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Equipping the next-generation workforce

This article was originally published on Technology.Info.
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There are already two certainties about the next generation workforce. Firstly they will be more IT literate than the current generation. Second, they will be even more connected, with work and personal lives blending seamlessly.

The conclusion of these developments will be an increased demand for mobility to support flexible working. According to a

VMWare survey

, over a third of employees (39%) say that without BYOD they would leave their current employer.

Many businesses are struggling to cope with the demand for any place, any time access to corporate data systems, and find themselves fighting to keep up with their more agile competitors. Legacy applications, outdated technology and a failure to understand the benefits of opening access to corporate resources all conspire to prevent businesses from meeting the needs of their clients or employees.

The legacy application factor

The next generation employee is used to working flexibly, an agile mindset that allows them to switch tasks quickly and efficiently so long as the right tools are in place. Legacy applications are often crucial to current business operations, but they are inflexible and therefore unable to keep up with shifting priorities.
Harder still is the provision of mobile access – a must for the demands of the next generation business and their workforce. Applications that rely on “fat” clients like PCs and laptops require significant redevelopment if they are to properly support the mobile next generation workforce.

The outdated infrastructure factor

To support the next generation workforce, your infrastructure will need to enable secure access to corporate data. Even more importantly, the next generation workforce demands the ability to use a variety of devices to work in the way they choose – making administration of network-connected devices harder than ever.
Businesses need to be sure that their data is fully secured inside and outside the network. If the current provisions are unable to provide the granular security needed to protect data at every touch-point, without inhibiting employee productivity.

The ignorance factor

Agile businesses have already realised the benefits of enabling a mobile workforce, but others remain in denial about how BYOD and similar technologies can help them. This willful ignorance means that these organisations are immediately unable to equip the next generation of employees. Justifying limited mobile access as a way of maintaining corporate data security simply prevents a business from moving to agile processes in the future.

Putting it together

Although employees are working for the benefit of the business, they can work efficiently pays dividends. With evidence to suggest that employees actively avoid (or leave) employers who do not provide mobile and BYOD support, businesses keen to engage with the next generation workforce need to overcome these barriers sooner rather than later.
The technology is already in place to provide the mobility and flexibility demanded by an agile business and its employees. The only thing lacking is the change in mindset that realises:

  • A mobile workforce is a productive workforce.
  • Enabling BYOD makes for a more productive workforce who can better balance their work and personal lives.
  • End-to-end security is possible, even with devices that are operating outside the corporate network.

Ultimately the next generation workforce is already here, as is the technology required to support them. But is your business ready for them?
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