Through the continued adoption of mobile, cloud and collaborative technologies, midmarket organizations provide employees with tools for achieving greater productivity and competitive advantage. Now, they require a well-defined framework for the unified delivery of these independent technologies.

Because these technologies often come to the workplace in an informal, grassroots fashion, they tend to exist independently. From an IT standpoint, this fragmentation creates management complexity that actually hinders effective support. This is why midmarket companies say they are focused on creating a more unified approach with so-called “workplace transformation” efforts.

Midmarket firms with between 100 and 999 employees rank workplace transformation as the No. 1 IT challenge for 2018, according to new data from Techaisle. In its seventh annual SMB and Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges and Business Issues report, the market research firm finds that organizations of all sizes are looking for ways to increase integration, reduce complexity and enhance the end-user experience.

The Techaisle report supports the notion that a fundamental shift has occurred in the workplace, largely driven by technology. The concept of working at a single physical location throughout the day is increasingly uncommon. Untethered from traditional company-owned desktop PCs, today’s workers can get things done from just about any location at any time using a variety of mobile devices and cloud-based apps and platforms.

It may sound like a fluid and effective work style, but it actually can be extremely fragmented and inefficient. The need to constantly switch among multiple devices and applications in order to complete tasks can be counterproductive, causing frustration, distraction and inefficiency.

Workplace transformation initiatives are designed to unify transformative technologies in a consumer-like, employee-friendly environment that improves ease of use and simplifies IT support. Often, this can involve orchestrating desktop virtualization, device management, application delivery, identity management and more into a single platform that allows users to simply and securely access applications, content and services with any device.

Other results of the Techaisle report seem to dovetail with the workplace transformation challenge. Midmarket firms rated “improving productivity” and “reducing operational costs” as their top two business issues for 2018, with cloud and mobility technologies ranking as their top two IT priorities for the coming year.

The firm examined 21 different technology areas, 24 different IT challenges and 24 different business issues. Other top business issues included increasing profitability and growth, improving business processes, and speeding time to market. Other top IT priorities include increased use of analytics, collaboration and virtualization. Mobile security, application integration and cloud orchestration are among other IT challenges cited.

To a great degree, workplace transformation addresses all of these challenges, issues and priorities by unifying emerging technologies in ways that enable speedy innovation in products, services and business models. It can increase productivity, reduce costs, improve collaboration and enable competitive advantages.

It’s beyond dispute that technology has the potential to dramatically accelerate business objectives. However, the rapid pace of technology change can create significant challenges. Without a coherent strategy for implementing and coordinating new platforms, apps and devices, it can become overwhelming for both IT and end-users.

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