By most accounts, there are roughly 225 million smartphone users in the US and about 2.1 million mobile apps available for download. Let’s assume your employees are among those with smartphones and a collection of apps at their disposal. While there’s nothing particularly compelling about this assumption—what is notable is that your employees may be using mobile apps for work-related productivity. If you’re introducing cloud-based ERP, CRM, or BI software in the year ahead, keep in mind that mobile access is one of the features your employees may enjoy the most.
Mobile Devices in the Workplace
Your organization may or may not permit employees to use mobile devices at work, let alone their personalmobile devices. But this may be changing. That said, BYOD (bring your own device) policies are becoming the norm as more company leaders are thinking critically (and more positively) about how the technology can be securely and effectively leveraged in a world that’s increasingly digital—and increasingly mobile.
The 4thindustrial revolution is upon us. This means different things to different employers, but it’s on the radar of employees with mobile devices in their hands—and any number of connected items in their offices and homes. Your organization may not be introducing machine learning or AI into your business (yet), but in the year ahead we’ll start seeing 5G rolled out in more locations, making mobile internet connectivity faster and more reliable. All the more reason to conduct business on our smartphones, right?
The Lines Continue to Blur
When it comes to technology, it can be hard to distinguish what’s personal and what’s professional—and where organizations should (or could) draw the line. This requires employers to ask questions like, “can employees access the internet on their work computers for personal use?” or, perhaps more relevant to today’s environment, “can employees use their personal mobile devices to access our cloud-based software?”
We’re not going to suggest that there’s a right or wrong answer to these questions. Like many things of this nature, what’s appropriate depends on your company’s policies, existing technology stack, and the needs and preferences of your employees. It’s important to note that every company takes a different approach to mobility—and this approach is largely defined by its culture and digital maturity.
For instance, more innovative organizations may have very flexible BYOD policies and will encourage employees to use their mobile devices to access everything from email to business systems. Other, less digitally innovative companies may limit access to company-owned laptops and tablets. What matters here is that these applications are being adopted in some capacity, and they’ll likely continue to proliferate.
Mobile Apps Across the Organization
In the years ahead, we expect that mobile apps are going to be adopted by more employers to serve a wider range of purposes. Again, a main driver of this adoption is the fact that employees use smartphones and apps in their daily lives—and it simply makes sense that their work-styles and collaboration preferences should follow suit.
Mobile apps will be used as tools for employee engagement, whether that means they’ll have access to employee benefits, training programs, or—of course—business software ranging from BI dashboards to web conferencing and team-based instant messaging platforms like Slack.
We can’t ignore that fact that professional networking happens on mobile devices too, with employees at all levels engaging on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Rakuna. The folks in marketing may be managing the company’s social media profiles using their Hootsuite or Buffer apps, and organizing their projects on Trello. Of course, IT pros have their own universe of apps ranging from those providing remote desktops to those enabling coding, automating processes, and so much more.
As you move your organization into a mobile-optimized future—whatever form that takes—you may need guidance to ensure you’re covering your bases with respect to security, access, and efficiency. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.