Prepare the Organization for Change
”Prior to rolling out new initiatives and tools, we took the time to determine how to organize our IT in general,” Henrik explains and continues: “We had two realities, one was organizational and another was systematic. If you have a classic, centralized division of operations, which must ensure a high level of up-time, you do not have enough bandwidth to make it out into the nooks and crannies and then, those divisions go solo. Then, when the problems end up in our laps, we cannot help but to say what are we doing here? So that had to stop. On the system side, we also have the issue that our setup was expiring in the coming year. Our servers and our Citrix environment. The easiest thing to do was to just buy new servers and renew Citrix, but doing that would not shift the focus.”
The Key to Success Lies in the Needs of the Users
The central point of focus in a Modern Workplace strategy is the users. The users’ work, their commitment, their well-being – the needs of the users. “We have set out on a journey now on which all systems must be adapted to the needs of the users. Not the other way around. We have to ensure that everyone can perform in the best way possible. And if the reality is that everyone cannot solve all their tasks with the current technology available, well then it seems that that particular technology is not the answer going forward. This is why we are attempting to discern the needs of the users,” Henrik Holm says. “The journey started among other things by creating personas to map out the journey for us. Our place of employment had to do SO much more than before and we knew that our systems will be challenged.”
How does an employee best complete his tasks? Henrik and Haderslev Kommune moved very far away from the one-for-all principle in their Modern Workplace strategy and instead attempted to look at the individual task functions.
A Pandemic is not a Stumbling Block
Before the global Covid-19 pandemic hit, the transformation in Haderslev had begun. Several units had reached the users and the work was in progress to create a new platform of tomorrow. “We have done everything we believe to be right. We are working with an Office 365 platform which is relatively new, so now, we can just take advantage of the many options,” he says.
”The same day the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, shut down Denmark, we ordered 200 new PC’s to ensure that we could share these out to employees who needed to work from home, and we activated our Teams licenses so we were ready to go. We just needed to fire up the machines. Even our city council meetings were conducted via Teams from the beginning and we even had live streams,” Henrik Holm explains and elaborates further: “Unlike many other municipalities, and companies for that matter, we had no challenges in creating the VPN connections. We made sure that our users had the proper IT equipment and then Citrix and Office 365 managed our everyday functions. We already had Sharepoint and OneDrive in place so it went really well. Clearly, we ran Teams before Covid-19, but we could see in our statistics that the chart from straight up in a vertical line as of day one. It was a huge success and we were already well on our way.”
Everyone Needs to Be Able to Work
– Easily, Securely, and Efficiently
The core concept in any Modern Workplace strategy would be somewhat as this headline reads. Simple, yet complex beneath the surface. IT is well-known for being a disruption and disruptions are the number one killer of productivity. Therefore, all the systems that make units functional and tools accessible are extremely critical in a workplace.
Look to See What’s in the Box
Speaking of security: the first thing on everyone’s mind, when talking about licenses, is money – the cost. Especially when you bring up security. However, security does not have to be expensive because in most cases, you have licenses for a lot more than you actually think. When Henrik Holm stepped into Haderslev Kommune’s IT organization, one of his first initiatives was to look at just that.
”We sat down and said when we spend this much money on Office 365, what really comes in that box – and what do (not) we use? Our ambition is to obtain the greatest possible benefit from what we pay for. We want to use the entire box of crayons – that is our philosophy. As it stands today, we look at all functions in Office 365 and we use any part that makes sense,” he says and adds: “At the same time, we are trying to look at what existing things we could turn off. For instance, our old SMS token system. That has been replaced by a multi-factor system. This way, we also bring down the level of complexity.”