IT pros feel the pressure as chief executives and #GenMobile employees demand mobile ready collaborative workplaces

Building on a recent mobile worker study, Aruba surveyed 1,000 global IT professionals to understand how they are managing #GenMobile employees, and simultaneously commissioned The Future Laboratory, a renowned trend forecasting consultancy, to explore how the workplace will look in the near future.

Both studies suggest that the creation of an agile, all-wireless workplace is no longer an option, but a requirement. In addition to a significant competitive advantage, business leaders now recognise that the benefits of this approach include employee retention, productivity, and cost savings. However, the results highlight that today just 14 per cent of employees enjoy the flexibility and freedom of such a workplace, suggesting that global businesses still have a lot of work to do.

Managing #GenMobile: Key findings

·         Fifty-one per cent of global organisations saw a rise in mobile/remote working last year and 77 per cent noted an increase in #GenMobile employees using mobile devices for work during the past year.

·         The spike in mobility has resulted in nearly 70 per cent of IT professionals feeling pressure to deliver improvements in mobile working.

·         To support top executives and #GenMobile mobility demands, 71 per cent of IT departments increased their investment in Wi-Fi, while another 46 per cent were granted increased budgets for future mobility projects.

·         Fifty-six per cent of companies surveyed globally actually encourage or have no policy banning the use of personal devices at work. Only a 12 per cent discourage the use of personal devices for work.

·         Seventy per cent of C-level executives expressed greater levels of interest in mobile technologies in the workplace to support #GenMobile employees.

·         The debate about how to support BYOD is becoming a thing of the past as 59 per cent of IT professionals said their company has already fully embraced employee BYOD or implemented new policies to support it.

‘Executives and #GenMobile employees alike prefer an increasingly mobile style of working; and IT organisations are feeling the pressure to adapt existing technology investments to meet their requirements,’ said Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba Networks.

‘The workplace of the future will not only need to be rightsized to align with IT budgets but it will also require a mobility centric and secure wireless infrastructure, a move towards employee self-service, and a willingness to embrace consumer IT technologies to enhance #GenMobile productivity.’

Aruba customer Russell Hookway, network and telecommunications manager at Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, a large municipality in west London, commented, ‘Technology should be an enabler for our staff. Across our council, employees are now actively choosing a ‘mobile first’ working model, because it makes them more efficient. Creating an environment that supports this model makes good business sense. Our new message to workers is work where you want, when you want and how you want. No questions asked.’

The survey results show that mobility is a highly desirable productivity tool but not at the expense of corporate or personal security. When IT professionals were asked about security concerns as they relate to mobility, 74 per cent assessed mobility security requirements based on the devices’ security features or the employees’ mobile work requirements. Only 13 per cent responded that security concerns have stopped them from allowing mobile work capabilities for #GenMobile employees.

‘It is clear businesses are starting to realise the clear benefits of mobility,’ Gibson continued. ‘It’s now essential they make the right investment decisions to secure the business and employee.’

An outlook: The Future Workplace

According to The Future Laboratory report, the term ‘office’ will become obsolete as a new model for work emerges. The emerging workplace will facilitate a flexible work culture in a society where the nine to five workday is increasingly the exception rather than the rule. The modern workplace will be a hub with a blend of business/leisure travelers, shared workspaces and flexible work environments.

‘New technologies and new ways of doing business are irreversibly transforming the way we design offices as well as the way we fundamentally think of workspaces,’ said The Future Laboratory cofounder Chris Sanderson. ‘Cloud based technologies and the increased use of mobile devices as our work tools of choice are ushering in a new social, cultural and corporate paradigm where workplaces are more federated and collaborative, less hierarchical and increasingly less location specific, as more of #GenMobile employees clock in by logging on.’

‘We are no longer simply business people at work and private people at home,’ said Martin Lindstrom, author and brand futurist. ‘People are checking personal emails at work and work emails at home. The lines between work and play are merging on all levels.’

To read more, download the ‘Future Workplaces’ report from here:

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