How to empower a mobile workforce

Posted on May 10, 2014 12:34 pm

A friend who works as an advisor for corporate companies in Sub Saharan Africa that want to implement bring your own devices culture at their workplaces recently shared with me on what companies need to do to empower their mobile employees. In his words, businesses today are adopting to mobile, with workers using their own technology and devices in the enterprise and the boundaries between work and personal time and space blurring. When I sought exactly what response companies have been giving him, he said that employees are now using the IT tools that enable their work to be more productive and collaborative, regardless of whether tools are accessed in the consumer or enterprise realm. So, his work entails supporting the IT teams shift to mobility, in a way that combines consumer usability with enterprise grade security. One of the first areas organizations need to focus their mobility agenda on is access to data. Centralized system also helps organizations leverage the potential of their virtual environments by streamlining deployment, administration and on-going system management. According to him, the dilemma that organizations in sub Saharan Africa are facing is the decision to shift to enterprise mobility and how to navigate the transition and maximize the benefits of the transformation. To him, a truly mobile and productive workforce requires access to information anytime, anywhere and securely.

His selection of tools that offers a consumer experience and collaboration available to enterprises to his clients includes security analytics, file sharing and virtual desktop infrastructure. Organizations in Southern African countries mostly want file sync and sharing systems that are built for them to enable their users interact and share content on their device of choice with the security and governance IT requires. In one client case, he revealed to me that users are now able to easily collaborate and distribute files of any size to large teams, internally or externally without a virtual private network or IT intervention, with encryption every step of the way. Also, users are able to share access to data with read only or read-write permissions. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure enables his client’s ability to scale up and is space-efficient. Due to lack of storage on the device, virtual desktop infrastructure technology addresses security concerns as there is no data on the device to hack or steal or when a device is stolen or a staff quits.  As a consultant, his work also entails how IT can leverage Big Data analytics to provide deeper visibility into the organization to detect and permit normal behavior and challenge or block suspicious activity. Security analytics helps organizations achieve a higher level of trust in the enterprise, cloud and mobile environments. His advise to all companies is that IT teams need to assess the options and tools alongside the needs of the organization. He also informed me that IT teams needs to readily address the security, compliance and management issues with a mobility strategy. If fully implemented, IT will be enabled to have greater business value in productivity and encourage ongoing innovation with the workforce, graduating from cost centered into a value-added resource.

Contador Harrison