By the DynaSis Team
Although the near-ubiquitous popularity of mobile devices is hard to escape, we are often surprised at how many business decision makers don't recognize how this trend is impacting today's businesses. For firms to thrive, business leaders must understand and adjust for the considerable effect that mobility has on business operations and security.
Furthermore, numerous studies show that with mobile devices, the horse is out of the barn, so to speak. Companies can either harness it and ride it to better ROI or let employees take the reins and potentially be stampeded.
In this article, we'll introduce a few perspectives that may help you ensure your approach to mobility—and your accompanying device strategy—is keeping up with employee behaviors. Next week, we will follow up with a list of "must have" elements for any mobile device management solution.
Device Usage: 88% of workers use smartphones for work on personal time (Symantec)
Smartphones are blurring the line between work and play, and in many ways it is a good thing for businesses. Studies show that employees who perform work on a mobile device outside the office are more productive and work more hours each week, on average, than those who can't. (The jury is still out on whether companies have to reimburse them for that time, but that is a discussion for a different day.)
The reality is that many mobile-savvy workers prefer to check and even respond to email during off time. It clears any backlog that might accumulate after they leave the office and lets them get a jump on the next day's work.
If you are not providing secure access to work email and other data outside the office, your personnel will likely find a way to enable access behind your back, potentially putting your firm at risk.
Business App Usage: 65% of mobile device users download business-specific apps for more convenient access to information. (Salesforce–2014 Mobile Behavior Report)
Adding support for our prior assertion is this statistic from Salesforce, which indicates the majority of workers are downloading and using business-specific apps, which might be used to conduct office business. If your company doesn't have a policy and a plan to approve business-centric apps for workers—and to secure the information being accessed and manipulated by them—you are inadvertently encouraging workers to adopt rogue apps.
In doing so, you are increasing the chance that worker behaviors on mobile devices will pose a threat to your corporate assets.
ROI: For a firm with 20 mobile workers averaging $25 an hour, gaining one hour a week in productivity through device usage results in a net yearly gain of $25,000 to the firm. (Based on a 50-week year).
The time savings for organizations that support a mobile workforce, either through BYOD (bring your own device) or corporate-supplied devices, is proven. Such minor time savers as giving service workers mobile access to routing instructions/maps for their schedules or enabling mobile upload of billable time can aggregate into far more than an hour of productivity increases, each week.
The ROI of mobility is undeniable and outweighs the cost and complexity of pursuing a mobile-centric strategy, especially if a firm has mobile workers.
At the end of the day, if you don't provide a safe mobile environment, many employees will create a workaround. Not only will you increase corporate risk; you will also lose the ability to extract maximum value by directing the process and outcome.
DynaSis is an Atlanta IT services and cloud computing provider for small and midsized businesses. All of our solutions focus on helping companies achieve the three fundamental IT necessities of the modern business—availability, security and mobility. We specialize in on-demand and on-premise managed IT services, managed cloud infrastructure, desktops and backups, and professional hardware and equipment installation. For more information about DynaSis’ IT support and services, visit www.dynasis.com.