Leadership perspectives: The new workplace priorities for IT executives

Franco Castaldini, Enlighted’s Vice-President of Product Management, shares how Enlighted empowers IT Executives through a workplace intelligence platform that integrates with existing systems, while providing a high level of corporate security and user privacy.

June 11, 2021

“The goal is to influence behavior, rather than control space.”

— Franco Castaldini, Vice President of Product Management, Enlighted

Before COVID-19 forever changed the way companies operate, and the way people interact with the workplace, IT Executives weren’t as closely involved in operational decisions. However, now that hybrid workplaces are becoming the norm, IT Executives are being tapped frequently to weigh in on questions around the installation, deployment, and support of various technologies — particularly those that enable a safe return to the in-person workplace. IT is also playing a greater role in advising corporate real estate executives on decisions around the hybrid workplace, and real estate right-sizing.

Franco Castaldini, explains that Enlighted’s workplace intelligence platform delivers a wide range of unique operational and security benefits, making it the #1 choice of IT Executives.

For example, it enables hybrid workplaces, and lets employees opt-in to a stable system with built-in security measures, and SOC 2 and GDPR compliance that ensure user and corporate privacy. It also supports Microsoft’s Intune mobile device management system, reducing privacy risks to both individuals and companies. And finally, it surfaces precise and actionable data that improves business decision-making.

The platform can stand alone, or integrate seamlessly with existing IT solutions and apps, reducing risk while providing more rapid deployment than either competing or purpose-built platforms. It also allows IT Executives to provide decision-makers with data-enabled reporting and analytics, positioning them as crucial partners in the journey to an organization’s new normal.

Advanced Technology for the Hybrid Workplace

It’s now clear that even post-pandemic, hybrid workplaces will become more commonplace as employees make new choices about where they want to live and work, while companies make right-sizing decisions around alternate office arrangements like hub-and-spoke offices and work-from-anywhere practices.

Enlighted is the most complete solution for supporting the operational needs that arise as companies reconfigure spaces across their real estate portfolios, while simultaneously working to comply with regulatory limits.

For example, it lets employees plan their interactions within the workplace, such as scheduling when they’ll be on site. They can book a desk or conference room in advance, in hourly increments, and with multiple check-in options including self-check-in and QR code validation.

Because the app integrates with sensor-enabled apps, it can also provide more sophisticated space management and employee engagement around ideal temperature and lighting levels, and collaboration opportunities. It even has the potential to include behavioral nudges that create employee incentives for traveling to — or not traveling to — the office on any given day.

An employee who wants to collaborate in-person with colleagues can use the app to see where they’ll be, and when, to make the best use of everyone’s time. Castaldini explains “the goal is to influence behavior, rather than control space.”

Integrations Encourage Efficient Office Use

Enlighted incentivizes efficient office use by encouraging employees to book office time for less-populated days or adjust in-person calendars based on team availability. By flattening the curve of space occupancy, heads of real estate can reduce physical space requirements, and increase their ROI across an office, or an entire campus.

The app also partners with Salesforce, Liquidspace, SAP, and Cisco, enabling it to integrate with existing systems and leverage legacy investments. For example, its data streams can be integrated with, or overlaid onto, other information from directory and calendar services, as well as existing floor plans, human resources data, and even financial data, to create a comprehensive picture of an operation.

Deploying the system requires integrating a digitized floor map with other desired data streams, such as sensor data. Castaldini estimates the process takes technicians an average of three hours per 50,000 square-foot office floor. With bigger campuses, or global installations, a longer time frame should be expected, particularly if buildings don’t yet have digitized maps or installed sensors. However, once the system is operational, adjusting to changes in office geometry becomes a simple matter of reprogramming.

Stable Systems Reduce Risk

Some organizations want to build their own custom space-scheduling solutions, but quickly discover effective enterprise-level applications carry maintenance costs greater than development costs, especially as use cases evolve and requirements change.

By offering both on-cloud and on-premise integration, Enlighted represents the best of both worlds. It provides the tooling to integrate with existing or purpose-built apps, or to offer an entirely fresh start, depending on a company’s needs and scope.

Single Sign-on Delivers Security and Privacy

Security and privacy requirements are top of mind for IT Executives. For obvious reasons, they want to maintain authentication credentials in a single location to support single sign-on capacity.

Castaldini notes that the Microsoft Intune integration is key to Enlighted’s enhanced security. Employees who want to use the app can’t simply get it from their usual app store — they need to download it through their corporate site, which gives IT the ability to track how the app is used, control user access, and even delete it from an individual device if needed.

To further support security, all data is encrypted, and visibility features like user location and calendar information are by default opted out. However, people tend to opt in before long, Castaldini explains, because the value gained is significant, and people trust the system.

Data Provides Added Value

As more companies adopt Enlighted as an enterprise class solution to help manage hybrid workplaces, they’re able to finally gain visibility for data that was once locked behind a building’s firewall. Booking and occupancy data shows where and when people are reserving spaces, for how long, and whether they actually use those locations.

Auto-release data can show whether reserved spots are used, and data about workflows within apps can reveal user engagement. But it’s not limited to a single set of reports—because the app makes the raw data available, IT Executives can also use it for their own custom analysis and recommendations.

Future data integrations may include lease management data, energy costs, janitorial costs, and overall operating costs. Combining that information with occupancy and booking data can give a better sense of the ROI, and inform corporate decisions around HR strategies, real estate right-sizing, and operational efficiencies.

The Workplace of the Future

Elighted helps future-proof any workplace because it’s a flexible, extendible solution that can grow as needs and use cases change. It enhances the experience of coming to the office, but it also gives control to the operators of the space, allowing them to review and analyze the value of the space over time as occupant needs evolve.

A company might start with a basic check-in feature, allowing users to self-report their presence, but then could add desk sensors or surface sensors, to eliminate the reporting procedure but still access actual verification. This expandability can help workplaces easily adapt to new infrastructure, business requirements, and space configurations.

As organizations adapt to new paradigms, Enlighted’s building intelligence solutions are a powerful tool for delivering advanced analytics, employee engagement, and efficient space management; these are some of the many exciting promises of the new digital workplace.

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