Get a Handle on the New Workplace Environment

I recently ran into some car trouble on my way to the office and had to be towed to the service center. I did not miss a beat. During the two hours that it took to get my car serviced, I was able to attend my weekly product launch planning meeting via Web conference, access and review creative for an upcoming ad campaign, and check and respond to emails – all from the service lounge.

Traditional work environments with desktop computers and landline telephones no longer rule the roost due to increased mobilization (of employees, resources, and services). Today’s workers expect flexibility in how and where they work. Many are selecting their own tools to get their job done more quickly and efficiently because company issued technology no longer meets their expectation. Innovative and powerful consumer devices, applications and web services are empowering the workforce and redefining the workplace environment.

What does this mean for IT? IT organizations will need to evolve their mobile strategy to address current employee demands, attract top new talent, and compete in the marketplace. Below are five reasons IT department should consider workspace management technology (also known as containerization) to harness the power of the evolving workplace environment.

1. Data and Network Security

A plethora of personal mobile devices and OSs (including Android and iOs) are being used to access corporate data, creating a headache for IT. According to an Ovum 2013 Global BYOD Survey, 56% of full-time employees access corporate data from a personal smartphone or tablet. Most of us are guilty of forwarding business emails to personal email accounts sharing work files using apps like Droplr, or storing corporate content using free storage apps like MediaFire. Mobile threats are on the rise and this behavior can expose a company to major risks. Mobile Workspace Management (MWM) solutions provide a secure environment to run business applications and content. Some even come with secure browsing, encryption of data in the container, as well as a secure email application.

2. Employee Privacy Most people use their personal devices for work activities because the features and capabilities are often more robust than company-issued devices; however, they prefer if “big brother” wasn’t monitoring their personal activities. Device-level control, which is what you get with traditional MDM solutions, raises legal concerns around privacy. Workspace management technology helps alleviate this concern by allowing IT to manage the secure workspace – not the device. IT cannot access personal content and most importantly, if an employee leaves the company, the workspace can be wiped and their personal content and settings remain intact.

3. Increased Collaboration and Productivity

The days of a one-size-fits-all approach to business tools are becoming a thing of the past. Given the low-cost and free applications available via the Apple app store and Android marketplace, it’s not surprising that businesses are competing with consumer apps when it comes to getting the latest collaboration and productivity tools in the hands of employees. With a mobile workspace management solution, IT can easily push company-approved, commercial off-the-shelf apps as well as proprietary apps to end-users This not only provides greater choice and flexibility, but when workers are armed with the right tools, their performance improves as well.

4. Dual Persona

The BYOD movement has created the need for dual-persona devices. Knowledge workers want to watch movies, stay in touch with family and friends via social media, schedule a business meeting, and even check on the status of a customer’s order – all on one device. Businesses can satisfy employees’ appetite for work/life balance while maintaining control of corporate data and networks with a MWM solution. With MWM technology corporate information is partitioned from the rest of the operating system. Authentication is required to access the secure workspace. If for some reason a malware is installed outside of the workspace, it is blocked from accessing business content or connecting to the enterprise network.

Your technology strategy will determine your organization’s readiness for the ever-evolving needs of today’s workforce. In a recent AT&T webinar on The Next Generation Work EnvironmentOvum analyst, Adrian Drury explains that consumerization of IT cannot be ignored. “Employees have new expectations and if IT does not meet them, they will self-provision,” Drury says. Proactively adapting to the changing workplace landscape can make the difference between business agility, improved productivity, and faster sales.

How prepared is your organization for the workforce of tomorrow?



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