Who could have predicted the number and magnitude of changes that water would experience in early 2020, depending on how and where we work? Pandemics and the corresponding IT decisions have forced many to move away from the office and adapt to work processes involving virtual experiences and multiple devices.
These situations initially seemed like a major obstacle, but have come to be seen as a benefit to many employees who have enjoyed the flexibility provided by remotework. Second, employers are aware that such flexibility is becoming a serious expectation for workers. According to a recent Accenture report, organizations wishing to succeed need to rethink their on-site work life.
Gary Radburn, director of virtual and augmented reality solutions at Dell, joined the CDWs Tech Talk webcast to discuss how work is evolving and how technological innovations can impact those changes. Provided insights.
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Four stages of evolution after the outbreak of a pandemic
According to Radburn, the business and its customers have gone through four different stages, as we know, about responding to a pandemic and how it has changed.
The first stage, frankly, was a terrible panic. When we start going, OK, how can we keep our employees productive? It was something that wasn’t nailed in the office, and what I could put in the trunk of a car. Then take the device home, plug it in, put it on your home network, and continue working on the local data in it.
The reality of life invading the home office has brought about the second stage explained by Radburn. Now, suddenly, it’s not small enough to remember you’re back in your open plan office. With all these wires in your home, you could potentially run your kids around, they get their chosen drink, they stumble on the wires, and the drink is your electricity Go through the equipment. You try to make a call, but no one can visit you because of social distance. So it’s a little nightmare. That led us to Stage 2. Stage 2 is mobility.
Security became a major issue when workers explained that at home Radburn was as powerful as the one used under the desk in the office and gained access to all the data in the organization. You are now losing control of your data, and it was great to get people up and running, but actually effective that data to ensure that our IP isn’t leaked How can I manage it in a targeted manner? It leads us to stage 3, when we were remoting now, Radburn said.
See: Learn more about building a safe future in the age of working from home.
According to Bradburn, a system that connects at home via a remote protocol allows employees to operate their workstations as if they were in the office. I’m using a device with low power. Perhaps it’s your home PC for internet shopping, or a gaming PC you might have. You can have it as your window to the world of your work. The information is actually stored in the office, so you never actually leave the site. Everything you come across is a pixel.
Radburn continued by locking down a security system that could protect the data. In reality, it is limited only by the distance from the office and the delay actually introduced to that endpoint. Then move on to stage 4. Stage 4 is data center consolidation. Now all of these workstations have been returned to the office and there are no seats left. Why are office space and air conditioning units actually incurring costs in empty space when these workstations or clients can actually be returned to the data center and integrated for virtualization?
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How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Can Enhance Remote Work
Radburn said Dell has no plans to return to the office altogether and accepts the possibility of remote work. He recognized the challenges of remotely managing and training employees, but also emphasized the potential of innovative technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality as tools for these tasks.
Here at Dell, we have democratized the system. Previously, it required a very expensive rig to be able to drive a VR headset. It has now been reduced over the years. They were now much more affordable and accessible, and I saw it really igniting how businesses could be used in your commercial environment, Radburn said.
He continued that learning inside a VR headset has proven to be more beneficial than audiovisual presentations. Inside VR, you get 75% of what you actually see and do. This is a great learning medium for communicating information, and I think it actually drives the innovation seen in the landscape.
One of the biggest benefits Radburn sees when using VR at work is its presence. As humans, we love subtle expressions and we love face-to-face contact. Losing much of it in conference calls and the like, people are beginning to feel tired as people are talking. If we can actually allow people to interact in different ways, we will begin to gain that engagement again.
See: Learn about future challenges when companies consider returning to the office.
Radburn said Dell has partnered with HTC to use the company’s headset on a platform called HTC SYNC Manager. I was actually using it for a meeting. You can actually set up a conference room in 3D. It doesn’t have to be four boring walls. He said he could do that with a view overlooking the sea, such as on a bridge. You can also see where people are actually looking, if eye tracking is also done. You can actually see people engaged.
AR and VR are scalable for use in many industries
Radburn was excited to talk about the scalability and accessibility of AR and VR. Everything in VR is that really scalable. You can now get a headset for a few hundred dollars, or depending on what you want, there are five numbers of headsets out there. Some headsets actually have VR and AR built in.
He explained the difference between the two technologies, stating that VR is everything computer-generated. AR, on the other hand, enhances an existing computer image by overlaying it on top of the existing computer image.
When I started seeing people using VR, it was across all industries. In short, there is no vertical fact that all of these different disciplines, whether media, entertainment, construction, healthcare, or education, are using VR for engagement.
Strategic partnerships help overcome small budgets and staff
Schools are one of the most affected workplaces by the evolution of technology due to pandemics, forcing them to cope with these changes despite budget and workforce constraints.
Kim Nidy, Technology Director of North Canton City School, Ohio, participated in the webcast and provided innovative technology in the education system, including how the school system implemented a one-to-one device program. I shared a part.
Nidy and some of her colleagues have managed to get the community to pass a permanent improvement tax. It provides students and staff with money each year to keep the device spinning. However, deploying the program has many challenges.
There is a problem. OK, how can I make all of this public to my students? Am I taking educational time during the day to get them down and pick it up? How do you track them to find out which students have which devices? How are you repairing them? How do you instruct staff and students how to use the device, because without knowing how to use the device effectively, the program is not worth it?
The lack of staff and limited budget was also an obstacle for the school. In addition to the support of a few key staff, Nidy was also able to receive support from the CDW. I was involved with CDW through a sales representative. I ask him, OK, I want to do this in my classroom. What do i need to do? And he will help me. And in the fall of 2013, our state announced the opportunity for a Straight A grant.
The school was already running a one-on-one program, so I realized that Nidy was considering what to look for through a grant. I picked up the phone and called Eric on the CDW, and I said, hey, what’s new there? What are you listening to What is the topic? He said active learning furniture has really set a precedent so far. So he helped me. He helped me connect with the company, and we went and toured and learned more about furniture. Then I wrote a grant application with a colleague, and we knew we had won.
Nidy said he got goosebumps when he was thinking of getting a grant of nearly $ 5 million to bring 1,000 devices into the district, valuing his relationship with CDW. I didn’t know that, so I honestly don’t think it would have happened without that relationship. She said there was a connection between them.
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