Aside from looking cool, the superhero cape provides protection, distraction, and concealment. They enable flight and can even serve as a weapon—like the weighted ends of Batman’s cape. (But did we mention how cool they are?)
In today’s business world, mobile devices play a similar multifunctional and critical role that extends every worker’s capabilities. A smartphone or tablet doesn’t give you the power to fly, but it gives you the power to access to anything, anytime, anywhere—at lightening speed. Office mobility promotes collaboration and productivity, empowering each employee to up their game and be truly “super.”
A recent Tech Pro Research report found that a combined 72 percent of organizations polled were allowing BYOD or planning to do so. Why? Because mobile devices turbocharge what employees can do, including keeping up with emails, attending conferences and meetings virtually, sharing documents, maintaining office productivity, and gaining instant access to network resources—no matter where they are.
“The most outstanding advantages that office mobility offers are the flexibility, ease of access, and instant communication that it provides to both employees and their employers,” said Sylvester Kaczmarek, an entrepreneur, product manager, and advisor with more than 16 years of international IT industry experience. “Mobility offers employees the chance to work wherever and whenever they’re most comfortable, which increases productivity and boosts morale in the workplace. It also offers an instant and efficient communication system between employers, employees, and their clients.”
Faster communication enables employees to get things done faster and jump on opportunities in the moment. For example, sales reps can use their phone to answer a question from a prospect as soon as it comes in, and that quick response could ultimately help them close the deal. Having a smartphone in hand is like having lightning-fast reflexes or super speed.
Every hero faces obstacles
For all the benefits, mobile devices can also raise challenges for IT teams that aren’t prepared. Data management, security, and compliance all must be addressed to unleash the full power of the mobile workforce. Kaczmarek said that mobile innovations—including cloud computing, wireless technologies, mobile payments, mobile applications, social media, mobile collaborations, mobile health, and interconnected machines—have all contributed to an accelerated change in the connection between IT and users, not to mention how IT staff do their work.
“Before now, IT was solely tasked with the responsibility of determining which technologies or projects were both useful and feasible,” he said. “They also exclusively had the tools, charter, and time necessary to create monitoring and management infrastructure to support these technologies. Now IT staff can access and use [a] company’s data without needing to be at a particular location.”
Again, the greater flexibility gained from the “cape” of mobile devices leads to greater efficiency, productivity, and agility, not to mention job satisfaction. And the more productive the IT team is, the more productive everyone else can be.
Office mobility, inside the office
While mobile devices supercharge workers’ capabilities outside the office, there are also devices, products, and services that do the same inside. Businesses today put a premium on office collaboration and are moving toward more agile workspaces as a result. Adrian Mezenberg serves as the vice president of product management for StarTech, which makes it easy for IT professionals to identify, find, get, and use hard-to-find parts. He says that modern offices are designed to foster collaboration by increasing the space dedicated to temporary workstations and small meeting rooms.
“Office mobility is all about having the tools people need to do their jobs,” he said “It’s even changing within the walls of the office because people move from meeting room to meeting room, and they need higher-performance devices; different technology; complex setups; and integrated, shared workspaces. For both the office and IT staff, seamless transitions between devices and locations are essential.”
Beyond smartphones and tablets, tools like sophisticated video conference systems, docking stations, and display adapters are key for enabling office mobility. And of course, all these technologies, as well as the momentum around BYOD, create a stronger demand for better, faster wireless network speeds.
“To be truly super, professionals, of all kinds, need to be able to connect (to data, to systems, and to other peripherals) in any situation,” Mezenberg said. “And with all the devices being used, having charging hubs and cables keep them powered and available for use anytime.”
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…
Mobile devices are as close to a cape as office superheroes are going to get. They give employees the ability to be better, faster, and stronger at their jobs, and achieve incredible feats of flexibility. The quality of the support and infrastructure behind mobile devices are equally important, and will ultimately ensure that office mobility doesn’t also give way to chaos.