Remote working on the rise in SA

Worldwide PC shipments declined 4.3 per cent in 4Q18
Worldwide PC shipments declined 4.3 per cent in 4Q18.

Mobile Technologies are changing the way South Africans do business.
Mobile Technologies are changing the way South Africans do business.

A third of South African employees are currently working outside of their company offices, this proves that remote working is on the rise. A recent survey conducted by Regus states that organisations are investing in sofware to facilitate remote working, which increased by 8% from 2015, namely software to ensure that remote working is efficient for employees.

Organisations are noticing the importance of providing remote working access to their employees. South African companies need to move beyond basic employee collaboration tools such as e-mail, and instead embrace a true digital workplace to drive continued productivity and competitive advantage. With this being said, organisations will need to transform to a digital workplace that senses and responds to the information needs of individual employees. Working remotely is becoming more common within organisations and with the arrival of cloud technologies, employees can now access company files and information securely via the cloud, it makes working from home beneficial for both employee and client.

These days, mobile technologies allow people to be productive wherever they are. However, working practices at many organisations have yet to catch on. Most employees tend to gravitate towards organisations that offer them the work-life balance.

With this being said, organisations should offer their employees the option of working remotely or to work flexi hours.

Technology takes centre fold
Today’s youth are exposed to technology, they want to stay connected at all times and their mobile phones have become an extension of themselves.

‘We Are Social’s’ annual Digital Report states that 49% of the South African population are active internet users. In fact this report shows that there are 18% (10 million) users who connect to the internet using their mobile device, clearly proving that there is an increasing need for South Africans to be connected.

The millennials of today have made the world a much smaller place, enabling effective communication and collaboration from anywhere, whether in the office or at home. This offers employees, the opportunity to contribute to the business’ success. Looking forward, employees may no longer be required to spend long hours in the office provided that they deliver on the expected results set out for them.

Flexibility in the workplace and employee productivity will drive staff engagement and workplace satisfaction, which in turn will increase productivity while making long term cost cutting savings.

CIO challengers and secure mobile working strategy
CIOs are facing challenges when it comes to flexible working, such as securing corporate data, which will continue to be an ongoing battle. Even businesses with strong device usage policies and management strategies have been victims of data loss or a breach as a direct result of working remotely. CIOs will need to implement a security strategy that covers remote working as there is always the risk of human error with a company device getting stolen or employees leaving their devices on different modes of transport. CIOs need to implement a secure mobile working strategy for their business in order to create a happier workforce by allowing employees to work flexibly when and where suits them the most. The right technology for CIOs will provide the mobility and reliability needed to enable a flexible workforce, whilst offering an advanced level of security and peace of mind for today’s businesses. This is vital to protect the business-critical data that is stored on these devices or accessible through their networks from being vulnerable to attacks and third party interference.

As a first port of defence biometric measures such as fingerprint sensors and IR-cameras can be used to prevent unauthorised users from accessing or unlocking devices in the event they are lost or stolen. However, further security features such as Trusted Platform Module 2.0 can be used to prevent organisations’ data from being accessed too.

Windows Hello and Intel® Authenticate can also act as an initial security barrier, both of which are available on Toshiba’s X series business laptops. These features enhance encryption and secure sign-in options, helping to protect valuable stored keys and credentials. For even greater peace of mind, businesses who purchase a Toshiba device can be assured that its devices are built entirely in-house to avoid third party interference – right down to the BIOS. Toshiba’s Portégé X20W-D packs all of these security features into the world’s thinnest and lightest business 2-in-1 laptop with high-performance 7th Generation® Core™ processors.

Implementing security measures can be time-consuming but necessary to protect the sensitive company information accessed by these devices.

By Ronald Ravel