Note: This blog is the eighth in a monthly co-authored series written by Charlotte O’Donnelly, Research Analyst at Blue Hill Research, and Matt Louden, Brand Journalist at MOBI. MOBI is a mobility management platform that enables enterprises to centralize, comprehend, and control their device ecosystems.
As summer winds down, enterprises are preparing themselves for the next round of new device releases. That’s because mobile technology manufacturers like Apple and Google choose to unveil revolutionary gadgets and innovations around this time every year. How can your business be sure it’s choosing the best new IT assets for enabling workforce productivity?
For many companies, evaluating different mobile devices feels a lot like comparing apples and oranges—each vendor’s technology has unique feature sets and capabilities that not everyone finds useful. Without a tried-and-true evaluation plan or strategy in place, it’s easy for enterprise mobility programs to lose focus on what’s most important or be paralyzed by complexity while trying to make a new device decision. If your business needs to pick the perfect new IT asset, pay special attention to these four areas:
New technology has the potential to transform companies and disrupt entire industries, but if it compromises corporate security policies or compliance efforts, nobody will ever adopt it. Remote data wipe capabilities are a must-have in today’s digital business landscape; otherwise, what happens if a mobile device is lost or stolen and ends up in the wrong hands?
In addition to remote wiping, make sure any newly implemented technology securely manages data transfers and enforces adequate encryption controls. Today’s devices consume and communicate more data than ever before, so businesses need to be prepared for never-before-seen security challenges and network traffic levels.
Brand-new technology can also mean big trouble for end-user support efforts, especially when it comes to procurement and device management tasks. Make sure mobile devices align with a mobility program’s strategy and vision before undertaking any implementation process.
Communication is also more essential to enterprise success than ever, so looking for HTML5-compatible technology is a wise use of resources. This platform-agnostic language isn’t just the foundation of the Open Web Platform; it also incorporates standard web technologies to facilitate cross-platform applications that work across almost any device type.
3. Data Syncing
Not all companies are created equal—some limit device online activity while others couldn’t care less about it. Some new mobile devices remedy this issue by offering online/offline sync capabilities, which allow workers to record data offline, sync a device to a network, and update that network’s records once connectivity is re-enabled.
Data capture requirements can also come into play. Do employee mobile devices need to be able to scan barcodes, capture information with a camera, or perform bulk changes? If the answer is yes, try to remember that not all new technologies have the capabilities required to meet these demands.
4. Work Environment
A mobile device’s physical qualities certainly influence the outcome of enterprise technology decisions. If a touchscreen display is too small or isn’t intuitive to use, for example, businesses probably won’t choose to use that particular device. However, the working conditions this technology is regularly exposed to must also be considered. Depending on how harsh a company’s work environment is, employees may need nearly indestructible hardware to successfully perform their jobs.
Is Wi-Fi or cellular network coverage always available? When are employees most likely to use this device? Will users repeatedly expose this device to dust, dirt, water, chemicals, or extreme weather conditions? These are just a few questions you need to think about when reviewing and/or adopting new devices.
You’ve put each potential device through a rigorous evaluation process and finally found your program’s perfect fit. So, now what? How can you use this new technology to drive productivity gains?
Focus on Individual Users
It’s easy to overlook individual users when making tech decisions for an entire organization. However, employees that feel like their personal values, strengths, opinions, and ideas are recognized and appreciated at work are more likely to exert extra effort and consistently achieve at the upper end of their potential.
Modern mobile devices not only help companies identify and optimize workers’ natural talents, but also cultivate the skills, experience, and knowledge necessary to actualize a workforce’s full potential. These devices enable people to work non-traditional schedules from anywhere, maximizing individual productivity by allowing employees to work when they’re most motivated and prepared.
Increase Strategy-Oriented Workloads
Employees who see their work make a meaningful difference are much more likely to be committed and engaged. That means the more strategic the workload, the more productive the employee.
Mobile devices ensure constant employee connectivity and communication, giving workers clarity when it comes to enterprise expectations, vision, and goals. By leveraging a Mobility Management Platform (MMP), an organization improves enterprise visibility and decision-making by streamlining mundane tasks, allowing employees to focus exclusively on big-picture responsibilities instead.
Prioritize Employee Education
If managed properly, new technology can lead to increased enterprise productivity. If it isn’t, expect information overload instead. Fortunately, peer coaching, networking, and mentoring is much more likely with mobile devices involved because these devices provide a constant outlet for communication.
These new devices also aid employee education efforts. In addition to monitoring policy compliance and managing end-user behavior, mobile phones can store and access training resources from anywhere at any time—keeping workers accountable, current, and efficient.
The next generation of smartphones is almost upon us; is your business ready to make a decision?