How Much Software Do You Need to Support Hybrid Work?

 In IT Planning, Workplace

Building the technology environment needed to support hybrid and remote work requires making choices about the tools you’ll support. In the simplest configuration, a business imposes a single product selection and mandates its use across the entire business. At the other extreme, every department or even project picks the software it prefers, leading to a multitude of products with varying numbers of users.

Of course, neither extreme is ideal. It’s nearly impossible to standardize on a single product to support remote work, because multiple types of functionality are needed: project management, collaboration and file sharing, and video conferencing. As a result, businesses should anticipate supporting multiple types of software that aid remote work. The real question is whether to allow multiple products within each type of software.

From the technology team’s perspective, it’s much easier to support a single collaboration platform. There are fewer licenses to manage, deploying software is easier, and providing end user support is simpler. Forcing all users to work with a single product isn’t likely to meet business needs, however, as departmental needs are highly variable. If the business doesn’t allow a choice of products, the choice is likely to move underground and result in increased shadow IT rather than effective utilization of the mandated product.

The result, then, is that IT teams should be prepared to support a small selection of approved products in each category. This gives departments the freedom to choose tools that meet their needs without overwhelming the IT team and keeping licensing and hosting costs under control.

There are a few, mostly minor, concerns when you allow multiple tools. The main drawbacks are that IT teams still need to develop expertise in more than one tool and that employees who transfer to a new role may need to learn some new technology. In addition, using multiple software tools can make ensuring data is secure somewhat more challenging, as well as make it more difficult to integrate data across projects and to track and preserve access for use in the future.

Prescient Solutions helps clients implement effective technology solutions to increase their employees’ productivity whether they work at home, the office, or both. Have you optimized your technology to support hybrid work? Download our hybrid work checklist and contact Prescient Solutions to upgrade your technology to meet the challenges of remote and hybrid work scenarios.

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