Enterprise mobility – key to productivity

Nicola Mortimer
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On: 9 Nov 2015
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Enterprise mobility – key to productivity

In the first of our TechBeat Survey blog series on Enterprise Mobility (see the second here), Nicola Mortimer, Head of Business Product, Marketing and Operations at Three Ireland, looks at how Irish companies are using mobile devices to boost productivity.

It’s official! Ireland’s businesses are now more productive thanks to the ever-increasing use of mobile devices. That’s the finding of a recent survey by TechBeat, in association with Three, into the use of laptops, smartphones and tablets by the Irish workforce.

A massive 85% of Irish IT professionals claimed that productivity in the workplace was on the rise thanks to the mobile device revolution.

It would seem that the ability to access emails and other work-related documents and software, from anywhere and at any time, is bringing huge benefits to Ireland’s workforce – enabling it to be more flexible and effective.

Irish workers appear only too happy to embrace an `always-on’ culture. As many as 94% of survey respondents have their work phone switched on constantly so they are available if needed, with only a few restricting its use to office hours only. Three quarters claim to use the same device for both work and personal calls, with half admitting that the flexibility this enables means that work now impacts on their life outside of core business hours.

The handset of choice for Ireland’s workforce is the iPhone, with 73% of Irish organisations choosing this device. Samsung comes second with 47% of firms offering this. Windows phones (Windows Phone Lumia range from Microsoft and Nokia), Blackberry and HTC are the next most popular in that order.

This rise in employee productivity is also being helped by the availability of collaboration tools such as instant messaging and Office365. And, keen to maintain the levels of productivity that mobile technology and software enables, over half of Irish companies plan to increase their IT budgets next year.

Despite the functionality offered by the smartphone, laptops and desktops remain the primary work tools in Ireland. However, as employees have become more reliant on mobile devices for work, their use of the desktop PC has declined.

The survey also considered how organisations in Ireland have progressed in terms of managing their device portfolio and whether or not they apply content restrictions on users. Although 43% are yet to deploy a mobile device management (MDM) solution, the rest have adopted some form of control over their mobile assets – mainly in the forms of AirWatch (13%), Citrix (10%) and MobileIron (8%).

Restricting accessible content on workplace mobile devices is not standard practice in Ireland, with only 12% of businesses claiming that these had been set. However, with three quarters of respondents using the same device for work and leisure purposes, these potential restrictions could come as a source of frustration for many.

Unrestricted content is a risky strategy which could expose organisations to security and data protection challenges. It is possible to control content and still give employees the freedom to enjoy the benefits of their mobile phone. Implementing separate business and personal profiles on their handsets is one way of solving this conundrum. This allows more stringency for business use and does not impact on the employee’s personal use and enjoyment of the device.

Although security and control of mobile devices given to employees is of paramount importance, it’s crucial that the mobility and flexibility they offer is not impeded by the management and restrictions placed on them. A balance between maintaining these benefits without compromising on security or operational requirements is a must.

 

Mobile Device Management