well as their partner community. Technology plays a crucial role in assisting them to achieve this, thanks to the many different mediums and tools available to enable this.

A good example is that of enterprise social networking services, which can be used for private communication within organisations to gain a broader ‘outer rim’ view of partners, as well as internally focused comments and feedback from staff.

According to Traci Maynard, Microsoft Executive at Axiz, there are also tools that can be utilised for more in-depth collaboration, such as a complete chat and online meetings solution that allows co-authoring and sharing of files. This, she says, delivers the ‘inner circle’ view, enabling business leaders to get a clear view on projects and status actions, as well as comments from within the company.

“It should be clear that in order to effectively deal with evolving business needs, distributed teams and an increasingly complex threat environment, a secure and ubiquitous collaboration environment is needed, and this is something that’s essentially driven by the cloud.”

She points out that enabling this is more important than ever, since providing employees with modern tools and delivering a digital, flexible workplace to workers results in higher engagement and productivity.

“In the end it’s about providing seamless communication and multi-device experiences that bring teams together, enable productivity and help drive digital transformation. The goal is to create an environment in which employees can enjoy secure, highly reliable platforms for exchanging ideas, having conversations, collaborating and doing their best work,” she says.

“Collaboration also helps to address the shift in the way people are working today, with mixtures of personal and corporate devices that use different on-premises and software as a service (SaaS) applications. It enables organisations to deploy, support and manage these disparate tools to help empower employees and enable a modern workplace.”

It is, of course, not only about empowering employees with digital work styles, adds Maynard, but equally about securing their data with built-in protections against modern threats, through intelligent security. This is a key reason to simplify the IT environment, since unifying management across users, devices, apps and services makes it easier for the organisation to safeguard data and intellectual property with built-in security.

“The workplace is clearly evolving and modern businesses need to face up to what is going to be a significant change. To this end, companies need to ensure they seek out the right businesses solutions that will enable them to successfully transition to a digital workplace.

“We’re talking about embracing a powerful set of tools that will fundamentally change how people work. Solutions designed to assist businesses to move from where they are today, into a world where they are able to add intelligence to the power of the cloud to assist them to do even more in their work environment. This world is going to be very different from what we can even currently imagine,” adds Maynard.

Or, she says, as Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, so succinctly put it at the recent Microsoft Inspire event in Las Vegas in the US: “The opportunities that are arising in this new era of the intelligent cloud and the intelligent edge are far greater than ever before. We’ve already lived through the client-server, the Web, mobile and cloud, but what we’re going to see going forward is going to be even more profound.”