Collaboration fuels the next wave of enterprise mobility

Thuthuka Mhlongo, Portfolio Manager: End User Computing at T-Systems South Africa.
Thuthuka Mhlongo, Portfolio Manager: End User Computing at T-Systems South Africa.
Thuthuka Mhlongo, Portfolio Manager: End User Computing at T-Systems South Africa.

Enterprise mobility is growing up. From the earliest days where the goal was merely to remotely connect key staff members to basic corporate services remotely, the scope is broadening. For business leaders, one’s mobility strategy must now encompass various user profiles, and many different devices, operating systems, networks, applications and services.

South African organisations are realising the power of mobility for every staff member. From field engineers, to roving salespeople, or operations staff on the ground, an increasing percentage of the workforce is partly or fully-remote.

Considering the pace of modern business, these users need to access the organisation’s central nervous system on a real-time basis. Remote users need to continually feed information back to colleagues at head offices and branches; and they need always-on access to systems or information from wherever they may be.

And as more and more staff becomes remotely-enabled in this manner, we usher in the next era of enterprise mobility: where the focus will be on heightened collaboration. We’re learning to work with each other in new, interesting ways, and the result is that we become more creative and productive.

Why wait for everyone to be in the office and around the boardroom table before you can discuss an issue or make a decision? With the latest real-time collaboration tools available on any device, people can virtually connect wherever they may be.

So, just what should you consider when developing your mobility strategy?

Assign user profiles

Not every staff member needs access to the same applications from their mobile devices; and not all applications require the same levels of access control and security. Take a nuanced approach to your mobility strategy, by categorising individuals into user-profiles (e.g. Exec, Field Engineer, Data Analyst) and define the mobility policies for each group.

Security at the forefront

Imagine the value of the data that’s available on the iPad of one of the execs: board packs, strategies, contracts, and other highly-sensitive information. This scenario highlights the fact that security needs to be the number 1 priority in your mobility strategy.

Don’t forget the culture

It’s not enough to simply build the technical solutions that power enterprise mobility. You’ll need to guide your teams on how to make the most of mobile: What are the expectations and responsibilities? How will it change the way we work with each other? Technology needs to be the catalyst for broader cultural change within the organisation, to become more dynamic, fluid and collaborative.

One eye on the future

The very nature of work itself is changing rapidly. As the realm of enterprise mobility starts to bleed into the realm of traditional business process management, interesting new opportunities appear. Design a mobility strategy that can pull in new automation and machine learning tools, new connected sensors and other devices – so that you capitalise on these nascent technology domains as they filter into the mainstream.

By Thuthuka Mhlongo, Portfolio Manager: End User Computing at T-Systems South Africa