There are more mobile devices in the world now than there are people, according to GSMA Intelligence. As the fastest-growing technology trend ever, mobility has changed the way we do business completely. It’s not just the meteoric rise in the number of mobile devices that’s noteworthy, but also the fact we are using them in ever more sophisticated ways.
The average employee uses three or more devices daily for work activities. According to Citrix research, 61 percent of workers work outside the office at least some of the time, and the number of mobile devices managed in the enterprise increased 72 percent in the last year.
Clearly, having a smart mobility strategy is important, but how do you extract maximum business value? We’re going to examine five ways to build a value-based workplace and get the most from mobility.
Commit to Cutting Edge IT
Consumerization has led to a shift in expectations. The gap between what people use in their day-to-day life, and what they’re equipped with at work is often huge. If you want to attract and retain the top talent and get the best out of them, then you had better support them with the most up-to-date and relevant IT.
This is not something you can afford to ignore because it’s happening with or without your consent. After interviewing 200 CIOs, Brocade’s Global CIO Survey 2015 found that 83 percent had seen “some unauthorized provisioning of cloud services.”
There is risk in shadow IT, but there’s also opportunity. Organizations have to take the time to analyze and understand why employees are circumventing the IT department. Is the current offering of apps actually meeting the needs of employees? How can you help them to do a better job?
Build an Enterprise App Store
With a well-stocked Enterprise App Store, employees don’t have to look elsewhere for the tools they need. CIOs can design their own framework for acceptability of applications and work together with business to identify the best candidates. It’s a secure way to deliver applications, and it enables IT to effectively track and review usage. That means they can see at a glance when they’re over or under licensed.
Employees can create a personalized workspace, picking and choosing the apps they want. The right metrics ensure that IT departments gain an oversight of what’s actually being used and redirect resources efficiently, instead of wasting money supporting unused applications.
Support Working From Home
There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that remote working leads to happier workers and higher productivity. It increases job satisfaction, reduces attrition, and leads to a reduction in unscheduled absences. The shift out of the office also enables property rationalization—the potential to realize cost savings by renting less space or selling off property.
Putting these factors together, remote working can release enormous value into the business and provide funds for a new business unit or fresh business-led initiatives.
Find the Work/Life Balance
When asked about the benefits of mobility, increased productivity was the top answer offered by 72 percent of 400 mid-market and enterprise IT decision makers in the U.S. surveyed by Cisco. Enabling people to begin work on one device and pick up where they left off on another, wherever they happen to be, definitely encourages them to work more—but you have to be careful.
An IDC Research Report commissioned by Facebook found that 79 percent of people reach for their phones within 15 minutes of waking up, and the same percentage keep their phones with them for all but two hours of the waking day. One in four never let their phone out of their sight. People can get overwhelmed by that level of connectivity. You might consider setting some boundaries and expectations. An HR-related initiative focused on helping people maintain a healthy work/life balance can help.
Centralize Your Data
All of your employees should be able to access the data they need whenever they need it. You can really reduce wasted time by enabling staff to access data in this way. In many cases, this translates to more time spent with a customer, instead of filling out paperwork and skipping back and forth to the office.
But you always have to balance convenience with security. Keep your data encrypted in your data center behind firewalls and not on the endpoints your employees are using to access it. You should have a centralized system for wiping data remotely, revoking and granting permissions, and quickly pushing out new policies and patches to deal with vulnerabilities the moment they arise.
A well-designed mobility strategy, backed up by a real commitment to change and the right tools, can lead to enormous benefits for the business and for employees.
Karyn Jeffery is VP and Head of End User Services in Fujitsu’s Managed Infrastructure Services Global Delivery unit. She leads the globalization of Fujitsu’s offerings in end user computing.