A recently published report by The Economist Intelligence Unit found that 60% of employees believe mobile technology boosts their productivity. Another 45% said that mobile use improves their ability to be creative. Rather than serving as a distraction, mobile devices are actually empowering workers to do more and improving the quality of their work.
Let’s face it; we are nearly inseparable from our smartphones and devices. People depend on their devices for every type of task imaginable: communicating with friends and family, exploring social media, capturing moments with photos and video, ordering food, catching a ride home, banking, and more. With this level of reliance, it is no wonder that mobile devices have now spread into the workplace.
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Here are some of the top ways that mobility is influencing the workplace today.
According to research from Citrix, 61% of employees report working outside the office at least part-time. Mobile devices now provide access to company resources that could previously only be accessed from a computer providing access to company emails, applications (“apps”) and more to complete their online operations, without being tied down to a single location.
With the emergence of mobile apps, employees are more empowered to do work from their phones. Apps allow employees to view company documents and presentations, provide access to data such as customer buying history, enable communication and collaboration with coworkers and more.
They also help to streamline business processes, including expense reporting, viewing client information and tracking working hours. By providing real-time data access, employees can make timelier decisions and take immediate action on critical items. With more options to work away from the office, employees are able to increase their productivity and provide better service to clients.
Increasing end user satisfaction
Employees are demanding greater flexibility as work moves from being ‘a place you go to,’ to more of ‘an activity you belong to.’ A larger percentage of employees work from home or on-the-go, allowing them to multi-task and still get work done while not needing to be tied down to their desks or laptops – or traditional office hours. Employees appreciate this level of agility, and happy employees are often motivated to get more done.
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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), or corporate sponsored mobile device programs provide employees with greater flexibility, allowing them to choose whether to work on a company-provided device, or their own personal device with a monthly subsidy.
Mobile is forcing companies to make security a top priority, rather than an afterthought with 65% of IT leaders viewing mobile security as the biggest challenge facing organisations in the future, according to a study from Tangoe.
Without proper policies and procedures around the use of mobile devices for work purposes, employees would be free to access private company information over unsecured networks, leaving sensitive data unprotected.
Companies now must build a culture of cyber security – starting with mobile devices, and then branching out to every area of the organisations. They can preemptively build in these protections by creating a “mobile-first” strategy, in which every new service, application, or offering is first developed for mobile devices and makes security a top priority.
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Mobile device use is compelling organisations to be more proactive about cyber security. IT organisations are more accountable than ever, and the security of the enterprise is no longer an issue merely delegated to CIOs or CTOs – it is a top level concern.
Having employees conduct business over mobile devices can cut down on company costs. Landlines are expensive to maintain and very often underused. Some companies spend millions of dollars every year maintaining landlines that are rarely utilised, or no longer in use. With the rapid expansion of mobile coverage in countries all over the world, it is becoming an easier and smarter choice.
In some countries, mobile is even more prevalent than landlines due to a lack of fixed infrastructure. Eliminating landlines for employees who spend most of their time out of the office or for employees who prefer to use their mobile devices can be a crucial cost saver. Improvements in VOIP technology are further streamlining service between computers and mobile devices, and making it easier to conduct business over mobiles.
The adoption of mobile within the enterprise has paved the way for new technology to enter the workplace. It has accelerated the acceptance and implementation of emerging technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), software-defined networking, wearables, and more. While some of these, such as IoT and wearables, are only starting to enter the workplace, they represent a clear sign that we are moving towards a smarter, more mobile enterprise.
>See also: Mobile in the enterprise and the changing role of the CIO
IT departments need to adopt a more fluid approach that will make future technology, such as IoT, adoption easier, rather than managing to a single platform. Consumers will continue to push technology onto the enterprise, so having the tools, skills and infrastructure in place for the next new piece of technology will benefit IT departments and workers alike.
In summary, mobile has pushed the enterprise to think differently about how it conducts business, and to adapt in ways that it couldn’t have anticipated. It has encouraged companies to continue to innovate, motivating workers to find new ways to conduct business more efficiently and securely.
Sourced by Craig Riegelhaupt, director, Product Marketing at Tangoe
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