Search Results for: security

Support for flexible working an increasing challenge for IT managers, claims survey

Flexible workingOne of the greatest challenges currently facing IT managers is providing secure and robust technological infrastructure for flexible working, and it is set to become even greater as more and more firms adopt Cloud based working, according to a new report  from technology specialists ControlCircle. The survey of 250 UK based CIOs, ‘IT Growth and Transformation’ found that over the next five years the increasing mobility of the workforce is going to present them with a range of increasingly important challenges, with IT leaders predicting that security (56 percent), cloud (46 percent) and mobility (41 percent) set to become the biggest challenges they face. The survey also revealed that nearly half (48 percent) of respondents experience hourly, daily and weekly technology availability issues and a fifth (21 percent) experience business downtime daily or hourly as a result.

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Employees have spent average of £500 on BYOD, claims European survey

Iphone-5It’s not so long ago that companies were looking to ban employees from using social media and their own phones during work hours, or at least introducing policies to make it a disciplinary issue. Oh, we can LOL about it now but at the time it was routinely compared to the smoking ban, forcing educated adults to huddle outside fire escapes for a quick Facebook fix while their old-school colleagues sat in the warmth, offline but manning the phones. Of course, all this was before firms worked out they could actually get employees to pay for their own stuff and save themselves the expense. All they had to do was label it BYOD and talk about empowerment and people would cheerfully fork out what turns out to be a reasonable amount of money so the firm doesn’t have to.

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The workplace of the future is one founded on uncertainty

workplace of the futureWe now know for a fact that the good people at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills take heed of what they read on Workplace Insight. After Simon Heath recently eviscerated the idea of the year 2020 as a useful marker for the ‘future’, a new report from the UKCES draws its line in the sand a bit further on in 2030. It means they can’t have a ‘2020 Vision’ and for that we should be very thankful.  Yet the report still falls into the same traps that are always liable to ensnare any prognosis about the workplace of the future, notably that some of the things of which they talk have happened or are happening already. Then there’s the whole messy business of deciding what will emerge from the chaos; a bit like predicting the flavour of the soup you are making when a hundred other cooks are secretly adding their own ingredients.

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Business continuity report confirms technology still biggest threat to firms

Lock backgroundForget the recent UK floods. When it comes to risks to their businesses, it’s still tech that keeps business leaders awake at night, according to the latest annual Business Continuity Institute Horizon Scan report. Technology related threats continue to rank higher than natural disasters, security and industrial action according to the report which gauges the threats that organisations consider to be their biggest concerns. Nearly four-fifths of business leaders fear that an unplanned technological event, cyber attack or data breach will harm their business. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) consider malicious attacks through the Internet a major threat that needs to be managed closely, while nearly two-thirds (63 percent) think that social media remains a challenge. Meanwhile, one of last year’s threats – supply chain resilience – dropped out of the top ten completely.

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By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparents

By 2030 your colleagues could be old enough to be your great-grandparentsBy 2030 four-generation or “4G” workplaces – will become increasingly common as people delay retiring, even into their 80s. Although the role of women in the workplace will strengthen, an increasing divide will mean that while highly-skilled, highly-paid professionals will push for a better work-life balance, others will experience job and income insecurity. Technology will continue to evolve, pervading work environments everywhere, with many routine tasks becoming the domain of the smart algorithm. Multi media “virtual” work presences will become the norm, and as businesses seek additional flexibility, they will decrease the size of their core workforces, instead relying on networks of project-based workers. This is all according to the Future of Work, published this week by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). More →

‘Big Data’ is shaping the human experience within buildings

Empire State Building

As the cost of implementation comes down, the same “Smart” technology that is harnessing the predictive power of “Big Data” to help solve congestion problems in cities is being more routinely deployed in buildings. The Changing Face of Smart Buildings: The Op-Ex Advantage, published by Jones Lang LaSalle, explains how bringing a Big Data analytics-based approach to facilities management can increase employee comfort, engagement and productivity; whether helping organisations adapt more readily to supporting flexible workplace practises or using sustainability as a hook for engaging employees. In one notable example; by adding smart building components to a major Empire State Building energy refit, real-time energy displays enable tenants to better monitor and control their energy consumption, and even compete with other tenants in the landmark building to achieve energy savings. More →

Not just about the money. Higher wages do not improve employee retention

Money not the motivator, as higher wages does not improve employee retention

Employers that take a broader view of the employee experience beyond pay are more likely to retain talented employees. new research suggests. In a study of European economies by Towers Watson, countries with higher GDP growth tend also to have higher levels of employee attrition, The General Industry Compensation Survey Report findings also show little evidence to suggest that countries with high real-wage growth (i.e. salary increases minus inflation) are able to use that to secure higher levels of employee retention. The research proves that with the emergence of a strengthening employment market means employers will have to work harder to ensure that non-pay related benefits such as an attractive working environment and plenty of opportunities for career advancement are available to attract and retain talent. More →

UK workers exhibit split personalities when it comes to energy management

Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_HydeA new survey has highlighted the disparity between how energy (and hence money) conscious British people are in their domestic and working lives. According to research carried out by Rexel UK we exhibit a ‘split personality’ when it comes to the ways in which we use energy. Just under half (48 percent) of those surveyed describe themselves as energy conscious at home, whereas only a fifth (20 percent) would say the same about themselves in the workplace. Over a third (70 percent) say that they are concerned about wasting energy at home, whilst only two-fifths (43 percent) worry about wasting energy at work. In addition people are actively choosing to charge electronic devices at work in preference to home and, while nearly all turn the lights off at home (93 percent), only 60 percent do so in the office.

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Guidance from GCHQ suggests that Windows XP is no longer secure

Open lockWorking from home to avoid the tube strike or weather-related travel chaos? Well, the perils associated with working from home may be more complex than contending with poor time management, feelings of isolation and a propensity to gain weight and neglect personal hygiene. The UK’s Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) is advising that all public sector staff who are still using Windows XP at home should be denied access to networks. By extension we can conclude that it’s not safe for anybody to be running the old yet still commonplace operating system after Microsoft announced it was withdrawing support from  the 8th April despite the fact that over a third of all PCs worldwide still use Windows XP.

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The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year ahead

The nine enduring workplace tensions to keep an eye on in the year aheadThere were a number of workplace issues that wouldn’t go away during 2013. And there’s no reason to believe we will resolve many of them during 2014 either. We can try to explain the recalcitrance of such things by referring to the enveloping fog that emanates from the commercial interests who promote problems to their customers so they can provide the solutions, but many are more deep-rooted. Technology and its constant radicalising effects is almost invariably the major driver of change, but it is only one thread in a complex web of social, professional, demographic, cultural and commercial changes. So here, in no particular order, are the issues we expect to spend the most time talking about on Insight over the next year. More →

Companies need to work out what they want to emerge from the BYOD pile-up

Blues Brothers Pile UpAnybody who tells you they understand what is happening with BYOD, doesn’t understand what is happening with BYOD. Even by the standards of workplace technology, trying to get a firm grasp on the current state of play when it comes to the practice of Bring Your Own Device is particularly challenging. Surveys, opinions, research and case study pile up each day, crashing and bouncing off each other like the culmination of the multiple car chases in the Blues Brothers and just as difficult to untangle. The latest batch of news and views highlights exactly how disparate and conflicting the available information is. But underlying it all appears to be a single discernible and consistent point; while organisations may be less focussed on BYOD’s perceived advantages and rather more worried about the consequence of not implementing the practice, they still don’t trust it.

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Don’t be caught by surprise by the hidden costs of commercial property


let-signAccording to Colliers International’s recent Global Investor Sentiment Report, 2014 will see an increase in commercial property investor confidence, with 74 per cent of UK based investors saying they were more likely to risk investing across all property sectors, although offices remain the most popular category to invest in. Yet despite this vote of confidence, it seems strange to report that the real costs involved in property acquisition and maintenance, are frequently overlooked by the purchasers. It appears that businesses often have a patchy knowledge of the range of costs involved in owning or leasing commercial real estate, which is surprising when you consider that a company’s biggest single investment next to its workforce is commercial property.

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