Mobile workers in a mobile world
Mobile working in 2006 often meant that you were given a mobile phone and semi-mobile laptop and embarked on a working day with all the frustrations of not accessing all the data you needed, spending more time downloading than working or simply running out of juice whilst desperately trying to hook into Starbucks' Wi-Fi.
17 October 2016
Fast forward to today and chances are you that you're seamlessly connecting to your company’s business systems on a device that you either chose or bought yourself, and can quite comfortably work pretty much anywhere.
Several technologies have converged to free the worker from the office, whilst increasing employee satisfaction, delivering more productivity and lowering the cost of doing business. But with the opportunity for power digital business transformation can also come new challenges for your IT department.
The rise of Unified Communications
Unified Communications software such as Skype for Business doesn’t just allow businesses to ditch their ageing PBX systems, they also deliver a range of cost and efficiency benefits. Now, regardless of device or location, we can see whether our colleagues are free, send instant messages and share our screens, as well as having voice and video conference options. Because more calls can stay “on net”, meetings are so seamless and media-rich, so there are real savings to be had in terms of travel time and cost. We're also not as reliant on our company laptop because we can use our own tablets and mobile phones to get the same secure experience, even at home.
Modern UC solutions are also proving to be flexible enough to replace expensive dedicated Contact Centre solutions whilst allowing agents to be compliant even when they are away from the office – useful when half your staff can’t get to the office because of a blizzard in the Highlands or the latest meltdown on Southern Rail.
Avoiding the Wild West
Whilst there are a multitude of benefits from joining the “Bring Your Own Device” mobile workforce revolution, some CIOs were righty concerned about unleashing the IT equivalent of the Wild West frontier! This is much less of a worry these days, with vendors increasingly developing solutions that protect your employees and the data they can share. This means you can provide employees with smartphones of their choice whilst still ensuring restrictions on what they can access, as well as having the ability to centrally wipe them in the event they lose their phone.
It also means you can let employees loose with the latest and greatest smartphones and tablets, avoid the challenge of managing disparate hardware, and still give them access to the latest applications and your data. This is centrally managed and delivered over secure connections supporting Two-Factor Authentication and preventing users from holding sensitive data locally.
Given how much of this is delivered using Cloud-based centralised technologies, it now allows employees and IT managers to start to get real insights into how people are working. The ability to use tools such as Power BI, give real-time graphical insights into how much time is spent in meetings or answering emails, or perhaps even how distracted we all are by our rich, social, permanently-connected workspaces.
Perhaps the best way to benefit from all of this is to team up with a provider has a proven track record of stitching these technologies together to unlock the efficiency and productivity gains without giving you a compliance headache? Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to begin your digital transformation.
Head of Product