Prepare for a Mobile-Centric Workplace

— June 18, 2014

The majority of IT professionals (70%) are under increasing pressure to deliver and support an all-wireless workplace from their top executives, and #GenMobile employees are demanding greater flexibility and better collaboration, according to a global study from Aruba Networks.
 
#GenMobile is considered group of people (of all ages) for whom smartphones have gone beyond personal entertainment and BYOD. In fact, they’re now shaping their lives, especially their working lives, around mobile devices.

The creation of an agile, all-wireless workplace is no longer an option. In addition to a significant competitive advantage, the benefits of this approach include employee retention, productivity and cost savings. However, the results highlight that only 14% of employees enjoy the flexibility and freedom of such a workplace—global businesses still have a lot of work to do in this area.

Managing #GenMobile: Key Findings

  • 51% of global organizations saw a rise in mobile/remote working last year and 77% noted an increase in #GenMobile employees using mobile devices for work during the past year.

  • To support top executives and #GenMobile mobility demands, 71.1% of IT departments increased their investment in Wi-Fi, while another 46% were granted increased budgets for future mobility projects.

  • 55.5% of companies surveyed globally actually encourage or have no policy banning the use of personal devices at work. Only 12.4% discourage the use of personal devices for work.

  • 76.6% of C-level executives expressed greater levels of interest in mobile technologies in the workplace to support #GenMobile employees.

  • The debate about how to support BYOD is becoming a thing of the past as 58.7% of IT professionals said their company has already fully embraced employee BYOD or implemented new policies to support it.

“Executives and #GenMobile employees alike prefer an increasingly mobile style of working and IT organizations are feeling the pressure to adapt existing technology investments to meet their requirements,” said Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba Networks. “The workplace of the future will not only need to be rightsized to align with IT budgets but it will also require a mobility-centric and secure wireless infrastructure, a move towards employee self-service, and a willingness to embrace consumer IT technologies to enhance #GenMobile productivity.”

Securing the Workplace
Russell Hookway, Network and Telecommunications Manager at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said, “Technology should be an enabler for our staff. Across our council, employees are now actively choosing a ‘mobile-first’ working model, because it makes them more efficient. Creating an environment that supports this model makes good business sense. Our new message to workers is work where you want, when you want and how you want. No questions asked.”

The survey results show that mobility is a highly desirable productivity tool, but not at the expense of corporate or personal security. When IT professionals were asked about security concerns as they relate to mobility, 73.5% assessed mobility security requirements based on the devices’ security features or the employees’ mobile work requirements. Only 13.3% responded that security concerns have stopped them from allowing mobile work capabilities for #GenMobile employees.

An All-Wireless Environment
According to a report from The Future Laboratory, the term “office” will become obsolete as a new model for work emerges. The emerging workplace will facilitate a flexible work culture in a society where the nine to five workday is increasingly the exception rather than the rule. The modern workplace will be a hub with a blend of business/leisure travelers, shared workspaces and flexible work environments.

“New technologies and new ways of doing business are irreversibly transforming the way we design offices as well as the way we fundamentally think of workspaces,” said The Future Laboratory co-founder, Chris Sanderson. “Cloud-based technologies and the increased use of mobile devices as our work tools of choice are ushering in a new social, cultural and corporate paradigm where workplaces are more federated and collaborative, less hierarchical and increasingly less location-specific, as more of #GenMobile employees clock in by logging on.”

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