This year, as the world approaches the three-year anniversary of agreements signed at the start of the Covid pandemic, nearly $1 billion of workplace services contracts will be coming up for renewal, says ISG, a global IT research firm.

A workplace service enables a client’s employees to work from anywhere and anytime in a secure environment through a combination of technology and support services.

Companies are prioritising knowledge management tools, self-service portals, and mobile devices in their future workforce strategies, so providers will need to be ready to deploy and support these technologies.

Clients are putting a lot of time and thought into planning their workplace of the future, ISG said.

According to the research firm, the majority of workers will still be working remotely or part-time remotely at the end of the year, and technology will play a crucial role in making that possible.

Specifically, the most recent ISG Buyer Behaviour research indicates that enterprises are increasingly prioritising self-service tools to support this distributed, remote workforce.

New work strategy ahead

“We expect CIOs (and increasingly HR leaders) to be developing plans to better support a remote workforce and push more of that support responsibility to users themselves. That means they will expect their providers to be able to deliver on these plans as well,” the firm said in a report.

There was a huge spike in workplace services activity at the beginning of the pandemic (specifically in Q2 2020) as companies had to build a new way of working — virtually overnight.

This is, of course, great news for providers with workplace service capabilities. But it’s also important to keep in mind that enterprises have had time to plan and think about the trends that will shape their future workplace — time they didn’t have during the early phases of the pandemic.

ISG’s research and interactions indicate that there will be a big focus on driving employee productivity, improving end-user experience, and increasing internal collaboration.

‘Interesting market’

Talking about the workplace services contract, Yugal Joshi, Partner, Everest Group, a global research firm, told businessline that workplace services are an interesting market as the pandemic-fueled frenzy is subsiding and customers are looking for real value from their service partners.

As companies call employees back to the office and establish hybrid workplace policies, the investments in a variety of tools for remote work have meaningfully subsided. This impacts the solution of outsourcing deals and the relevance of technology partners who were of importance during the peak of the pandemic.

Arun Kumar, Regional Director ManageEngine, a Zoho company, said that the emergence of remote working because of the pandemic led to businesses investing in tools that assisted their workforce smoothly by enabling them to connect and collaborate efficiently.

This is where Zoho tools like Mail, Cliq, and Workdrive prove to be essential because they not only improve productivity and reduce costs but also offer a superior digital office experience.

‘Backend IT management is essential’

As time progressed, the need of investing in cutting-edge solutions to audit, manage, and monitor data flow in the backend has gradually become apparent to enterprises, which is where ManageEngine comes in.

Companies began to regard monitoring available devices and managing access permissions as an equally important component of maintaining a secure workspace.

Since the majority of businesses globally continue to operate in a hybrid work environment, organisations must make sure that, regardless of the setup, backend IT management is an essential component of a smooth and unimpeded workspace, Kumar said.