Wednesday 27 June 2012 8:03 pm

A workspace is not a workplace: A mobility strategy is crucial

DIRECTOR UK ENTERPRISE, CISCO Q What are the key drivers behind a mobility strategy? A The workspace is no longer a workplace. Successful businesses are reducing their dependence on expensive office property and enabling a mobile workforce to be productive wherever they are most effective. A business is only as good as its people. Retaining experienced and knowledgeable employees when their lifestyle priorities change is essential. Moving out of town shouldn’t necessarily require a change of employer. Having dinner with the family a couple of times a week and making more use of the house in Cornwall shouldn’t mean less commitment to work. Many industries are proactively working to be less male-dominated and more inclusive of women in senior management roles. The right mobility strategy can support these goals, and corporate social platforms will play an important role by helping employees on maternity or sabbatical leave to stay-in-touch with their careers. Equally important is attracting the next generation of talent. With a less traditional view on dividing work and personal time, they expect the flexibility to engage in work at a time that suits them. As we all take greater responsibility of our own time management we want to work our way: out of office hours, wherever we are, on our own choice of device. Q What about the return on investment? A Workforce mobility can deliver tangible competitive advantages, reducing end customer response times. Finding the right people with the right knowledge in good time, wherever they may be. Giving your customers greater access to your people. Also, reduction of property overheads is easy to measure. A hot desk policy and a 2:1 employee to desk ratio is commonplace with many of our customers today. Mobility policies and virtual desktop infrastructure also allow organisations to make better use of contract workers, outsourcers and agency staff. Q What are the essential ingredients in a mobility strategy? A A good mobility strategy should give employees secure, consistent access to corporate information on their choice of device, regardless of platform, browser, or device type. The right collaboration solution will provide quicker access to experts using presence, messaging, voice, video and web-conferencing tools across all platforms. The right network, governance and contextual policy will help maintain security by providing easy access to information and applications appropriate to a user’s location and device. As with any significant change in IT infrastructure, maintaining a consistent user experience and confidence in staying connected is paramount.