Top 3 Considerations in Supporting a Mobile Workforce

Gear up for your mobile workforce

With the growing number of workers depending on mobile devices to get their jobs done, it’s difficult to fathom that smartphones and tablet computers didn’t exist a decade ago.

Indeed, more companies today are realising the productivity gains that enterprise mobility can bring. Besides enabling workers to be more productive while on the move, mobile devices also help to enhance customer service and promote self-service in sectors facing labour shortages.

Plus, with a new generation of tech-savvy, millennial employees entering the workforce, there is also a growing expectation for employers to provide workers with applications and mobile devices in most aspects of business.

What does this mean for IT? Traditionally, IT organisations would have the luxury of time and resources to roll out an infrastructure that supports mobile technologies, but not anymore. Today, executives and boards expect IT to be more agile and responsive to the evolving needs of a mobile worker while safeguarding the information that flows through mobile devices. Here are some considerations for IT managers tasked with enabling workforce mobility:

Securing Devices, BYOD or Not

Whether to allow employees to use their personal devices for work hinges on an organisation’s risk appetite and its proficiency in ensuring device security. While BYOD offers employees more flexibility in their choice of devices, it also comes with more risks if proper safeguards, such as data encryption and separating personal and business data, are not in place. They are also more challenging to manage since IT would have to deal with different smartphone and tablet models, each with its set of configurations and settings. However, corporate-owned devices are easier to control, manage and secure. And because the use of corporate devices is typically limited to just a few models, IT would not have the burden of managing a plethora of devices.

Delivering Applications To Employees

A mobile workforce demands access to applications that support a variety of business functions, from talent management and salesforce automation to logistics and warehousing. Depending on when and how these applications were rolled out, they may need to be rebuilt or tweaked to support a mobile interface and smaller screen sizes. As the amount of development work could be substantial, depending on the complexity of the applications, IT organisations can consider deploying a virtual desktop infrastructure that streams desktop applications to mobile devices.

IT Support

With greater use of mobile devices, IT helpdesks will need to get up to speed in supporting a larger variety of devices, more so if an organisation has implemented a BYOD initiative. That means being familiar with the major mobile platforms, as well as the mobile applications and services which may work differently across devices. In addressing bugbears encountered during IT support, organisations could set up knowledge communities for support staff to leverage one another’s expertise. They would also need to find the best way to deliver support for remote users, such as deploying remote support software, rather than talking through the problem resolution process.

Learn how Smart Work Gateway can support your mobile workforce implementation.

Source: Fuji Xerox Australia