The central office model worked well for most of the twentieth century. Work meetings required coworkers to gather at one place, and data and paperwork used to be dispatched back and forth by post or courier. Even the advent of email did not change things too much initially. Although the information in the form of files could be exchanged over email between team members, access to those ended as soon as an employee left office. This resulted in more than half the day becoming unproductive, with employees having to wait till the next morning to access the enterprise network.
Two developments changed this for good at the start of the 21st century. The first was the concept of cloud technology, which freed data from physical drives that needed to be on the premises. The second was the introduction of smartphones which could access the internet and run multiple applications for various needs. This gave rise to what we refer to as enterprise mobility solutions. These have reinvented the way we work and made both employers and employees more efficient. Before we understand how – let us understand what exactly it means.
What is enterprise mobility?
Businesses that encourage employees to work from any location using a variety of devices that can connect to the company’s network and use data and applications that can be accessed using cloud technology are said to have implemented enterprise mobility solutions. This frees up the employees’ and the company’s data from being bound to a specific device inside a specific office.
Earlier, employees used to use the devices that were provided by the employer. Enterprise mobility can still function with laptops, tablets, or smartphones provided by the organization. Additionally, it also has the provision for the use of devices not owned by the employees. These could be owned by the employee, or they could be chosen by the employee from a pre-approved list.
The proper management of enterprise mobility comprises three aspects:
- Mobile device management
- Mobile application management
- Mobile content management
An overriding concern that needs to be suitably addressed for all of the above is to put in place adequate security checks and access credentials to ensure that the security of the enterprise network or data is not compromised.
How does enterprise mobility relate to productivity?
Clients and business partners are more demanding today. They want the correct solutions to their problems, and they want the solutions fast. The marketplace is much more competitive today, and agility is the need of the hour. An enterprise would find it difficult to survive, let alone prosper if it can’t respond efficiently.
The biggest advantage that enterprise mobility offers are the ability to access the enterprise network from anywhere and at any time. This is what gives employees the ability to respond to solutions quickly and accurately, making the overall operations more productive. Employees do not need to be at a particular office building to get the data they need, or with certain colleagues with whom they need to collaborate. Let us dive a little deeper and understand the specific ways in which enterprise productivity is boosted by the use of mobility solutions.
How do mobility solutions help in achieving business productivity?
Enterprise mobility makes business processes more efficient, and also allows employees to deliver better results. Let us see the ways in which enterprise mobility solutions can make both employers and employees more productive:
- A number of mundane yet important aspects of day-to-day operations could take up more time if they need to wait for the employee to be physically present. Requests for travel or leave approvals, sign-offs, timesheets, weekly/monthly reports submission and review, etc. Also, a lot of time needs to be spent on travel. Mobility solutions can help save time and free up employee bandwidth for more important tasks.
- If employees can access the enterprise network from anywhere, they can pull out required data, create presentations or reports, and collaborate with coworkers while on the go. This would result in faster responses to internal and external stakeholders.
- Since enterprise data is made available to all employees irrespective of location or device, the data needs to necessarily be updated in real-time. This saves time and effort at the end of every week or month, and there is no chance of old data being used.
- As many companies discovered during the pandemic, if most employees are working remotely throughout the year, there are possible savings on office rentals and maintenance. The reduced costs impact financial performance and productivity positively.
- A number of manual interventions are done away with in a workplace with enterprise mobility, which presents a suitable platform for the implementation of automated processes.
Many organizations have put off the implementation of enterprise mobility solutions because of the apprehension of loss of control, fear of security breaches, and increased costs. But the benefits and cost savings due to improved productivity can outweigh the possible bottlenecks due to these perceived inconveniences. If implemented with due checks and balances with adequate security controls in place, enterprise mobility solutions can greatly improve the employee of individual employees as well as the organization overall.