A mobile workforce means that workers are able to fulfil their duties and connect with clients and colleagues, anytime/anywhere with mobile devices. Due to remarkable technological progress, employees are now able to use business intelligence, analytics, remote teamwork and social media apps on their mobile devices. At the same time businesses must ensure that their mobile workforce can connect to and access company data in a safe and secure manner that does not compromise sensitive material.
Mobile workforce trends
- Increased telecommuting – once regarded as a privilege, telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular in the modern workforce. It can help lower office overheads and improve worker satisfaction. However, even in ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) telecommuting environments, employers must provide secure access to the corporate network.
- Anytime/anywhere work – increasingly advanced mobile technology and connectivity enables workers to connect to and access company data from anywhere at any time. Field workers can now transmit and receive work product in real-time and employees can easily communicate across countries and time zones. This can however lead to data security being compromised if employees are connecting to company resources from unsecure networks, so organisations need to address these risks with better security solutions.
- New generation mobility solutions – new developments in enterprise mobility platforms provide mobile workforces with a complete set of tools with which to maximise its mobility.
Benefits of using mobile apps in the workforce
More and more companies are deploying mobile software applications to enable their mobile workforce because of the benefits they yield in the workplace:
- Staff who are frequently mobile maintain that mobile apps improve efficiency, profitability and productivity.
- Mobile apps in the workforce allow executives to view real-time information pertaining to each job, as well as add jobs in real-time for workers to view. Invoices can be sent directly from mobile devices and signed digitally. This means no more sending documents back and forth.
- Mobile devices make it simpler for field workers to interact, collaborate and present from a single device. With appropriate mobile apps, field workers can access a wide variety of relevant collateral, such as sales and marketing materials, order forms, invoices, stock levels, questionnaires and more, from any location at any given time.
Challenges of mobile apps in the workforce
Since mobile apps are being adopted in all aspects of daily life, there is a fine line between home and work mobile use. As a result, enterprise mobile apps are expected to be just as practical for the workplace as those they use as consumers. Another challenge of mobile apps in the workforce is that it cannot completely match desktop application features. Well-designed enterprise mobile apps should comprise a few of the key functions used in business software applications, with simple navigation.
Enterprise mobility is a reality and as the mobile workforce grows, companies need to have a well-developed strategy that not only protects corporate data but embraces new technologies in order to remain competitive.