The past 18 months have seen a period of unprecedented disruption and transformation. Those working in field roles have been particularly affected, but it hasn’t necessarily been bad news. As we’ve seen, 68%of CEOs and other decision makers have seen the opportunity of a digital supply chain driving an efficient and seamless process that has shifted the focus of fieldwork from the “product” to the “customer.” This has been good for the employees – who have enjoyed better interactions with their customers, and the customers, who have had a better experience from end to end.
The question now is whether these shifts in how business is done are permanent; will the increasingly flexible ways of working that have been rolled out over this period revert back once the social and political environment allow them to, or was the extreme disruption a catalyst for a truly new way of working? The pervading wisdom suggests that going forward, we will need both in-person and virtual solutions to be truly successful. But what, exactly, does that hybrid work environment look like, and how will it work? That’s something that’s still in a state of evolution.
Whatever the case, a big part of the future will be determined by the devices that we use.
What we’ve learned about devices
We know that the CEO’s three top priorities across the last 18 months have been to engender trust in customers, define new value in the digital economy, and ensure reliable digital services and experiences. We know that these priorities can be met by consolidating technology down to a single mobile device, and then delivering a broad range of experiences and interactions through that screen. What is interesting is that, despite the push towards greater flexibility in the way we work, and the renewed focus on the device as core to how we work and interact, one trend that the past 18 months quickly determined wasn’t working to the benefits of individuals or enterprises was Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and enterprises are now pulling back on that.
BYOD was, for a time, seen as desirable, as it facilitated employees using technology that they were comfortable with, and minimised the excess of employees needing multiple devices for their personal and work tasks. For the business, it promised cost savings (from device procurement perspective), and the idea was that it would help employees better manage their work/life balance. It was also appealing as it would allow the employees the flexibility to choose their own devices and utilise technology that they were comfortable with.
However, BYOD poses challenges when it comes to the management and security of devices, particularly when the IT team is working remotely, as is the case for most people working in field roles. Furthermore, many off-the-shelf devices that employees might have might not be fit for purpose in a field setting – for example, in many sectors, ruggedisation is essential for protecting the devices, and few consumer-grade devices have that level of protection. Many organisations found that it ends up costing them more. Provisioning of business policies becomes more challenging, and the monitoring of devices and usage is more problematic when the employee is using their own device.
The alternative to this challenge is to adopt a rugged mobile strategy that can also simplify your mobile device management (MDM). Solutions like Samsung’s Enterprise Edition offering can help here. With the Galaxy XCover5 or Tab Active3 Enterprise Edition, for instance, IT admins can easily enrol, configure and manage hundreds of devices as if they were one. There’s still room for personal use with these devices, but they are managed and protected according to best business practices, too. With Samsung Knox, businesses can create entirely separate work and personal profiles, allowing work applications to stay secure, and personal usage to stay private.
Deepening the engagement with enterprise
This sheer capability is only possible through a proper managed devices strategy, and this is the final reason why employees themselves don’t want BYOD these days; they are more than happy to work using technology provided to them, as long as it is properly functional and robust. One challenge that many professionals have been grappling with over the past 18 months is the work/life balance, and that, when you’re working from home, that balance can be thrown out by the expectation that the person is available at all times. BYOD integrates work and life too closely for comfort for many – to the point that it becomes a tangled mess that is difficult to unravel – and is therefore being increasingly seen as an infringement on their personal lives. In that context, there is a desire to keep a distance between the two – especially when people are working remotely and/or from home.
We know that there is a big push towards consolidation and doing more with a single mobile device. Samsung’s suite of mobile devices, supported by Knox, facilitates that consolidation by enabling fully secure interactions and the management of the devices from a single platform.
For more information on Samsung Enterprise Edition and Samsung Knox, click here.