There’s a revolution afoot in the corporate world! Workers are demanding freedom, and businesses are letting them have it. In this case, freedom translates to mobility-- if an employee doesn’t have to be at his or her desk to get work done, that can have a big impact on productivity, while at the same time giving the employee more flexibility in balancing personal and professional life. So what’s driving employee -- and enterprise -- mobility?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device [to work],” is one of the fastest growing trends in the corporate world, and it makes perfectly good sense why from an employee perspective: If I am familiar with my device and it helps me more efficiently do my job, why shouldn’t I be able to use it? It’s that sentiment that drives 82% of tablet owners to use their personal tablet for work, and why 53% of organizations offer BYOD.
Despite the security, synchronicity and integration concerns that accompany BYOD and keep IT staff up late at night, the push for BYOD adoption will persist until it comes to full fruition (at least so far as the company can reasonably support it). One reason is certainly the fact that 1 billion mobile devices were shipped in 2011, with that number expected to reach 2 billion by 2016. The other reason is the fact that it’s a top-down demand. Executives and C-level employees are just as, if not more, tied to their mobile devices due to travel and attending out-of-office meetings.
Hosted Communications and Unified Communications
Hosted communications and unified communications (UC) go hand-in-hand. Hosted communications solutions are hosted off-site by the company’s telecom service provider and utilize voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology instead of traditional telephone landlines for voice communication.
UC solutions take hosted communications a step further and provide infrastructure (through software and/or applications) that enables communication over the company network from any connected device, allowing voice, SMS (most commonly text messaging), instant messaging, email and video messaging/conferencing to all take place from one platform. Because it operates of a hosted IP system, UC is able to integrate communication mediums more easily and efficiently.
It’s this ease and efficiency that make hosted and UC technology the foundation for enterprise mobility. They provide the framework for communication in the Digital Age, and business, especially SMBs, are buying in. One study has predicted spending on UC apps among SMBs would grow at double the rate than among enterprises with 500 or more employees between 2012 and 2017. Among businesses of all sizes, 47% of companies with a work-from-home program currently implement a UC solution, and 84% of all companies without a UC solution are thinking about or are planning on implementing one in the next 1-3 years.
Combine hosted and UC adoption on the back-end with BYOD and mobile device proliferation on the front-end, and you have a recipe for a mobility boom in the enterprise community.