More integrated and collaborative workplaces mean technology companies now see their products as a service — not a standalone piece of hardware according to Lenovo managing director, ANZ, Matt Codrington.

Speaking at a Lenovo event that celebrated 25 years of ThinkPads — the company’s most enduring laptop — Codrington told Which-50 that the evolving workplace is influencing the design of devices and how they are delivered.

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“As much as the technology improves, the business model itself is becoming important. People are consuming services nowadays. So it’s almost like an expectation.”

“While the device is extremely important and the usability of the device is the core of the conversation here, I think as technology companies we also need to think beyond that and make sure that we have the right capability around the device to deliver the outcome that the customer is looking for,” Codrington said.

In response to this, Lenovo thinks of its physical products like a service that delivers an experience, not a standalone technology product, Cordington said, and that service must match the more collaborative and integrated workplace that technology was enabling.

To that end, Lenovo now factors in a very different workplace to the one when its iconic ThinkPad launched 25 years ago. According to Lenovo senior worldwide competitive analyst, Kevin Beck, the product was initially developed to bring “the promise of computing to a mobile worker,” and it’s now doing so in a much more “integrated world.”

“The workplace may not, in five years, look anything like what our parents would recognise as a modern office. We have to look at people, the work they do and the style in which it is evolving. As well as how the workplace itself is changing,” Beck said.

Beck pointed to research that suggests today only 46 per cent of the work people do is taking place in a physical office. There’s also been a shift to more group work and collaboration.

They’re important changes to consider when it comes to attracting talent. According to research in Beck’s presentation one in three millennials prioritise device flexibility, social media freedom and work mobility over salary.

The changing workplace will continue to factor into future Lenovo technology Beck said. “I can’t tell you that’s going to materially effect the design of a ThinkPad tomorrow. But it is something that we have to think about.”

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