Understanding the mobile workforce

In researching mobile strategy, I came across this writeup about the impact of the emerging mobile workforce on corporations. It has some very good points that IT departments and businesses should consider.

As an end user, the largest challenge I have found has been the restrictive and reactionary IT policies of the organization I am contributing to. Security is a mess and many solutions require you to accept a significant invasion of privacy if you want to use organizational software to complete work on your personal mobile device. This is an issue for workers who want to get things done on the go without resorting to giving up privacy or carrying around yet another device that is owned by the company. End users want to get their work done on their own devices without being tied to a physical location. Allowing workers to increase their productivity is essential for business to maintain and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. Having employees who want to be empowered to contribute more is a blessing, one that should certainly take a higher priority than maintaining existing IT practices. IT should be an enabler, not a disciplinarian.

In this vein, organizations must also prod themselves to support and enable virtual workspaces. In an increasingly global workforce, virtual collaboration is becoming increasingly vital. It is no longer a nice option, it is a necessity. The traditional physical limitations are being torn down and business must acknowledge, embrace, and then exploit this to their advantage. Global resources are being leveraged to increase productivity through 24/7 development cycles, the exploitation of economic differentials, and the contribution of increasingly diverse ideas and thoughts into the organizational culture. The world is changing and organizations must adapt or they will be left behind.

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