Mobility is here to stay. Like it or not, there are 4.9 billion connected devices in the world today and that number is set to increase to 25 billion by 2020. Mobile use spans generations and is being applied in new and creative ways daily. My phone is the most efficient piece of equipment in my life. It connects me to my friends, my family, my work, the world. I don’t get out of bed in the morning until my mobile tells me to! But are businesses taking advantage and integrating mobile effectively? Well, according to IDC, the global mobile workforce will reach 1.3 billion (37.2%) in 2015. Industry experts believe this trend will continue as large organizations move from local, to multi-national, to global business models. The average number of mobile employees will have increased by another 50% in 2020 to accommodate the need for those working on the move.
Adapting to the Millennial Culture
A survey by Imation found that 41% of remote workers say they don’t have the right mix of tools to work remotely, or that the tools could be improved. Why is that? Well it’s highly likely to be the fault of those pesky millennials — the generation of professionals (aged 18-34) that grew up using smart technology and have very high expectations of what usability they find at their place of work. This is the generation that expects information to be instantly available, that discovers apps to make their time or lives more efficient (incidentally, daily Whatsapp messages now exceed SMS messages), and they believe companies should be using their personal data to create bespoke experiences tailored to their preferences. Very high expectations indeed! So against the backdrop of a changing workforce that will increasingly expect to operate in mobile-first environments, the challenge for businesses today is to decide how to address these expectations. Publicly exposing critical data is a major risk in this space as companies seek to keep up with their employees’ increasing demands. And data is not just files and databases anymore. What businesses need is a full convergence of data, applications, and voice seamlessly between the office and their mobile device in a secure and meaningful way — Unified Communications.
Unified Communications to the Rescue!
Voice has become an afterthought far too frequently today. You can have the greatest of integrations between your applications and a slick MDM solution to keep your Millennials happy. But if the true interpersonal lines of communication are forgotten in this process, there’s a major functionality and security gap that must be addressed.
Integrating voice networks with data networks to provide access to any device or service in the enterprise is the first step to make Unified Communications a reality. The second step is to secure your valuable resources from the new endpoints that will enter your network. Companies must move in this direction to stay relevant. They must embrace the new paradigm. But they also must understand it and maintain the same levels of security and confidentiality that enable them to operate safely in the connected world. This requires a robust security strategy to prevent unwanted intruders from accessing your information.
What’s a Forward-Thinking Company to Do?
It’s challenging to do it on your own. This is why you need a partner with experience across multiple disciplines to assist your company to modernize while maintaining the highest of security standards. Holistic introspection during times of change is the only way to operate safely. Continue to modernize, but with eyes wide open to the real risks that ensue.
Companies have enough to worry about these days. Don’t let aging communication tech give employees or customers any reason to question your ability to provide your services while protecting their data in a connected world.