The proliferation of mobile devices means phones, tablets, and laptops are now omnipresent within the business environment. The widespread adoption of mobility has proven its worth, bringing with it many benefits for companies and new competitive advantage.
It is no surprise that IBM ranks mobile solutions among the top three technologies that will shape the near future. Indeed, it isn’t just IBM that have worked this out; many businesses have recognised the appeal of mobility and are reaping the business and employee benefits. Business mobility is going mainstream.
Harnessing technology and consumer trends
Needless to say, technology is well and truly ingrained in every aspect of consumers’ lives – from socialising to communication, banking, health, hobbies, and more. Enterprises now have the opportunity to harness these technologies and piggyback consumer trends in order to incorporate the advantages into the rapidly evolving workplace.
The fact is, any new enterprise software deployment must seamlessly integrate into the existing suite of solutions. Facilitating easy adoption within an existing workflow is the only way to guarantee its use in the company on a daily basis. As part of this, the importance of integration into a broad range of mobile devices, ensuring flexible and remote working for employees cannot be underestimated.
It follows naturally that the second crucial element is to facilitate mobile device management and mobile device support, whilst also maintaining secure remote working standards and providing access to integrated file sharing and collaboration tools. Business mobility should mean that work can get done anywhere but in an easy, quick and secure manner.
The digital workplace: A mobile concept for business agility
The digital workplace revolution has been spurred by mobility as well as consumer desire to easily integrate digital solutions they use privately into their working environment. Today’s business landscape is inundated with various innovative ideas, machines and technologies. These come not only with opportunities for business environments, but also with resources, which are catalysts for success in the digital workplace.
With computing in the cloud, an assortment of applications and web services have permeated the very fabric of daily work. The result? Unprecedented business proficiency. The digital workplace thrives on human capital because either consciously or otherwise, employees have come to rely heavily on information technology.
While the digital workplace should be considered a focal IT topic, it should also take into consideration the autonomy that comes with employees’ growing digital dexterity. It means working with HR to deliver apps and services to employees which match their competencies, behavioral and social practices.
According to Flurry Insights, 2015 recorded a 58 per cent increase in overall app usage, with apps for productivity being one of the leading categories with triple-digit growth. Businesses providing a suite of mobile tools and enterprise applications will go a long was to facilitate business agility.
BYOD: The consumerisation of mobility
BYOD and digital workplace trends are relatively intertwined and are reinforced by mobile solutions and their prevalence across a wide range of end users. Some have coined the term 'functional portability' to describe the ease with which consumers would like to carry their workload or 'fun-load' along with them. BYOD is proof that mobility has evolved from wanting to be available (via telephone or email) to wanting to be at ease.
Many companies are all willing to jump on the BYOD-bandwagon and get their hands on the benefits this trend offers. Proof of this is demonstrated in this market research, which forecasts that the BYOD and enterprise mobility market will be worth $266bn (£186bn) by 2019.
However, there is no denying that BYOD comes with its own challenges, some of which are closely related to IT support and security. When flipped around, the same ease with which users want to marry private life with corporate duties, becomes a problem for employees. Because in the end, the corporate encroaches on the private life.
At the same time, companies are skeptical about employees’ proper handling of their devices, which may result in grave security issues for the company. These are however existing security issues, and not new security issues, which become aggravated by BYOD.
In order to mitigate these security issues, companies need to identify these risks and define a holistic approach towards dealing with them. Also, in order to support the plethora of devices which their employees tag along.
Truth be told, the challenges that come to enterprises with mobility are many. But business complexity is increasing, and with it, the workforce – and this demands a more adaptable and mobility-friendly approach, in order to tap into the palettes of benefits that come with mobility.
And despite these challenges, many leading organisations have already embarked on their journey towards embracing mobility.
Andreas König, CEO of TeamViewer