The change to our physical and technological infrastructure has facilitated even greater cross-team collaboration, and it actually works really well in conjunction with agile practices Terry Gaze, Suncorp NZ
“The implementation of a new IT environment was part of a much larger project to introduce a new, flexible style of working to Suncorp New Zealand, which included the refurbishment of our office spaces,” says Terry Gaze.
The executive general manager for Technology, Data and Labs at Suncorp New Zealand explains the demand for more flexible work environments is coming from both existing staff and potential employees.
“One of the top questions asked by our potential employees is – do you offer flexible working options?”
With this change, Gaze says, “We’re meeting this desire with an easy-to-use IT environment and offices that encourage staff to work in a collaborative way from anywhere.”
Suncorp NZ is one of the country’s major general insurance, banking, life insurance and pension payment organisations.
Gaze says to implement the new work environment, Suncorp put together a project team that included representatives from every part of the business.
“It was really important to ensure there was representation from our People Experience (HR Real Estate) team and Technology, Data and Labs teams, to ensure that we knew what our employees would need now and in the future, and that we had the resources to deliver it.”
Gaze explains the Technology, Data and Labs team pioneered the use of agile in the business several years ago to deliver IT projects.
“But many other areas of our business are embracing the collaborative and adaptive benefits of an agile approach.”
One of the top questions asked by our potential employees is – do you offer flexible working options?Terry Gaze, Suncorp NZ
Suncorp worked with Nutanix to help ensure the technological resources to enable staff to work remotely were available at all times. This includes Nutanix Enterprise Cloud OS software to support Suncorp’s Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) delivering 700 virtual desktops, enabling staff to work remotely in any space.
The new IT environment, delivered by Nutanix and Deptive, also improved desktop resilience and availability across Suncorp’s end user environment, while improving employee productivity.
“We’re now looking at how else we can use the Nutanix operating system to further support our flexible working strategy,” says Gaze.
Gaze, meanwhile, shares additional benefits of moving to a more agile workplace.
“One thing we’ve noticed is that agile has given young professionals at Suncorp more opportunities to step out of their core roles and collaborate with other parts of the business, and it helps them to understand better how they are contributing to the business strategy,” he states.
“The change to our physical and technological infrastructure has facilitated even greater cross-team collaboration, and it actually works really well in conjunction with agile practices.”
The change “also enables our people to balance work with family, sport or community commitments and bring their best self to work each day,” he says.
Agile has given young professionals at Suncorp more opportunities to step out of their core roles and collaborate with other parts of the business
“For other organisations looking at similar changes, a genuine commitment to allowing employees to work flexibly is really important,” he says, on key insights he can share with other organisations looking to move into more flexible workplace environments.
“Putting in place the technology that you need to support your people to work from any space is key, but also focusing on behaviours and leadership that allow people to utilise that technology effectively to remain connected with their teams.”
Office photos by Shannon McGrath, courtesy of Suncorp NZ