Mobile strategies the only option

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Corporate HR is increasingly turning to mobile technology to better connect the rank and file with management, according to a new report, suggesting efficiency gains and greater employee satisfaction are the results.

“There are several examples of companies that have thought about mobility strategically, and they realized the great business benefits from them," says Chandra Sekar, senior director of Citrix and XenMobile. "Mobility can help businesses be more responsive, and offer better and timelier customer service.”

In a crowded business market, corporations are doing everything within their power to remain competitive. There are many strategies being used by some of North America’s top companies to ensure their survival, but one in particular has had a profound effect upon its introduction.

According to Citrix’s recently-released Mobility in Business Report, an increasing amount of businesses are adopting mobile strategies in order to win that competitive edge.

Additionally, as workplaces continue their evolution in the digital age, it becomes more important for management to maintain several avenues of communication with employees who are either working from home or at satellite locations.

“If you look at how the workplace has evolved, the consumerization of IT has resulted in a lot of mobile devices that have become invaluable at work,” Sekar says. “People see these devices as helping them bridge the issue of being able to work from anywhere, and having access to work information from any device.”

The implementation of mobile strategies in the workplace has immediate benefits for both the employees on the ground, and the managers and supervisors who delegate tasks to them.

“If you think about what employees are facing these days, our business and personal lives are now intertwined in ways that we’ve never seen before,” Sekar says.

Mobile devices allow employees to plan their daily schedule, transmit information, receive instant feedback from their superiors and even attend business meetings, among other things.

In a traditional office setting, employees and managers perform their daily functions at their desks or in their cubicles. Mobile devices allow them to work on the go and connect with others who are in the physical office. If equipped with these devices, the workplace can essentially become portable.

Sekar illustrates this with a personal example.

“I start out my day by checking my calendar on my smartphone, and then I got into the kitchen table and respond to a few e-mails,” he explains. “After dropping my kids off at school, I might attend a work-related meeting during my commute wearing my hands-free headset. When I’m travelling, I might be working on my tablet in the airport and on the flight. And at the workplace itself, I have the ability to work on a laptop and access all of my Windows applications.”

Going mobile also has instant benefits for managers. Says Sekar, “There are several examples of companies that have thought about mobility strategically, and they realized the great business benefits from them. Mobility can help businesses be more responsive, and offer better and timelier customer service.”

Data from the Citrix report shows that smartphones accounted for only 22 per cent of new handset sales in the United States. This figure is expected to nearly triple in 2014, increasing to 63 per cent, given that many workplaces are moving toward increasing their mobile communication structures.

Sekar feels optimistic about the future of mobile communications in the workplace, and he believes that they may be forced to adopt these strategies and use them to their advantage.

“They (companies) have no choice but to adopt mobile strategies,” he says. “Otherwise, they run the risk of being left behind. This is not a (situation) where the IT department is able to say ‘Our environment is simply not conducive to mobile strategies.’”

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