Reassessing the mobile movement


    Once minor concerns are finally addressed, decision-makers can embrace a new communications paradigm

    The mobile landscape in the enterprise is constantly changing, especially as organizations continue to embrace bring your own device and cloud computing - both of which are turning the communications aspect of the business world on its head. Smartphones and tablets have become such a normal part of the consumer's everyday routine that taking those tools away will not only leave most people unhappy, but it will ultimately impact how those people function as a whole.

    Because companies have heeded the warnings of skeptics and paranoid industry professionals, however, many executives have either tried to avoid the mobile movement or have banned it entirely within their office. Unfortunately, the consumerization of IT is a trend that cannot be bartered with or defeated; it is an inevitable part of today's corporate environment. If decision-makers continue to ignore it, they will be increasingly interrupted by breaches and other performance issues that could have been avoided had they established a strategy in the first place.

    Enterprises need to implement office phone systems that can connect to a variety of mobile devices, regardless of operating system or platform type, if they want to meet evolving employee needs. Forbes highlighted several studies noting that one of the biggest obstacles to this approach is the fact that executives simply do not trust employees. This gap creates multiple problems for the business world, making it more difficult for decision-makers to embrace strategies that would otherwise provide them with a competitive advantage.

    The teleworking trial

    As smartphones and tablets continue to evolve and become more capable of handling sophisticated corporate tasks, decision-makers need to consider embracing a strategy that can support a remote workforce. Yet security remains one of the biggest bugaboos that decision-makers try to ignore. Many executives worry that allowing individuals to connect to the network from home or the coffee shop down the street will allow malicious outsiders to gain access to sensitive corporate resources. While this may be true in some cases, implementing rigorous training sessions that educate employees on best practices can eliminate some of these concerns.

    Meanwhile, implementing robust monitoring tools can give executives insight into who is accessing what and why. This information can help decision-makers determine if specific approaches to mobility are not working or are introducing unnecessary vulnerabilities. Conversely, the term "monitoring" instills a sense that Big Brother is watching employees as they work. This privacy concern is a major worry for both C-level managers and employees working from home, Forbes reported.

    Experts said addressing the trust gap is among the best ways to ensure companies can embrace mobility without encountering unnecessary performance or security problems. Forbes noted that decision-makers should communicate with the workplace and IT professionals to establish the best way to embrace mobile business phone systems and other communication platforms without jeopardizing operations.

    Taking a second look at operations

    The underlying fact is that progressive companies that embrace mobility are often the ones that build greater revenue streams, reduce customer dissatisfaction rates and have a more engaged and innovative workforce. Getting here is no simple task, however, as decision-makers need to take a step back and reevaluate their objectives, capabilities and general adoption plans.

    A recent CompTIA report highlighted these needs, noting that enterprise executives need to look past the device level and consider how individuals function on a basic level before embracing mobile initiatives.

    "Rather than focus on the device level, companies will need to assess the specific needs of their workforce and match the device," said Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis at CompTIA. "For maximum benefit, workflow changes will need to be considered prior to evaluating workforce needs. But this is not a trivial matter and companies will need to weigh the cost of operational disruption and change management against the potential advantages."

    Most of the current concern about embracing mobile strategies revolves around the devices and how they are provisioned, secured and granted access to existing systems, according to CompTIA. Rather than taking this outdated approach, decision-makers should take a second look at how their employees operate and whether any internal changes can be made to reduce risk and provide a greater return on investment.

    In the coming years, the mobile landscape will continue to disrupt the conventional business phone system, encouraging executives to implement more innovative strategies that cater to the needs of the evolving workplace. If decision-makers take the time to assess internal demands and work with employees, they will likely find it less challenging to implement mobile-enabled communication platforms that make it easier to adapt, gain a competitive advantage and support the demands of both consumers and workers.




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