CIOs still have a way to go in supporting a mobile-first workforce

CIOs have the single largest impact on how effective their organization is in recruiting and maintaining a mobile-first workforce. In 2018, it’s time for CIOs to step up to their new responsibilities.

A woman speaking into the microphone on a mobile phone. [voice control/speech recognition]
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If there’s one thing we’ve confirmed in the past few years, it’s that employees are more talented, productive and successful when they work remotely. Innovative companies are using remote teams to disrupt industries and streamline their operations. I’ve previously discussed the incredible benefits that corporations can unlock when they empower a mobile workforce on a global scale.

CIOs are being bombarded by the rest of the c-suite to empower their company to tap into the global pool of talent. Previously, tapping into a remote workforce was a forward-thinking trend. Today, in a hyper-competitive employment landscape where we have more jobs than candidates, allowing talent to work where they feel most empowered is a necessity for companies that want to secure tomorrow’s workforce.

A 2018 laundry list for CIOs that need to empower mobile teams

There are many steps that CIOs can take to help their company more effectively leverage mobile talent. I won’t rehash the long list here, but I will provide a pared down list below that CIOs need to prioritize in 2018:

  1. Leverage reliable, fast VPN technology to connect secure corporate resources with remote access points.
  2. Encourage managers to leverage cloud platforms that employees are already familiar with (G Suite, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.). This step will require regular training on how to leverage this technology without compromising data security.
  3. Leverage laptop leasing agreements to empower remote teams with current tech that makes work less painful.
  4. Encourage Human Resources and management to utilize employee information programs that make access to FAQs, employee manuals and resource guides more intuitive. Remote employees need to be able to self-support their career. Powerful search tools and robust remote resources are the answer. The CIO needs to provide the infrastructure to help HR and management leverage the latest capabilities.
  5. Invest in a cloud-based CRM platform that provides real-time information in a secure environment.

What top-tier employees are demanding from employers

Candidates want flexibility to work where, when and how they feel most productive. We are firmly in a new generation of workforce systems that empower many team members to work remotely. And, depending on the nature of your company’s products and services, empowering customer-facing teams to work more closely to their customer base can be a powerful competitive advantage.

Fast and secure is the pulse of modern business

All of the above is reliant on a CIO that embraces technology that is fast and secure. CIOs need look no further than the shifting focus of consumer technology. Consumers are purchasing computer with less storage space, because SSD technology is so much faster than more economical HDD storage. Consumers are willing to sacrifice raw power for longer battery life.

The tech that employees and consumers interact with are rapidly approaching the point at which they will only serve as a display and input device. The thinking and storage can and will be offloaded to remote resources.

The demand of fast and secure goes beyond hardware. There’s been a shift in the conversation around VPN technology. At one time, it was okay to use a VPN solution that provided the best security and compatibility with existing corporate infrastructure. But the new generation of encrypted communication technology is being thrashed or praised in current reviews based on its ability to support speeds in excess of 50mbps without sacrificing anonymity and security.

When an employee sits down to do their job, even one second of unnecessary delay in the loading of resources remotely paints an employer as behind the times and dangerously outdated. When employees are working remotely, the tools that they use convey a clear message. The remote employee experience is now summed up in one key question: “Does my employer value my time and contribution to the organization by giving me access to the best technology, paired with class-leading technical support?”

The CIO is the member of the C-Suite with the single biggest impact on remote employee experience. Therefore, if a CIO isn’t vigorously searching for the best tech in the market to help remote employees, that CIO is damaging the ability for their organization to pursue the best and brightest in the workforce.

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