The way we use technology has evolved. The proliferation of mobile devices taking over our home and work life’s means that we are better connected than ever before. However in a world where we can easily access information on the go from any connected device are businesses getting the most from their employees?
I overheard an interesting discussion recently whereby a senior employee within a company was complaining that he is working long hours in the office because his experience of working from home had been so poor. The comment that stood out for me was that he didn’t want to have to power on his laptop, enter his password then launch his VPN and enter his password again all to gain access to his folders and files. The advice given to him by his colleague was to use a file sharing technology such as drop box.
This for me highlights the main arguments in the mobile workforce debate from both sides. Employees are looking to be able to connect to business resources from any device in the same way that they connect to their current preferred social network and home resources. On the other side IT departments are concerned about the security of data on non-company devices and the management overhead of supporting multiple different devices. The concern though is that if you do nothing are your users using public cloud resources to store your company’s critical data as this better fits the way they want to work?
To help resolve this issue many companies have deployed VDI or App Streaming platforms to enable their users to connect securely to their services on the go. However for me this only part resolves the problem; as an end user myself I want to be able to work with the interface I am used to whether that be Apple, Android or Microsoft as opposed to always connecting to a virtual desktop or application dependent platform.
So what’s the answer? I actually think this depends on the needs of your users but in general I think businesses need to embrace technology. There are a number of products on the market such as;
- Enterprise Mobility Management: Provides security and management of mobile devices
- VDI/DaaS: Provides a virtual desktop
- File Sync and Share as a Service: Provides a corporately controlled file service that is accessible on any device
- Application Streaming: Provides access to applications that a web browser
These allow internal IT departments to provide a mobile working solution that provides the security and governance required by the business with the flexibility and mobility required by their users. Businesses should still protect themselves by having each employee sign up to a mobile working policy that ensures the business critical assets are protected.
I truly believe though that businesses can get more from their workforce by allowing them access to their business applications and resources from any connected device at any time.