The definitive trend of 21st century work patterns is working mobility, and the diminishing dependency on an office space. A business still requires a physical base of operations, but staff do not need to always be there to complete day-to-day duties. The modern business now looks to the cloud for data storage, and mobile devices for access to it. Staff can work from wherever in the world they need to, whenever they need to, using their own devices. This grants them greater freedom, improves general morale, and in theory generates a more consistent output. Successful working mobility is also key in creating a unified company culture. It exemplifies real-time communication and keeps all staff consistently singing from the same song sheet. This is hugely important, particularly for businesses that operate across multiple countries.
However, some businesses choose not to pursue such a working mobility policy because of concerns over how it can be managed. Yet the truth is that making a business more mobile does not have to mean less control.
The Key Areas Of Management
When wired desktop PCs were dominant in commerce, the job of network management was very simple. Administrators were able to easily see all the devices connected to the company network. When laptops, tablets and other mobile devices began to permeate business consciousness, the job of network administrators became more blurred. These were devices that employees were taking home with them at the end of the day. Therefore, they were not always connected and harder to manage. This poses risks in terms of breaches and non-compliance with industry regulations.
The last two decades have seen an upswing in cloud-based software innovation to manage mobile working. These cover four key areas: devices, applications, content and security.
How Working Mobility Management Works
Mobile devices are managed centrally, with administrators provided with a summary of each device. The system will confirm that the correct version of each software solution is on each approved application. These applications can be sourced and developed under centrally managed security policies and metrics. Meanwhile, administrators may establish secure containers for email and internet browsers, with content kept separate for business and individual information. The security can then be monitored in terms of network, email, devices, content and applications. There are a number of providers creating this kind of monitoring software. These range from VMware and Blackberry to IBM, Citrix and Microsoft.
Managing working mobility is easiest and most cost-effective with a cloud-based service. This is because any cloud-based solution offers scalable capacity, which means that an increase in the numbers of staff needing management can be absorbed efficiently. Moreover, much of the difficult work will be handled by the cloud service provider.
Why Managing Working Mobility Is Important
Ultimately, the software available serves to inform us that granting employees the freedom of working mobility, through a company-wide cloud platform, does not have to mean a compromise in regulation, control or data safety.
The alternative to working mobility – usually in alliance with a company-wide Bring-Your-Own-Device policy – is a rather more archaic way of operating. In the days of storing data on an onsite server in the office, it could only be accessed from one geographical location: that same office. That placed huge restrictions on how employees could operate. Storing data in the cloud gives them the flexibility to work from home, on the move, at a client site or indeed wherever they need to be. Moreover, it provides a far more reliable service, meaning that compromises to data access on accounts of hardware malfunctions are eliminated. This improves office morale and lays the foundation for greater productivity.
There is very little case, in terms of efficiency or functionality, to be made for the traditional onsite server against the cloud. The concerns about regulation and exposure to malware are the usual barrier perceived by businesses when considering centralised, mobile access to data. Implementing a strategy to manage working mobility is the key to eliminating that fear, and reaping all the prescribed benefits. Of course, each business is different and has its own requirements. It is crucial to assess exactly what a business needs, and act accordingly in terms of software acquisition. That investment pays off over the long term, thanks to the way in which it streamlines the operations of the modern enterprise.
Viastak work to support businesses looking to leverage technology, in order to streamline the way they operate. We believe in creating flexible, dynamic enterprises that are equipped to deal with the demands of the modern global economy. To find out more, please get in touch.