Business leaders are increasingly aware of the benefits of equipping their employees with mobility solutions. Not only are workers eager to take advantage of home and remote working technologies - giving them additional flexibility - but in many cases, employers can see direct productivity gains through a more agile workforce. Equipped with smartphones and tablets, employees are always available and able to get online, where they can access files, documents and communications. This means they can carry on working, regardless of their location.
In a recent study commissioned by Citrix, 71 per cent of business leaders claimed mobility is "a top priority" for their organisation. What's more, 63 per cent believe it to be "the greatest factor" in helping their organisation gain a competitive advantage. As new commercial opportunities arise, business leaders think mobile workers are best placed to capitalise on them and deliver for customers.
Businesses taking device management seriously
Around half the businesses surveyed for the study had implemented technologies to support mobile devices, with 48 per cent using mobile device management and 47 per cent using mobile application management. Citrix said they are also recognising the need to provide Windows apps and desktop to mobile workers, with 41 per cent using or planning to use application virtualisation and 40 per cent embracing desktop virtualisation. Some 40 per cent of companies have already implemented file sharing, sync and storage to support mobile workers.
This shows that businesses are being proactive in devising mobile strategies - looking at how they can capitalise on the use of smartphones and tablets, but also taking steps mitigate any potential risks. These could include device theft or loss, data breaches, viruses and malware, and lack of mobile connectivity.
In terms of mobile strategies, Citrix discovered that the top two mobile initiatives for businesses are increasing development on mobile apps and increasing adoption of secure file sharing and collaboration tools. Improving network performance and access was the third most important mobile initiative among global respondents. Some 51 per cent of businesses said they were changing processes to better manage employees using mobile technology to work from locations away from the office.
More organisations supporting Windows
Microsoft is going from strength to strength in the mobile arena, giving businesses a wider range of options for productive working. With more companies embracing Office 365 - allowing employees to access the desktop software solutions they use on their PC or laptop - it is becoming increasingly straightforward to complete work tasks on the move.
The Citrix study suggested the launch of Windows 8 has helped boost Microsoft's profile in this sector, in light of the intuitive, touch-friendly interface it offers. The firm said Windows 8 has become more popular among users than Windows Mobile, with 46 percent of companies supporting or planning to support the full-featured operating system. This compares to 32 per cent for the mobile version.
Gartner recently reported that 8,912,300 smartphones were sold using a Windows operating system during the third quarter of 2013, up from just 3,993,600 in the equivalent quarter 12 months earlier. This suggests users are recognising the benefits of having access to Windows on both their PC/laptop and mobile devices. As employees try to cram more into their busy working days, the opportunity to switch seamlessly between fixed and mobile technologies is arguably too good to miss.
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