Digital transformation and the mobile workforce

What can businesses expect in the year ahead as today’s workers are free to work whenever and wherever they can?

Mobile performance management (MPM) solutions will herald the next evolution in digital transformation. These solutions allow for more effective management in key areas such as security, performance, analytics and expense control – all essential if you aim to create a highly successful mobile workforce.

As businesses face up to tighter customer data security regulations and stricter compliance requirements, (MPM) solutions allows IT organisations to increase their focus on application integrity and mobile data security

2018 will also see even more always-connected laptops that rely on mobile networking technology to stay connected. There will be a drive to deploy 5G networks whilst an increase in 4G/LTE micro-cells and public Wi-Fi access points will place greater demands on mobile networks. The continued rise of IoT connected devices will require a subsequent level of management band support.

>See also: The mobile workforce: the new movement

The continued digital transformation of the workplace is further illustrated by the arrival of mini data centres which can embed computer and storage resources closer to where they need to be used.

All manner of jobs will be impacted through improved communications expanding upon what is already known as the “mobile workforce”. Things like on-demand video and mobile apps for real-time tracking and expense reporting for example will all serve to benefit worker experience. The more traditional ‘mobile’ roles will benefit from technology advances allowing for more effective use of their mobile devices. i.e. live video feeds when troubleshooting.

2018 will herald a shift from traditional endpoint strategies to further encompass mobile threat detection and prevention. As more and more mobile workers connect over public Wi-Fi access points, IT organisations will have to increase their investment in mobile threat defence (MTD) solutions. Whilst MTD solutions have provided a decent defense thus far, mobile malware is growing fast.

All the more worrying when you consider that in March 2017, for the first time, more Android than Windows simultaneous internet connections were observed. Enterprise organisations will have to better manage the cooperation between tech groups and those in centralised IT roles so that nothing slips through the net whilst monitoring mobile and traditional endpoint devices.

>See also: Is IoT the next step for the mobile workforce?

In the coming year, enterprises will have to place more emphasis on mobile network performance and security solutions as cloud-based solutions continue to be adopted. As we wait to see whether new Wi-Fi standards will make a significant impact on wireless networks, existing innovation, such as intent-based networking, certainly could.

Networks are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by mobile devices. As more and more corporate mobile users rely on private and public networks for an always-connected experience, the case is easily made for improved network analytic solutions to manage, monitor and understand the mobile worker experience.

It is paramount to retrieve real data from the devices as they traverse the various networks in order to see what the users are doing and experiencing. This data can be used to correctly reflect the user/device experience.

Congestion on public and mobile networks, along with poorly performing applications, will undoubtedly bring about an increase in dissatisfied users in areas such as workforce management applications and video conferencing technologies.

More and more devices will attach to networks and these devices will almost certainly include the all-too familiar suite of social media apps such as Facebook and YouTube for example. Such apps are well and truly ingrained into the corporate world accounting for massive amounts of shared content; but also, potentially, all of the associated vulnerabilities.

>See also: Overcoming mobile workforce challenges: tips for business leaders

Analysing which corporate devices access such sites and when they do so etc. provides a wealth of practical information. It also provides an extra level of security being able to prevent users from clicking on dodgy links and the like.

In the face of these challenges that lie ahead in 2018, how can organisations go about analysing their networks and associated infrastructure to identify any red flags? As a starting point there are trials and evaluations available from solution-providers that can give some initial understanding of the landscape.

Beyond that it is useful to develop a plan to formalise an ongoing solution to manage and protect the mobile workforce. Bear in mind that not all solutions allow you to evaluate what is going on over external networks. The world beyond the firewall needs to be visible and manageable in order to boast of a productive and successful mobile workforce.


Sourced by Lee Johnson, director of Global Marketing, NetMotion Software

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...