Preparing Your IT Department and Workforce for Mobility
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Dawn Altnam is a regular contributor to The HRIS World.
Mobile workforces have become increasingly common in the last few years, with a Cisco study reporting that 38% of workers feel more productive at home than they do in the office.
And with mobile devices making it simple for employees to access their work email and projects from almost anywhere, it makes sense that employees are transitioning to working away from the office much of the time.
This transition to mobility has presented some challenges, though, as IT departments struggle to keep up with increasing demands to access company information from outside of the building.
Tapping Into Corporate Resources
The first major transition for a mobile workforce is the ability to tap into the corporate resources from anywhere.
Rather than relying on a network and on-site servers, workers are increasingly demanding a way to get into files and programs from any connection.
One of the ways that IT departments can respond is by utilizing a system in a box that manages all of the servers, storage, and virtualization together.
This type of system makes it easy for the IT department to set up and keep track of data, while also making it widely available to employees on mobile devices.
Plus, members of the IT department can also use their mobile devices to manage the system from anywhere.
Security for Mobile Workers
Another concern for IT departments at companies with mobile workers is ensuring that company data stays secure.
When people are accessing files from other locations, it’s difficult to know that it’s the employees accessing files, not competitors or hackers.
IT departments are starting to rely on two-factor authentication to ensure that devices connecting to company servers are authorized.
Another issue is whether employees are downloading viruses or malware that can put the company data at risk.
And lastly, encryption is key when employees are accessing work information through open wi-fi networks where malicious attacks would be much easier to generate.
Mobile Workforce IT Support
Lastly, the IT department must be ready to provide technical support for a mobile workforce on a wide range of devices and from a wide range of locations.
Employees may call in with issues syncing their devices with the company systems or difficulty figuring out how to complete work-related tasks on their mobile devices.
If the employer has systems in place for employees to punch timecards online, they also may call into the IT department with issues clocking their time from home.
Therefore, the department needs to be ready to remotely handle these problems, which can be much more difficult than troubleshooting a computer right there in the office.
Making the transition to a more mobile workforce isn’t something to jump into without the proper infrastructure in the IT department.
Employers must set up web-based systems that make it possible for employees to work from their own devices while maintaining the security of the company’s information and work.
With the right technology, though, an IT department can deploy systems that make it easy for employees to be connected during non-business hours and from remote locations, increasing the productivity of the company as a whole.
In addition, this makes the company more attractive to younger workers, who are particularly likely to have and use mobile devices for their work.
More articles by Dawn Altnam...
- Got Cloud for Your Database? DBA Role Shift Is Arriving - 29-April-2013
- How to Lose Your IT Team in 10 days - 17-April-2013
- It's a Hard Life But It Can Be Saved With a Flash - 19-February-2013
- When Technology Becomes Convenient, Is It Really Easier? - 12-February-2013
- Why It's Time for Data Centers to Catch Up - 15-January-2013
- Understanding Challenges in Virtualization - 8-January-2013
- Declining IT Jobs: The How, Why, And What to Do About It - 26-December-2012
- Staffing Your IT Department for Success - 11-December-2012
- BYOD: What Is It? And How Will It Work for Your Business? - 3-December-2012
- Threatened: IT Jobs in the Wild - 18-November-2012
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