It’s a fact: Mobile business users and IT are woefully misaligned when it comes to taking advantage of the mobile revolution. The latest industry research on mobile enterprise collaboration bears this out. According to report from harmon.ie, IT reports much higher availability of tools and business applications on mobile across all categories than their business counterparts. As well, IT is investing in business applications on mobile devices that are not aligned with the stated needs and priorities of their business equivalents.
2015: Death of the Cube Farm?
The “work from home” movement has been rapidly gaining momentum, but lately we have been seeing more employers allowing employees to work across multiple Internet-connected areas located on-premise (i.e. conference room, atrium, lunch table outside), removing the ball and chain feeling that comes with the cubicle.
2014 is ending on an exciting note in the mobile unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) space. Most recently, a new report from MarketsandMarkets shows that the global mobile UC&C market is slated to be . To provide some context to this number, the market is currently valued at $5.15 billion, meaning revenue will more than triple during the next four years.
Today’s business owners can vastly improve enterprise productivity simply by leveraging their employees’ personal devices, including their mobile applications; in fact, the average global smartphone user downloads about 25 apps. Companies have hesitated to do this in the past for fear of an increased security risk to their networks, but as mobility grows as an enterprise priority—CIOs rank it second in priority, according to a CIO Agenda report by Gartner—organizations are confidently adopting mobile device management (MDM) to enforce policy protection of data and to support enterprise content on personal employee devices.
Whereas sales and marketing departments are constantly strapped for time and trying to make deadlines, the human resources (HR) department is tasked with fostering the leadership and culture of the organization as a whole. It’s because of this that HR should be armed with the biggest decision makers and the strongest working strategies possible. But the rapid proliferation of such things as social media, cloud computing and unified communications has thrown some HR teams for a loop.
As the world becomes increasingly saturated with digital technologies and new-aged working models, those HR teams who still abide by age-old tactics will inevitably fall off the grid. If you feel like your department is on its last leg, consider the many social business tools and strategies at your disposal. As a recent Intec infographic shows, social business helps support every stage of the HR ecosystem: attracting, on-boarding, sharing, engaging and fostering. Here’s how your team can get started:
Bring your own device (BYOD) hit the ground running when it was first introduced to the working world. Thewildly popular acronym has undoubtedly proven itself to be more than just a fad, evidenced by a slew of industry forecasts and expectations. For example, 83% of respondents to the 2014 State of the Google Apps Ecosystem work in organizations that support BYOD. Gartner expects 50 percent of employees will be required to use their personal mobile device for work purposes by 2017. And already, 65 percent of companies currently allow their employees’ personal devices to connect to their corporate network, according to a recent Checkpoint survey.
The reality is that although a still relatively new term, we’ve only hit the tip of the BYOD iceberg. Further below lies an abundance of other high-profile concepts and phrases that are picking up steam, including choose your own device (CYOD); bring your own cloud (BYOC); and bring your own application (BYOA), among many others. BYOD isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If your company isn’t onboard with this working model then you’re unfortunately a few crucial steps behind in the game.
Manufacturing departments have a whole lot on their hands—literally. These groups of individuals work to convert a wide range of materials and components into finished goods that meet market expectations. While every facet of a company brings about invaluable traits and benefits, this production unit essentially represents the backbone of all business.
In part one of this series, we discussed the first huge challenge being faced by the modern manufacturing department—balancing a globally distributed workforce—and how unified communications (UC) can help meet those needs. Now, let’s take a look at two more top challenges for this workforce and how UC can help turn them around.
Challenge #2: Global Access to Collaboration Tools
Production, planning, sharing and brainstorming are all absolutely vital for the manufacturing department. From new product development to packaging decisions, the only way to get essential tasks done and keep operations flowing smoothly is to ensure seamless, global team collaboration. For example, delivering just two new products per year requires a rigorous level of decision making as well as frequent team interactions. When one is operating a globally distributed team, communication and collaboration can easily become difficult and hinder that team’s success.
The UC Solution: Presence and Video Conferencing
Presence and availability solutions such as chat and instant messaging (IM), e-mail, voicemail and Find Me/Follow Me (also known as geo-location mapping) play integral roles in unified communications. Many businesses—especially those managing geographically dispersed teams—rely on presence solutions for real-time communications wherever and whenever necessary. Co-workers will know when others are available to discuss important points and management will be able to accurately gauge the productivity levels of employees by seeing when they are and aren’t on hand.
This can be taken one step further with instant video conferencing, which enables staff to collaborate face-to-face for such things as impromptu presentations, quick product demos and more. Furthermore, advanced geolocation technology enables executives and team members to locate someone by showing their real-time location on a map.
Bottom line: unified communications is essential to rapid innovation process. It allows staff and management to share ideas and documents instantly, solicit feedback and make decisions in a timely, impacting manner.
The combination of geographically disparate workers, increasingly frantic schedules and businesses pulling the reins on budget spending has made maintaining efficient communications more important than ever. Professionals today have no choice but to do more with less, and that’s exactly where business collaboration comes into play.
Consumer communications meets business communications in a mobile world
People communicate for work anywhere, anytime, from any device. Despite these undeniable changes in business behavior, a majority of companies haven’t optimized their communications infrastructure for mobile workforces or BYOD. The desire to use the same devices we use at home to do our work is widespread.
- People fundamentally want to work together to get their work done, achieve fulfillment and create value
- This is not a new trend, increasingly people are using their personal devices in their work environment
- Forrester (a US-based analyst firm) identified that 53% of employees are using some form of consumer technology to get their work done
- According to Gartner—by 2017, more than half of companies will require their employees to supply their own devices on the job
- Gartner said, mid-sized companies of $500 million to $5 billion in sales and 2,500 to 5,000 employees are most likely to be using a BYOD approach
- 38% of companies expect to stop supplying employees with devices entirely by 2016
Trends driving mobility and behavior changes in the work place
- 1 in 3 college graduates and young professionals would accept a lower-paying job if it offered more flexibility with device choice, social media access and mobility.
- 98% of Americans own a mobile device, 40% of these are smartphones (sub with regional data - source: Google mobile blog 2012)
- 95% of Americans use cloud services in their consumer lives (sub with regional data - source: Wakefield Citrix Cloud Survey 2012)
- US users spent 121 billion minutes—230k years on social media in a single month (source: Nielsen Social Media Report 2012, cited in NBC News)
How a cloud communications solution is addressing challenges businesses face in the new work world
- 77% of businesses and IT leaders say their companies are currently using social collaboration technologies
- 82% of businesses currently using social collaboration tools want to use more of them in the future
- 66% —make jobs more enjoyable
- 62% —improved productivity
- 57% —gets work done faster
IT and Businesses decision makers both believe emplyees were …
- Able to generate ideas collaboratively —47%
- More easily collaborate with their external customers, partners and vendors —47%
- Better able to engage with peers —41%
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device - a phrase that came about with the consumerization of IT to refer to employees who bring their own computing devices – such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs – to the workplace for use and connectivity on the corporate network.