(based on exerts from ‘The Mobile Mind Shift’)
We now turn to smartphones for everything and we expect our smartphones to deliver – ‘not only can we do new things. We now also expect new things.’ One of the most pervasive workplace trends is the blurring of our work and personal lives and with that, comes a desire to work anywhere. Smartphones are breaking down artificial boundaries of work being ‘a place to go’ and transforming it into ‘a thing to do’ – the potential productivity gains from this empowerment are huge. Not only do workers want a mobile toolkit, they need one to do their jobs productively. Various barriers like corporate security, ease of implementation, ease of use and an ‘app gap’ have forced CIOs to have to say no to allowing employees to use their own smartphones for work. In 2016 if you are not unlocking the productivity from a mobile workforce that want to work from anywhere, individuals lose that productivity and a company loses their competitive edge. 2016 is the year to empower employees through mobile, fill the productivity gap and stop disappointing workers by saying no and start saying yes.
One CIO who was ‘tired of being the one who has to say no’, was Rebecca Jacoby of Cisco systems. Employees believed they would be more productive using mobile apps on their own mobile phones so, she stopped saying no, offered BYOD (bring your own device) and supported them. How did she do this? By embracing 5 key principles:
- Deliver application services that work on any device. Embrace cloud technology with a device independent security model.
- Manage workforce technology like a product and make employees accountable. Appoint general managers and make those individuals responsible for adoption and satisfaction metrics.
- Allow business groups to determine their own reimbursement policies for their smartphone plans.
- Encourage social learning and sharing in every service, this may be employees supporting each other on an Enterprise Social Network (ESN).
- Make employees accountable and retain ‘the right to wipe’ corporate information off phones.
Rebecca and her team recognised that ‘mobile devices have become high value tools for getting things done’. ‘We expect to be able to get work done anywhere, on any device, at any time. And we act on our own to get things done whether our company helps us or tries to stop us.’ workers ‘are already working everywhere. Why not let them work productively?’ Two key wins were security, she ensured corporate security whilst delivering flexibility AND ease of installation and use.
I’d like to repeat the words written by Richard Karlgaard of Forbes, when discussing Rebecca and Cisco. His words are still relevant to today’s CIO.
‘The best CIOs today are able to thread three needles. One is to keep the company’s IT infrastructure lean, efficient, security-hardened and fool-proof. The second is to build bridges to the future. Example: Any CIO today that is not up on trends like social media, cloud services, and managing the delicate balance of smartphone productivity and corporate security, is a CIO who won’t last long at their company. The third needle is actually many needles. The effective CIO must be multilingual. He or she must be able to talk to the CEO, CFO and all line-of-business managers in business and financial language.’
In 2016, take advantage of new cloud technology to empower and connect a mobile workforce whilst ensuring enterprise grade security to unlock productivity and future proof your organisation.