Transforming the Workplace: An Integrated Strategy for Change

This is part 4 of my blog series about transforming the workplace. Be sure to read part 1, part 2, and part 3 in the series.

“If you can’t help people change, technology changing all around them won’t make the slightest difference.”

– Dave Coplin, Business Reimagined

It’s a common misconception in the business world that new technology equals change. This blog series has been exploring how the workplace is changing and the inevitable challenges of innovation. And while we know that technology is key to achieving transformation in the workplace, it’s only part of the story. Here I want to discuss the final component: applying an inclusive, integrated strategy to facilitate change throughout the organization with the right partnerships and culture change.

The need for a triumvirate approach: Culture, IT, and facilities

After the technology foundation is established, the rubber meets the road. The next step is putting the vision of workplace transformation into practice. To enable true transformation across the business, Intel recommends a triumvirate approach to address company culture, IT, and facilities.


Culture: Supporting change at every turn
A few companies are leading the pack when it comes to progressive culture. And why? It’s because they have embraced new styles of working from the top down. And in many cases, it involves playing games, supporting physical fitness, and so on. To facilitate change throughout your organization, it’s important to embrace the following key attributes:

  • Innovation
  • Velocity
  • Openness
  • Accountability

And a final note on the technology angle: One of the major challenges companies face is “tool fatigue.” If a new tool is brought in without an explanation of its value and an introduction, employees may forgo it as unnecessary and, ultimately, the project is seen as a failure. The missing link here is simply leadership and communication.

IT via the SMAC stack

There is consensus across the IT industry and analyst community that the social, mobile, analytics, cloud (SMAC) paradigm is the new platform for enabling the digital business. In the convergence of these four components, IT can change the way work gets done and ultimately drive transformation.


Social computing provides a natural, intuitive way for people to communicate and collaborate by eliminating traditional communication hierarchies.

Today, work is no longer a place that you go to; it’s what you do. Mobile computing is what makes this possible, with the ability to work anywhere, anytime, for greater business agility.


Advanced analytics deliver insights at the point of decision to help speed decision making. Analytics can also enable a “Smart Advisor” to bring business-critical data to all employees.


With shared IT systems in the cloud, employees can have access to the information they need anytime, on any device, from any location—including device and data synchronization.

Facilities innovation
Finally, to support new ways of working, you need the right work environment. It all boils down to achieving a level of harmony between the workplace and the work style so that there is alignment. This means that physical spaces should be places that employees actively want to engage in—versus feeling like they have to be there.

On one hand, facilities need to cater to the needs of the work group and collaborators, yet they must also serve those needing interruption-free environments for intensive tasks. Unfortunately, many offices today offer little to inspire people, poor collaboration facilities, and inefficient space utilization that ultimately impacts the bottom line.

It’s also interesting to consider how facilities and IT are set to come together. For example, a conference table in a meeting room today is just a table. Yet in the near future, it may be equipped with a touch-screen surface and Internet connectivity. Due to this inevitable crossover between facilities and IT, an ideal workplace transformation strategy requires those responsible for both facilities and IT to work together to realise the best environment.

Intel paves the way

In the next and final blog in this series, I’ll step through some examples of how Intel has implemented a triumvirate approach across its culture, IT, and facilities. And as previously mentioned, I’m currently working on a paper that will expand on Intel’s vision of workplace transformation that will be available soon.

How is your organization managing workplace transformation? Please join the conversation and share your thoughts. And be sure to click over to the Intel® IT Center to find resources on the latest IT topics.

Until the next time …

Jim Henrys, Principal Strategist