Published 17 August 2017 Category: Compass Insight, IT, Workplace

A Serviced Office-Centric Approach To IT Infrastructure

Professionals in the Information Technology (IT) sector are typically charged with developing and maintaining an IT infrastructure for standard corporate offices. But the IT systems required by serviced office spaces can be pretty different. Here are some key things to consider when creating a serviced office-centric approach to Information Technology.

Flexibility is key
The guiding principle of a serviced office-centric approach to Information Technology is flexibility. From an IT standpoint, we need varied and flexible solutions that accommodate the diversity of a co-working customer base. While one member may only need a good WIFI connection, another might need higher levels of security and inter-connectivity within its team of workers; another may need teleconferencing, and still another may just need help downloading a new app. The serviced office context has unique implications for IT infrastructure, network security, inter-office communication, IT staff hiring, and training and education of members.

A responsive approach
The IT team at a serviced office space can’t create standards that suggest everyone in the space use a MacBook, for example. Co-working spaces can’t force uniformity, which means IT needs to anticipate working with a wide range of users and technologies. Moreover, in a co-working space, you can pretty much guarantee that clients will bring their own devices (BYOD). The job of IT is to set these people up for success regardless of the technology they bring to the table.

A flexible infrastructure
A flexible infrastructure should accommodate the varying needs of teams and anticipate changes that may come in the future. Paramount to this is the ability to quickly create and deploy new Wi-Fi networks and secure network segments on a per-customer basis.

A serviced office space needs to create multiple networks with varying levels of security and segregate their users based on what they require. Installing threat detection systems and keeping them maintained is key. As networks grow, new systems must be put into place that inform users of known issues and protect them from those threats in the first place.

Likewise, in the specific case of bring-your-own-device, the first challenge is to ensure BYOD devices are not bringing malware into the space. So first and foremost IT staff must educate members about what security means and train them on safe security via seminars, in-person/one-on-one training, and comprehensive resources like FAQs.

Communication that fits the serviced office model
With increased flexibility and responsiveness comes an increased need for IT staff to communicate and interact with co-working members. But the old stereotype of the IT guy who never comes out of his back office isn’t going to cut it. More than anything, serviced office spaces excel in front-of-house service, and IT needs to match that every time they interact with members.

Specialise in what’s important
A serviced office workspace resembles a typical corporate workspace, but it does not need all the file servers, email servers, and backend IT infrastructure of a traditional office. From an IT standpoint, this simplifies things. Our IT team is free to focus on being an internet service provider and a technical customer service provider.

Conclusion
The end goal is an exceptional customer experience that goes beyond just Information Technology. The vision is to offer a palette of seamless services, so any user has the ability to move from phone to laptop to conference room, and any company can scale up as needed. This approach facilitates the ways in which we work together and seeks to integrate IT into the essential fabric of what a Compass serviced office space is and what it can be.