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Enterprise Mobility: Eliminating the Need for Traditional Offices

So long water cooler conversations! With new technologies supporting enterprise mobility, the traditional office space and all the rituals that went along with it are going the way of the dinosaur. Today’s businesses acknowledge the important role mobility can play in improving productivity, cutting costs, and offering even greater flexibility to a freedom-hungry workforce. I dare say the collapse of the corporate “cubicle farm” is soon upon us, but I am confident in saying the Future of Work will look much different as this Microsoft Office Modern Workplace webcast explains. The following are just a few of the reasons enterprise mobility is here to stay.

A Move to Mobile Only

It seems like just yesterday the mobile-first enterprise was surprising the world. Today, mobile-only is the more likely trend, as mobile and desktop apps continue to converge and companies find new and exciting ways to serve customers aching for information on the go. Nearly 70 percent of IT leaders recently cited mobility as a success driver in their companies. That’s because it offers a huge competitive advantage—helping customers access personal data and dashboards even faster, often in real time. And whether you’re checking your work hours or a data stream, real time is the only time in the digital world. Meanwhile, companies like Uber and Snapchat have built virtual empires based solely on mobile technology, inspiring many to begin looking at mobile not just was a way to stay connected or make a profit, but as a way to transform their entire industry.

A New Definition of “Productive”

Not too long ago, employees working 50 hours a week would have been considered dedicated. Today, employees can be “on” from anywhere in the world, 24/7, whether they are on their lunch break, working in the field, or enjoying a week in the Bahamas. Mobility—and the increasingly accessibility expectations that come along with it—eliminate issues like bottlenecks and delays formerly caused by “out of office” employees. But mobility helps in other ways, too. As one writer noted, as mobile opportunities increase, today’s employees are better able to work “in environments that are more conducive to the type of tasks they are doing.” That means quiet space for writing, comfy space for brainstorming, or field locations for … field visits. Lastly, mobility improves overall productivity through sheer efficiency, creating a model that screams scalability, allowing companies to scale up or down, depending on season or growth.

An Increased Commitment to Security

Clearly, enterprise mobility promises a wealth of both risk and opportunity. With the rise of cloud, hybrid cloud, and hybrid IT, information is accessible from anywhere—for employees, customers, phishers, and hackers alike. Fortunately, virtualization security is helping keep the cloud safer, while developers like MobileIron Access are finding new ways to secure both devices and apps for those transmitting data via phone, rather than desktop. Where we once focused on enterprise security, companies are now adopting a focus on Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), a way to keep devices, apps, and content safe. Yes, cloud and BYOD make companies more vulnerable to tech threats, but the benefits of mobility and cloud—including scalability, productivity, and cost savings—seem to outweigh the risks.

A New Kind of Culture

It’s no secret the Millennials are pushing the mobility wave forward. And because they make up a majority of the workforce, it would seem mobility is a force that can’t be stopped. Our younger generations want freedom and flexibility, and they want it now—preferably while lying on a couch or sipping a latte at the local coffee shop. Mobility makes all of that possible while forcing the traditional office space into antiquity.

No matter where you currently stand in the digital landscape, it is clear mobility must become a priority in mapping your future digital strategy. In the near term, many companies may find they need to focus on building a mobility infrastructure and mindset before making truly profitable inroads in the mobile sphere. Legacy systems, old rules of engagement, and outdated or unclear governance could lead to bumpy roads—or at least a few growing pains—as we create a mobile space that works for all of us. But if one thing is clear, that space will not resemble a cube.

Additional Resources on This Topic:
Continued Evolution of Enterprise Mobility
Enterprise Mobility: The Evolution of the Future of Business
Was 2016 the Year of Enterprise Mobility Technology?

This post has been brought to you in partnership with Microsoft and the Office 365 Team. The content herein is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the views of Microsoft. If you are interested in attending the upcoming Microsoft Webcast, The Future of Work: Build, Attract, Connect, please visit here and sign up. It will be full of great information and it is 100% free of charge.

Photo Credit: callbrian Flickr via Compfight cc

Daniel Newman

After 12 years of running technology companies including a CEO appointment at the age of 28, I traded the corner office for a chance to drive the discussion on how the digital economy is going to forever change how business is done. I'm an MBA, adjunct business professor and 5x author of best-selling business books including "The Millennial CEO" and "The New Rules of Customer Engagement." Pianist, soccer fan, husband and father, not in that order. Oh and for work...I'm the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group and President of V3 Broadsuite, a family of marketing and media agencies that help companies be found, seen and heard in a cluttered digital world. I also give keynote speeches around the world on the topics such as digital transformation, technology and marketing.