A cultural metamorphosis, driven by cloud technology

Hello, my name is Krishna Jobanputra a Digital Transformation Consultant. I am delighted to introduce #CultureConnections a new blog series to share insights and knowledge on digital transformation and impact on company culture. I shared my thoughts earlier this year so handed the baton to my colleague Mike Rowland, Office 365 Architect for his views …

By trade I would probably be badged a long-standing, discerning Cloud Enterprise Architect. My key skill is helping companies find the right cloud-based solution to solve whatever challenge they may be facing.  I truly love what I do and since working with Microsoft Office 365 I’ve also become much more involved in not just architecting new cloud solutions but helping users increase their say in shaping the technology they use.  

New systems and processes have come and gone.  The premise often the same, sweat an asset to failure and then replace only when necessary, and do not include any of the user community in the decision as to what new system to bring in as a replacement.

In recent years I’ve seen a cultural metamorphosis, driven by cloud technology.  Users are no longer a passive voice just accepting whatever the old Gods of IT throw their way – instead, now a vital part of the decision-making process.

Office 365 fosters a much more user centric view of the world than traditional on premises-based technology platforms.  Moving away from legacy hardware also starts to release legacy ways of thinking about how users consume services. 

People are more mobile than ever before, using social networks and collaborating with others as a fundamental part of their daily lives.  I find that people I talk to often get confused, at home they work in a much more natural way.  Unhindered by process or red tape, they just self-serve apps on whatever device they have to hand and just get on with what they want to do. Want to watch Netflix? Sure! Which device would you like? Phone? XBox? Cable TV Service? Not a problem and sure you can totally have fries with that too!

Then they come into the office.  And just get told no.  No, you can’t do that, here’s a restrictive set of systems, policed by IT with as much red tape as we can muster to make your life as hard as possible.  It’s really no wonder IT departments for years have been seen as the bad cop.

Now Microsoft Office 365 can help with that!  Platforms such as Teams and SharePoint put the user in charge of who has access to their data.  With OneDrive your files can follow you anywhere on any device.  Want to consume your email on a device that suits you, securely and from any location?  You can see where I’m going with this.  And sure, there is of course high-grade security built into the platform, but it’s largely hidden from the user.  Your data is controlled securely via policies leaving you free to collaborate and help you to help your company grow. And just like your applications at home everything is constantly changing and updated to the latest version.

I wouldn’t change my past experiences.  I truly believe that’s the best way to learn and has made me pretty pragmatic when I’m talking to customers. That’s what we at Minttulip and Microsoft know as Growth Mindset.

Author: Mike Rowland, Office 365 Architect