Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Future of Work Starts Now

An interview with
Matt Carter
Sprint Business

As the President of Sprint Business, Matt Carter is responsible for looking ahead to the future of work and helping businesses navigate this new environment. Frost & Sullivan recently spoke with Matt about these changes and the challenges ahead.

As the nature of work evolves, what do you think are some of the challenges companies are facing?

Over the last year or two we’ve been talking to a lot of people: CEOs looking for more agility in their businesses to deal effectively with disruptive market change; line of business managers wanting to shift gear to beat the competition; and IT managers who need to respond to the changing needs of the workforce – in mobile, in social and in technology terms – but who find their legacy IT systems make it just too difficult.

One critical thread has run through these discussions: our customers and prospects are desperate to liberate their people from their existing systems so they can do their jobs better and enjoy them more.

According to a recent Gallup survey, only 10% of employees feel engaged at work – meaning they feel emotionally invested and focused on creating value for their organizations every day. Scarily, actively disengaged workers outnumber engaged ones by more than two-to-one.

This means that the big question that every leader has to answer is: how can we change work to deliver more of the things people come to work for? Things like fulfillment, autonomy, recognition, affirmation and, yes, fun.

What should companies be looking at in order to do that?

The answer to this question lies not just in technology, because company culture and values will play a vital role. Younger workers in particular are looking for jobs they can believe in, that they can commit to with their heart and their head. We have slideshare on The Future of Work that I think shows what I mean.

Company culture and management styles are critical, but technology is critical too.

Where does IT fit into all of this?

IT used to be a scarce resource, one that depended on platoons, even armies, of specialists to build it and keep it running. The systems were built from the inside out, with a focus on that business and that business alone. In this world, people were generally forced to adapt to the way IT systems worked.

Now that’s all changing. Cloud and mobile are creating a new IT eco-system, one where companies are leveraging outside resources to run some core processes.

In response, leaders are looking to turbo-charge productivity by encouraging their people to work together as flexible teams wherever they are so they can exploit great ideas more quickly. Teamwork is the central process of every business and it’s undergoing a revolution as new tools and deployment models proliferate. Analytics tools are delivering new insight at the point of every decision.

Together these profound changes are driving the way companies confront the triple threat of change, complexity and competition their companies face every day. Senior managers know that if they can win the commitment of their employees, the business will flourish however tough the outside environment.

To learn more, visit sprint.com/officefuel.

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