The IT Manager’s Guide to Mobility Success

Enabling mobility is key to increasing employee productivity and remaining competitive in today’s global market. This article outlines five steps that every IT manager must take to achieve mobility success

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Today’s IT managers are challenged to cope with a rapidly changing business environment where employees need to work from anywhere, at any time and on any device. This trend towards mobility is driven by a number of factors, including the mass adoption of smartphones and tablets, the entry of tech-savvy Millennials in the workplace and the emergence of collaboration as a competitive differentiator.

Gartner also believes that consumerization will continue to impact IT and stated, “Over the past year, we have seen consumer preferences shaping not only the vendors’ landscape but also the way IT departments need to think about devices in the enterprise with BYOD becoming a part of the devices policy.”

All of this means that it is critical to develop a mobility strategy for your organization. A mobile strategy will allow you to support your employees’ preferred devices so they can increase their productivity while you maintain control over your network. However, developing a mobility strategy that drives business results is about a lot more than choosing between LTE rate plans.

Here are five keys to succeeding with mobility:

Understand your users’ needs. A recent study by Dimension Data Group revealed that only 38% of enterprises profile users on their mobility needs before implementing a unified communications and collaboration plan. If you’re in the 62% that does not survey your users, you could be throwing your investment away.

If you want to succeed with mobility, you must look at all of your users – such as road warriors that need to be connected whether they are across town or across the world, desk workers in the office, and teleworkers who rely on their smartphones as their primary communications device. To gain this understanding, you should bring all of your stakeholders together and learn about their five Ws and one T (who, what, where, when and which tools). The more you know your workforce, the better you will be able to address their communication challenges.

Secure your data. Developing a mobility strategy involves a balancing act where you must provide an open and scalable network that accommodates both personal and guest devices while you also secure enterprise data and protect your network from threats. Pay particular attention to handling user accounts, passwords and remote access. Also make sure that your converged network is segmented with firewalls to prevent unauthorized access.

Support BYOX. Bring-your-own-device has evolved into bring-your-own-everything.  However, whenever someone in your organization uses a personal device, public cloud or third-party application to perform a work-related task, they run the risk of exposing your network to viruses. To enable BYOX and give your users more freedom, you must implement security policies – such as device restrictions and virtual private networks – to protect your corporate data.

Leverage your existing infrastructure. Your mobility strategy will roll out more smoothly and cost less if you work with your existing IT infrastructure. When you look for a mobility solution, you should find one that complements your current phone system, software and network in a way that is transparent to end users. That way, mobile workers will be more productive and responsive as they use advanced UC and collaboration features. Meanwhile, you will save your organization money by routing calls through the corporate network to access landline long-distance rates and by using WiFi calling to bypass cellular charges altogether.

Look outside of your organization for help. Due to the complexity of mobility projects, as well as the ever-changing technology landscape, you may want to partner with an external solution provider. Working with a third party can help you assess your current IT environment, prioritize your requirements, address gaps in your resources and lower your costs.

Following these steps will help you achieve a number of benefits from mobility – including increased employee productivity, enhanced customer service and reduced communications costs. Resource link –

What about you? How are you addressing your employees’ needs for increased mobility? Please share your thoughts below.

Watch Thabang discuss more on mobility trends in Allstream’s Webinar, UCaaS: Changing the Boundaries of Enterprise Collaboration, available on-demand now.

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