Today’s workforce is now productive in places and during times it previously was not. No longer deskbound, employees are conducting important business from the train, the coffee shop line and their hotel room. This shift in how we work has increasingly necessitated a shift in how we view enterprise computing. The “desktop” as we know it is still here, but it now has siblings in the form of smartphones and tablets. And they can all coexist in one happy family if your organisation plans its desktop strategy with a holistic approach. We talk to Peter Stein, General Manager of Licensing at Datacom, about how organisations can expand their view of the enterprise desktop to drive better productivity and performance across the organisation.
Q: There's been a lot of talk in the media in Australia and beyond about the "end of the desktop" to make way for a tablet/laptop/smartphone-filled workforce. Is the desktop ending or just taking a new shape?
A: By no means is the desktop dead. It won’t be as prevalent, but it does still have a spot in today’s workforce. For office-bound workers, it is still a very effective tool to complete routine work in a standard work environment. The functionality allows a user to effectively create and complete tasks. One of the points that I see as still key to this style of work is the number of people who use other devices but then come into the office environment to dock their other device to something that allows them access to a larger screen and a full keyboard and mouse.
Now to look at the benefits of new devices, individuals get to couple their work styles with devices that match their needs. As we become a more connected world, we can manage our work-life balance by connecting when it makes sense. To maximise this connectivity, tools are being built with similar features for multiple devices. The more common the interface, the easier it is for the user to maximise the tool on that device.
Q: What does the future look like to you in terms of device use and workplace arrangements (remote work, BYOD, hot desking, etc.)?
A: The appy world is our new reality. Businesses are building-customer facing and internal apps to allow business flexibility. Users from the CEO-level and down are demanding access to tools through multiple devices, and the vendors are moving their software to the cloud and consumption models. From a pure IT perspective, this is creating a security paradigm for the IT team. As purchase and admin control for consumption-based apps sit in teams that are not focused on security, the business needs to still have tools in place to understand what is being used where and the implications of the data available on these apps.
The future will show multiple form factors either as BYOD or company-provisioned hardware that will run a company-managed Endpoint Management Solution that can provide complete device lifecycle management. Datacom’s Managed End Point solution, for instance, not only allows for management and troubleshooting of IT functions, but also ensures that endpoints remain compliant with internal and external standards.
Q: Why has there been resistance from some organisations to relinquish their hold on the traditional desktop and incorporate a wider range of devices?
A: I would not call it resistance. Initially, organisations are looking to maximise their investment, and in their current refresh cycle, they are building out plans on how to make use of the new world of connected devices. Organisations have to carefully look at how they are going to manage this not only from a support perspective but also in terms of data security and user IP. There is a dynamic shift from a managed device and applications that have been vetted by IT to a more open framework, which creates challenges ranging from support to ownership.
Q: What's the benefit to organisations in re-envisioning desktop strategy?
A: I went to a traditional games arcade with my 5-year-old son and he saw Pac-Man. He immediately went to the screen and started trying to direct the game with his fingers rather than using the controls available. Today’s new design will mean that not only will we be able to be more mobile, but things we have not yet envisioned will become common place in the coming years. To date, the games market has broken frontiers on touch, and the enterprise is only now beginning to build touch-based applications to improve performance and productivity.
Q: What are some of the first things organisations need to consider when rethinking their desktop strategy to incorporate a wider range of devices and work situations?
A: The move to devices should not be seen as a large leap. It is incorporating touch into the organisation. The main consideration is for any legacy applications and how they will resolve touch. If these devices are company-provisioned, the normal vetting of the devices will occur through IT. Where the device is BYOD, the organisation needs to decide if they are going to deliver the app natively or through a virtual environment.
A Gartner VP recently suggested that current cyber security discussions on advanced threats are just hype to which most commercial enterprises should not pay attention. The argument likened cyber security technologies and practice to a “Ponzi scheme”, whereby the returns never match the investment and essentially entrap business into an ever increasing dependence on vendors and technologies.
This viewpoint is bound to draw attention from security vendors, practitioners and consumers. In part, it is most likely designed to create that very response and is a conversation that needs to be had. On the record, we have to agree with the sentiment. Advanced nation state threats are not targeting every commercial enterprise operating in Australia. So why should a business with a market cap of $4 million spend 25 per cent of that value trying to protect themselves from threats that are, in essence, of low to almost no threat?
Yes, there are legal and regulatory obligations for businesses to protect both personal and financial data. There are implications for businesses on the availability of information systems affecting revenue, continuity and a business’s ability to maintain commercial operations. Not to forget the impacts upon the reputation of those organisations whose security is known to have been compromised. Who would feel secure visiting a retail store after media reports suggested that the point of sale mechanism was stealing credit card details for “foreign” hackers?
Like any service designed to support commercial operations, cyber security has a known commercial value and impact. The difficult part is in assessing the "what" of value and business impact. Without this, it is almost impossible to measure the business effectiveness of cyber security.
The security posture should equate to business risk and impact value
At Datacom TSS, our focus is on helping our clients establish a security posture appropriate for business needs. We view a security posture as your organisation’s level of risk based upon commercial asset values (revenue, capital, IP, reputational, regulatory, legal), actual threat and recognised vulnerability. This is assessed against the maturity or effectiveness in ICT design, development, procurement, supply chain, policies, processes and service operations. We, therefore, begin by determining the impact of security specific to your business.
Based upon the assessment against your current security posture, a security strategy can be designed to mitigate or treat identified vulnerable areas in business operations. This strategy is always determined and traced against both business requirements and asset values. This ensures that security outcomes can be quantified against the value they protect versus the cost of implementation. Cost benefit analysis is essential in establishing commercial impact. Security must always be justified and quantified.
If the case for security cannot be justified, then the reasons for implementing security may not be well understood. If you cannot justify your expenditure against a business outcome, you most likely have paid for something you did not need.
The value of trust in your practitioner
It cannot be stated enough that many security outcomes do not involve the sale of a vendor product. As security practitioners, we must remain both solution- and vendor-agnostic in determining outcomes to security strategies. Without this approach, achieving a suitable security posture breaks down into an exercise of setting the strategy to meet product X. This, in turn, leads to businesses purchasing capability that had no impact against actual organisational security threats. The "What can we sell you today?" attitude will not extend effective security gains; adversaries are always adaptive and industry segment threats change constantly. Trust is the key. The truth that sometimes is counter to commercial interest is imperative in protecting assets. Without this, it is all hype.
Cyber security is not simply a "product solves everything" industry. It is as much a service to ICT as ICT is a service to business. As such, each business should seek solutions that align with its threat profile and the value of its assets. Being cognisant of these facts will enable both enterprises and governments alike to deliver actual outcomes for cyber security. This will rationalise the current discussions surrounding advanced threats, including that of APT.
In creating an understanding of the position and posture of security, including the needs of business to achieve security, you will avoid the hype and deliver cost-effective capability outcomes.
The enterprise world has become quite comfortable with the idea of working with managed services providers. As we enter the Business Process as a Service era, however, organisations are finding that relationships with BPaaS providers have their own special set of nuances.
The biggest obstacle businesses face in managing the relationship with their BPaaS providers is often themselves, and typically stems from a desire to retain control of the process rather than focus on the outcome and let the provider deploy their efficient processes. The critical thing to ask yourself is, “How do I set this relationship up to best ensure the delivery of the outcome I’m after?”
Thankfully, the majority of challenges that may arise during a relationship with the BPaaS provider are easy to manage and even avoid.
You may feel a degree of anxiety in the beginning as your BPaaS provider wants to deploy processes that are different from the way your business has traditionally done things. You may feel compelled to ask the provider to modify or change their proven processes to quell your anxiety. Try to avoid this if you can. Give your provider some latitude to run with their processes. You will likely find the new way of doing things more efficient than your traditional approach. Remember, what you are after is the business process, completed to a service level for a predictable low cost.
It is likely that tensions will occur around timing of systems upgrades and enhancements from your BPaaS provider. You may find the timing inconvenient. Remember, though, that there are great benefits in operating within a shared, multi-tenanted environment such as lower cost, greater flexibility and “community involvement”. If the provider didn’t try and keep all of its tenants in this environment, then the cost of support would rise. Work with your supplier closely on forecasting and scheduling to minimise the chance of disruption to your business.
Even non-strategic business processes, if they are not executed well, could bring your business to its knees. For example, payroll is necessary in most businesses, but not strategic; it is also one of the most outsourced functions. What would happen if your payroll provider went out of business overnight? You should lessen the risk by incorporating the following into your supplier relationship:
- Choose a provider with sound financials. Make sure their size and strength are commensurate to the risk your business wishes to take.
- Make sure the software products your supplier deploys are non-proprietary so you can move to another supplier if need be.
- If your supplier is using proprietary software, then make sure you have access to the software in the event of a failure. An escrow agreement might work for you here.
- Ensure you operate a robust relationship management plan right up to senior executive level so business-to-business conversations can occur.
Knowledge of your business
You may be worried that the BPaaS provider doesn’t know your business or industry well enough. This is a valid concern, but remember that you are trying to buy a business outcome. In order to do a business function like payroll, the supplier needs to pay your people on time, accurately, every time. Specific knowledge of your business may not be necessary. If you think a better service would be delivered if they did know more, then bring them close. Incorporate into your quarterly review things like business updates, business challenges and innovation acceleration. It might be enlightening for you to have a fresh, motivated opinion on how to do things better.
Staying in touch
The key to any relationship is communication. From Day One, establish a consistent, open dialogue where both you and your provider can discuss expectations for the working dynamic. Build relationships with your BPaaS provider up through the C-suite to facilitate high-level conversations and help the provider become a true business partner.
Working with a BPaaS provider should alleviate burdens from your operations and staff, not add to them. Taking an active role in managing the relationship with your BPaaS provider, and instilling that relationship with trust, planning and clear communication, will set up both parties for a successful future together.
Mark McWilliams has 25 years experience in the technology sector and is a Director of Datacom Investments.
He has detailed knowledge across the IT spectrum from data centres through to governance, with everything in between. He has also worked with organisations that have varying needs from a security standpoint, including those with advanced requirements such as banks and government agencies.
If you’re beginning a 1:1 student laptop program in the next school year, now is the time to start planning. You will already have a clear vision of the program — the next step is to look at the logistics and support needed to achieve your goals. There are questions you can ask internal stakeholders now to learn which technology-related needs and concerns your school has. Once you’ve surveyed your stakeholders, you can work with an education services provider to tailor a 1:1 technology strategy using a holistic approach to meet your goals.
1. Do you currently have full-time IT support staff in your school?
Even in the most successful 1:1 technology rollouts, there are bound to be questions on device use and how to connect to the network. If you don’t have any IT support, teachers might approach more tech-savvy colleagues to solve their technology problems, costing these teachers time and productivity.
2. Are there policies for handling IT-related issues?
If you do have IT staff support or plan to hire some either internally or through an outsourced relationship, they can’t devote all their time to supporting technology in the classroom. Map out how much time and cost should be allocated to this type of support and describe in detail how both students and teachers can address any 1:1 technology issues.
3. Are there policies for using the devices inside and outside of school?
If there are already policies in place for using the Internet, computers and social media in your school, you can build off them to craft guidelines for new 1:1 technology in the classroom. Components can include appropriate use of technology in the classroom and outside it, protecting against cyber security issues and what to do in cases of device downtime inside the classroom.
4. How do you plan to integrate 1:1 technology into your curriculum?
Issuing 1:1 devices to students and teachers without providing learning around how educators can use the technology in the classroom, is a recipe for disaster. Discuss the needs, concerns and ideas of your teaching staff and engage an outside education services consultant for assistance in fully integrating 1:1 technology in the classroom.
5. Will you have a document workflow strategy with security, privacy and archiving procedures?
You’re about to have a lot more data flowing through your school with a 1:1 program. This includes both data stored and shared between devices and data printed on school printers. Security parameters and privacy controls must be in place so data isn’t compromised or accessed by the wrong individuals. For instance, you might want to impose a rule that teachers and students can’t use personal email on their devices when using the technology in the classroom. Also consider how you will store data that must be retained for a number of years and the costs of potential solutions.
6. How will you track performance on your technology investment?
Having metrics and a reporting structure in place is crucial to demonstrating the ROI of your 1:1 technology program. But even more important is actually knowing what you want to track from the beginning of the program. Are you looking to increase overall education outcomes, reading ability or math scores by using technology in the classroom? You’ll be able to find these answers by surveying all your internal stakeholders, including administrators and teachers.
7. How will you identify areas for improvement around technology within your school?
Your new 1:1 rollout should never be a Band-Aid for your school. The program will continually need to be optimised to produce the most successful use of technology in the classroom possible. Come up with a schedule and process for how often you will assess how your different 1:1 program components are performing for your school.
Establishing the national Professional Learning Services team at XciteLogic in 2009, Anita brings over 20 years teaching experience to Datacom's Education services. She has taught most age groups -- from kindergarten through to university lecturing -- and has also assumed specialist teaching roles. Her previous teaching and consultancy roles, and current role with Datacom, has seen her work throughout Australia and internationally, teaching students, educating teachers and working at systems levels to help implement learning initiatives where teachers learn alongside their students in a technology-rich environment.
Most projects organisations implement are delivered according to a framework or set of best practices. These guidelines help ensure the project aligns with business needs and follows a deployment process that will provide the best chances of ongoing success post-implementation. The same should apply when beginning a social media program in your organisation.
With social media, businesses often jump into the water without a life jacket, forgetting they don’t know how to swim. Profiles are set up. A few statuses or tweets are posted. And then it all ends — either because there’s a lack of consistency in who’s driving the strategy and execution, a crisis emerges online that the business is unequipped to deal with or the ROI of social media efforts can’t be tracked. The result is a wasted investment — especially when you consider the potential reach, revenue-generation and retention of customers social media can help facilitate.
A more valuable outcome can be achieved through social media by following a set path for strategising, executing and then optimising results. This framework is called BITIL, which stands for Brokerage, Integration, Trust, Incentives and Leadership. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a social strategy provides organisations the intelligence to assess the relevance of previous community activity, requirements for future strategy, rationale of future spend and the allocation of resources. Below, Scott Ward, director of Datacom partner organisation Digital Infusions and the creator of the BITIL framework, explains how BITIL can help organisations succeed in social media.
Q: How would you start an organisation on this framework? Is there any one place you start?
A: “When building a social media strategy, the natural starting point is leadership. Everything else trickles down from there. Leadership fills in a lot of the gaps. You’re trying to figure out what you’re trying to get out of social media and the value you’re trying to give to your customers. How are you doing that and enabling it and how are others progressing toward that goal in the community? That’s the secret to figuring out ROI as well.”
Q: A lot of organisations think they need to create content from scratch before they start sharing on social media. Is this true or false?
A: “It can be existing content that you can infuse in different conversations. If you’re listening online, that should give you the topics of discussion for posting content because you learn what people are talking about and interested in. You respond with content from there.”
Q: Where does sentiment fall in all this?
A: “Sentiment is important, but if it’s negative, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. It’s an opportunity to reclaim customer loyalty. If you resolve an issue, the customer can be more loyal than they would have been without an issue. Negative sentiment is the biggest opportunity to build trust.
Remember that on social media, 90% listen, 9% respond and 1% posts original content. You want to illustrate to the silent 90% per cent that it is safe to contribute should they choose to. The 90% can learn from the interaction and carry those conversations offline. While they may be passive in their online activities, they are still on the engagement ladder.”
Q: How can businesses integrate the customer lifecycle with their social media efforts?
A: “This is the end user experience — wherever the customer comes into contact with your product, you want to be there. When they might call, walk into the store, have a transaction, then leave the store — that’s the customer experience. So if they come into your store and buy a shirt, you include your social media profiles on the receipt or a card or flyer. Encourage them to follow you online and upload a picture of themselves with their new purchase. You want to figure out how you can insert your social media activities into all of those interactions. This works for B2C as well as B2B.”
Q: What kinds of incentives work best in your experience?
A: “It’s up to leadership to provide the right environment and incentives. You should always thank people for tweeting, following, commenting. The incentive model for social media is called SAPS: status, access, power and stuff. That order is from the most effective incentive to the least effective. When you do things like thank someone for following, it falls into 'status' and is more likely to move them toward becoming a committed follower.”
Datacom GM Stacey Tomasoni and Scott Ward will be speaking at “Moving Beyond the Social Media Hype”, an ATA event that will focus on using BITIL to create an effective social media strategy, in Sydney on Sept. 26. Learn more information and register here.
Stacey Tomasoni has worked with Datacom for four years in a number of critical executive roles across the business. Her current role as General Manager, Australia has seen her lead large-scale operations across multiple sites, driving a number of positive business outcomes for both Datacom and its clients.
Stacey specialises in a number of areas, including rapid deployment of resources to respond to unexpected events, adoption of multi-channel resources, with a focus on self-help and call elimination, and using social media to listen, react and engage.
This is Part 2 of our Q&A with Datacom Education Specialist Anita L'Enfant on the evolution of technology in education in Australia.
1. In your experience, what contributes to teachers being successful in using technology in the classroom?
It is really important for teachers to be successful in their changes when implementing a technology-enabled learning program. We always recommend taking small steps and implementing a workflow and system that embeds technology in the classroom rather than just adding in games and activities to use the device. For this to happen, there needs to be good technology choices at appropriate times in the learning experience and ongoing professional learning that supports teachers in the pedagogical changes they need to make — not just in knowing how to work the device. Teachers need time to explore, play and experiment with technology in the classroom, just like all learners.
2. What are some of the ways we measure the effectiveness of technology in the classroom?
There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of technology in the classroom because it depends on the learning outcomes you aim to enhance. In almost all studies into technology-enabled learning, the level of student engagement increases dramatically. This is shown both in the amount of time students spend actively engaged in learning at school but also in drops in absentee rates.
One of the world’s earliest “Learning with Laptops” trials in the U.S. measured literacy achievement and showed significant increases in writing achievement by using laptop technology in the classroom. These results have since been replicated all over the world. The Victorian iPad trial in 2011 also reports improvements in student learning outcomes, increases in independent learning and improvement in parental engagement. In measuring the effectiveness of the use of technology in the classroom, schools must also ensure they plan and implement a change in teacher practice.
3. Can you give some examples of how you’ve seen successful outcomes with technology in the classroom?
One of the most effective ways to use technology in the classroom is to duplicate the teacher. The teacher puts a whole unit of work online — video instructions, screencast lectures, links to websites and explicit tasks —, and students are then able to work through the unit at their own pace. This means students can spend more time on a particular concept if they need to or move ahead if they are able using this technology in the classroom. Having all the tasks and resources easily accessible frees up the teacher during class time to support students individually or in small groups without having to waste time keeping a whole class on task.
Other examples where students are involved in using technology in the classroom include creating something that demonstrates their understanding. For example, students might use a music creation app to create a song about sustainable water use or a stop-motion animation to demonstrate how the digestive system works.
Students are also using augmented reality tools to link the learning process to a final product. This allows them to video the process they went through in a learning project, with their reflections and observations, and link this to an image of the final product, which could be a robotics machine or a piece of artwork or a chemistry project. All of these uses of technology in the classroom encourage reflective learning, which we know enhances the learning process.
4. In your opinion, how has use of technology in the classroom evolved in Australia and where do you see it heading next?
The revolution is that technology in the classroom in Australia is now in the hands of the learners — all of them, whenever they need it. Device availability, affordability and mobility mean technology has become just another tool for learning like pens, pencils and paper. The focus is no longer on the technology but on the learning. I see educators in Australia using technology in the classroom as more of a connection tool in the future — allowing teachers and students to connect with knowledge experts from around the world, with communities that have similar or completely different needs and enhancing the links between student, school and home with the individual learners’ needs. Everything we know about learning is that it is enhanced when there is a strong partnership between these three entities. In that way, the best use of technology in the classroom will continue to enhance and support what we have always known about good learning practices.
The evolution of how work is performed and flows through today’s organisations has added convenience and collaboration capabilities that allow employees to work smarter. This shift also means the acts of printing and sharing documents and data has burrowed into more areas of your business, widening existing security gaps.
Yet, print security remains overlooked in many organisations — only 13 per cent of workplace print hardware requires a password to release a print job or permit copying, according to a 2012 McAfee/Xerox study. And with the average organisational data breach in Australia costing $4,104,932 USD according to the Ponemon Institute/Symantec 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, security lapse by printer — whether it’s due to human, machine or third-party error — is a costly mistake. These print security data breach costs extend to reputational and revenue-generation areas as well, with the average cost of lost business and customer turnover standing at $1.9M USD for Australian organisations. Your organisation can avoid a costly data breach by learning where print security gaps exist and devising a strategy to fill them.
How print security gaps happen
According to the Ponemon Institute/Symantec study, data breach risks attributable to print come from three different sources. At 43 per cent, the first and most frequent cause comes from malicious attacks, whether from inside or outside the organisation. Sheer human error makes up 33 per cent of the causes of print security data breach while flaws in IT infrastructure or the enterprise network account for the remaining 24 per cent.
As employees have become more mobile and engage in more remote work, the opportunities for print security data breaches within these categories have multiplied. For instance, organisations once only had to worry about third-party attacks striking at their physical office locations. They now must also be concerned with possible interception when an employee sends a print job from a personal mobile device to a network-connected printer. The same goes for the large number of employees using public cloud consumer file-sharing apps for work activities and personal wireless networks instead of VPNs to share documents.
Incorporating a print security strategy
Effectively guarding your organisation against print security data breaches necessitates a strategy including user policies and consequences for not following them. You must determine who has access to your print devices and what they are allowed to do on them and ensure individual employees can only use role-specific printer functions. In some cases, you might want to restrict what employees can print, email or fax and to whom they can send documents. Once your print security strategy is formulated, you can begin considering the type of solutions to put in place to curb haphazard printing and data sharing, including:
- Printer hard drive encryption: Hard drive encryption can prevent a data breach if your print device or its hard drive is compromised. This doesn’t just include data from the printed document, but also employee contact information stored on the device. Certain technology can also wipe your printer hard drive should it be compromised.
- Personal identification measures: Authentication with a PIN or passcode can help keep printed documents out of the wrong hands. Other print security options include requiring employees to swipe a card or badge to pick up their print jobs.
- Sensitive document flagging and tracking: Using keywords, certain types of print security software can determine if a sensitive document has been printed, copied or shared and immediately notify the appropriate people to avoid a data breach.
The right managed print services provider can help you create and implement your print security strategy to avoid print-related data breaches at your organisation. By assessing how your organisation prints and seeing which print security gaps currently exist, you’ll get a clear picture of how to protect your documents from data breach before they are sent to the printer.
Mathew Frederickson joined Datacom Systems WA in 2008 to establish the Managed Print Services division, an area that has evolved to become a critical component of the Datacom Systems service suite. After serving as GM of MPS in WA for five years, he became the National Manager - Managed Print Services, in charge of Datacom’s national print strategy across the company’s six Australian locations. Prior to starting work at Datacom, Mathew served as Facilities Manager for Imagetec Solutions and as an Account Manager at Mutlifax/DDS.
In classrooms all over Australia, blackboards and chalk have given way to tablets and touchscreens. This shift toward incorporating more technology in the classroom is allowing students to be more collaborative and learn in a way that suits them individually. Technology in the classroom is also presenting new and exciting opportunities for teachers, who are no longer bound to print worksheets and textbooks in their lessons.
To properly implement technology in the classroom, schools must embrace the necessary cultural change that will affect students, teachers, parents, IT and administrators. We spoke to Datacom Education Specialist Anita L’Enfant on the shift toward a more digital learning environment and how educators can learn how to use these tools in the classroom.
1. When in Australia did we really begin seeing a move toward a teaching approach focused more on the individual student and providing a 24/7 learning opportunity involving technology in the classroom?
Education has been stuck in a 19th century model of teacher-centric learning that we’re all familiar with, but there have been movements towards a focus on the individual child and his or her learning style since the 1970s. Educational research into learning styles, learning through collaboration and how the brain constructs knowledge demonstrates the need for education to be learner-centred and owned, which has involved into more use of technology in the classroom.
2. What have been the catalysts that have led to this increased focus on technology in the classroom?
During the last five years, mobile technology has developed in leaps and bounds, allowing accessible technology in the classroom. The affordability and availability of mobile technology has provided students with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in many different ways, including using technology in the classroom, and for teachers to provide learning experiences to students beyond what they can see in their classroom. Technology in the classroom, in a sense, has bridged the gaps amongst different ways of learning and interacting in the classroom.
3. What are some of the main components that make up this type of “21st century learning” prioritising technology in the classroom?
Choice is the biggest change for 21st century learning and technology in the classroom. With technology tools that allow for the creation of multimedia, connection to the world’s experts and a world-wide platform for a student’s voice, teachers have a great deal of choice in the type of authentic learning experiences they can provide for their students using technology in the classroom. Students can be creative with words, sounds and images to explain processes and knowledge they have learned. While this type of student-centred learning is not new, technology in the classroom makes it so much easier and quicker for students to achieve.
4. With the younger generations having grown up with computers, mobile technology and social networking, it must be a bit daunting for some teachers to adapt to this new way of using technology in the classroom. How can teachers get comfortable with using technology in the classroom so they are on the same page with their students?
It certainly can be daunting for teachers who often feel they play catch-up with students in terms of technology in the classroom, but the best teachers are learners. The most successful schools that have implemented learning programs using technology in the classroom are those that embrace and celebrate student capabilities in technology in the classroom and allow for the students to share this with the teachers. We support many schools in developing programs where students are the technology coaches for the teachers. Not only is this supporting teachers in their learning but it also provides a sense of purpose and ownership for those students prepared to use technology in the classroom. Successful schools aim to create a learning community using technology in the classroom where everyone is both teacher and learner.
Stay tuned for Part II of our interview with Anita.
Last year, IDC Research Director Holly Muscolino wrote an article titled “Maybe we should rename Managed Print Services (MPS), "Managed Innovative Services"?” on how MPS has quickly evolved to cover more aspects than just the printed document. MPS now also encompasses data and content that never see the print room and are instead shared and consumed online or through a range of business applications.
Expanding the traditional definition of MPS to include doc management solutions adds new strategic dimensions for organisations looking to solve more business pain points such as reducing delivery time, automating routine processes and accelerating decision-making. It could also improve revenue: almost a quarter of organisations surveyed for IDC’s Document Management Thought Leadership Survey 2012 said improving document-driven business processes would boost revenue by more than 10 per cent. Here are some of the ways doc management solutions, in tandem with managed print services, can optimise business processes to boost your bottom line.
The possibilities available through doc management
The MPS market has changed so rapidly that often organisations remain unaware of new capabilities that can be integrated with their print strategy. But there is certainly a need for these doc management possibilities: over 40 per cent of all business activities rely on data captured in documents, according to the IDC research. Ineffective doc management processes can increase costs, non-compliance risks and customer dissatisfaction, the IDC says. MPS doc management solutions involving transferring print documents to electronic versions, integrating workflows and managing content can free up employee time, reduce human error and minimise physical storage costs. Some of the options include:
- Intelligent capture: Using a pattern-recognition approach, this MPS software solution organises both paper and electronic documents into actionable business insights by syncing up content with your enterprise applications through data extraction and automated classification tools. Digitally stored, employees are then able to access, distribute and monitor all business documents regardless of whether they are hard or soft copy.
- Example of optimised business process: Eliminate the manual process of entering customer order data into a database to generate revenue faster.
- Integrated workflow solutions: Through synthesising both structured and unstructured data of all formats traveling through your organisation, these MPS doc management solutions automate the routing, storage and archiving of information so authorised employees can access critical data from any device.
- Example of optimised business process: Reduce the time and money spent manually filing and storing information onsite.
- Collaboration software: Besides scanning, storing and sharing documents, the ability to edit and add to them is crucial in today’s increasingly mobile and geographically disparate workforces. Doc management solutions that include collaboration features provide a seamless way to get work done, sent to the right people and approved without ever having to print it. Through components such as versioning control, scanning direct to SharePoint and approval alerts, these doc management solutions let employees more easily and quickly review, revise and route important documents.
- Example of optimised business process: Cut the risk of overwriting edits and manually sharing incorrect document versions.
Assessing your MPS doc management needs
While a buffet of doc management options exist, your organisation should only incorporate the MPS solutions that map to how your workforce is creating, sharing and consuming documents and data. Consulting with an MPS provider, even if you don’t currently have an MPS arrangement in place, can highlight the doc management solutions that could improve certain areas of your business, such as compliance, security and approval times. An MPS provider can offer a range of assessments, such as inbound document and document workflow evaluations, to determine the best overall doc management strategy for you. Working with your MPS provider, you organisation can continue to stay on the pulse of new and evolving doc management offerings that could provide innovative solutions for your changing business needs.
As part of Datacom’s commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership in its data centres, Datacom Australia is a sponsor of the United Nations Green Leaders Summit in Sydney Sept. 9 through 12.
The annual Green Leaders event is produced by Green World City with the support of United Nations World Urban Campaign and brings together global international delegates, green leaders and innovators from all sectors to discuss, share and collaborate on sustainable solutions. Topics covered will include natural resource depletion, global urbanisation, climatic change, energy, pollution, food resources and the impact of population growth.
Participation in the Green Leaders Summit is part of Datacom’s work towards using best practice environmental standards in its data centres, such as:
- A custom-designed cooling system to offer leading-edge cooling efficiency
- Design and layout of cooling and ventilation using a proven hot/cold aisle ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers) approach
- Building automation system (BAS) to offer visibility of any inefficiency
- A strict maintenance activity regime to ensure all equipment is serviced promptly
- Cold air economisers that use outside air to cool buildings to ensure optimum energy efficiency.
Datacom has worked for several years to become green leaders in data centres, sustaining and developing a comprehensive Environmental Management Plan for its data centres that is audited to ISO 14001 standards each year. The certification is considered the only auditable international standard defining requirements for the creation, implementation and maintenance of EMPs to better represent and manage the long-term commitment to carbon reduction and sustainability. Datacom completed the successful audit certification for ISO 14001 in 2009 through BSI, the world's first National Standards Body, and will be completing another phase of auditing in Victoria in October 2013.
To register to attend the Green Leaders Summit, visit our events page