Sensitive IT Is Required for Tomorrow’s Mobile Enterprise

BrandPost By Stan Gibson
Mar 10, 20153 mins
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Just where on your IT to-do list does the work-life balance of your organization’s employees sit? Do you trust your telecommuters? How about “consumerizing” corporate apps so they have the same look and feel your organization’s employees are used to on their smart phones and tablets?  

Sure, your organization probably puts a high priority on responding to help-desk calls in a timely manner, but are you ready to go beyond that – way beyond –to create a great experience for tomorrow’s mobile workforce?

To find out what’s needed, check out David Spark’s article, “19 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Needs of the Modern Mobile Workforce,” for a look into the future of employee empowerment. Nineteen points are a lot to ponder and digest, so let me help: Approximately half are concerned not so much with technology, but with how to understand and work with the mindset and behavior of mobile employees.

Here are a few examples:  Don’t dictate, but be responsive. Listen to the needs of employees before deploying tools to support their work processes. Don’t try to shoehorn a shiny new tool into those processes; set up a chat room – it’s a great way for employees to answer each other’s questions – and it helps them to bond with one another; let virtual employees take ownership over their work by including them in meetings with collaboration tools. Going the extra mile to make them feel included improves their accountability and performance.

Should IT be expected to even think of these behaviors, much less perform them?

Maybe not just yet. But ask yourself: Is the mobile enterprise a wave that has crested, leading back to an era of office employees, characterized by people who work 9-5, leaving their computing devices at the office and governed by a litany of calcified IT regulations? I don’t think so. In fact, the notion seems preposterous.

More likely, the mobile workforce is a permanent fixture.

So it makes much more sense to approach the productivity and contentment of mobile end-users as an evolving science within IT. Those that do it better will serve organizations with happier and more productive employees. They will achieve stronger corporate results. Their stock value will increase.

Gone are the days when IT was doing mobile users a big favor by enabling their device to connect to corporate email, while sending them a list of Draconian do’s and don’ts. It’s time to start thinking about ways to reward staff by showing sensitivity – yes sensitivity – to corporate users. How about incentive rewards for IT staffers who come up with ideas like questioning the mobile capabilities of legacy applications; for measuring user behavior; for increasing data access; or for augmenting email with collaboration tools?

Now is a good time to start. After all, your enterprise will never again not be mobile.