Mobility is an essential part of today’s workforce. To hear of an employee who does not have access to corporate email remotely is nearly unheard of. According to Gartner, worldwide mobile voice and data revenue will exceed one trillion dollars a year by 2014. The desire and necessity for increased mobility has brought about drastic changes in the new corporate landscape: the desire to utilize a device of their choosing, and the necessity to use this mobility to attract a younger, more tech-savvy workforce. Being chained to one’s desk has quickly become a thing of the past, while both mobility and productivity are on the upswing. A study performed by Ipso-Reid shows that BlackBerry smartphone users can turn 53 minutes of downtime into productive work time each day, increasing overall productivity by nearly 30%. Increased workforce mobility has brought about many changes within the enterprise, permanently altering the terrain of the corporate landscape.
There are obvious changes that mobility impacts upon the corporate environment, and some not-so-obvious effects.
- Cost Savings
- Office Equipment – because a combination of laptops, tablets, and smartphones can more than compensate for a desktop computer and land line phone, the savings on office equipment is straight forward. In the past, many corporations have overspent in providing workers both a laptop and desktop computer, in addition to a land line and cellular telephone. Increased mobility eliminates the need for unnecessary equipment.
- Office Space – in an economy where every cent of cost savings is precious, managers can realize returns by downgrading or even eliminating office space.
- Time Saving – Employees without a commute typically start work earlier and finish work later.
- Increased Employee Responsiveness – mobile equipment enables employees the ability to respond more immediately to customer inquiries, complaints, and order fulfillment.
- Speed of Decision Making – reaching employees nearly anywhere, at nearly anytime, greatly reduces critical decision making time.
- Expedited Issue Resolution – nothing strengthens customer retention than the expedited response to problems and customer issues. Increased mobility equates to increased accessibility.
- Cost savings on commuting – mobility is greener when taking vehicle emissions and gas necessary for a daily commute to the office into account.
- Security Risks – adopting a mobility strategy entrusts employees to respect corporate data and adhere to security standards.
- Network and Customer Data Security Concerns – allowing employees the ability to access highly confidential customer information poses a serious security risk without the appropriate enforceable policies. Additionally, opening up secure corporate networks, whether via VPN or other mechanism, exposes the enterprise to a cornucopia of nightmarish security threats.
- Lack of Mobile Device Management , or MDM Policies – not widely adopted or implemented
- Employees disconnected from teams and corporate environment
- Lack of Technical Support for Mobile Employees
Whether the benefits outweigh the negatives, there is no question that mobility has drastically transformed corporate culture. Taking advantage of the cost savings, cultural benefits, and recruiting tools a mobile work policy allows will no doubt keep top talent and attract fresh, new talent to the enterprise. Reap the benefits of mobility with solid Mobile Device Management and enforceable mobile security protocols.
 Gartner, Gartner Says Mobility will be a Trillion Dollar Business by 2014, October 21, 2010
 Durso, James, Going Mobile: Redefining the Meaning of Workforce Mobility, October 13, 2010
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