The Workplace of the Future: Is Outsourcing the Key to Securing and Managing the Virtual Office?
Technology is shaping the workplace now more than ever. Today, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is more than just a possibility to plan for; it’s the status quo for organizations that have embraced mobility’s benefits.
The workplace of the future goes beyond bringing personal mobile devices to the office. More and more employees are using their laptops, tablets and smartphones to work from home and other locations outside the office. And as the number of office desks declines, the virtual workplace continues to expand. But at what cost?
Challenges Facing the Workplace of the Future
While BYOD may increase user productivity and employee satisfaction, it can have an adverse effect on IT. Instead of managing a standardized fleet of devices, internal IT departments must now manage and secure multiple platforms over which they have limited visibility and control.
In order to optimize the benefits of a virtual workplace, IT has many obstacles to overcome. Despite the realization of obvious benefits, a study from InfoWorld and BlackBerry found that BYOD has also introduced challenges at 91 percent of these organizations, including the need for more resources to ensure security and provide support.
The mobile workplace is also increasing the burden on already shorthanded IT organizations by saddling them with additional user support and greater help desk costs. In order to achieve user satisfaction and optimize productivity payback, IT must support several mobile operating systems (OSs) as well as different device manufacturers’ versions of the Android OS.
This can create a heavy administrative burden for internal IT departments. Of the study respondents who report that BYOD has introduced challenges to their organization, 68 percent cite the need for increased resources to ensure enterprise-level security as their biggest obstacle.
Is Outsourcing the Answer?
Faced with managing thousands of personal mobile devices, many large organizations will likely consider outsourcing as a possible solution to BYOD management.
In fact, a Forrester survey found that 48 percent of the 891 mobility decision-makers surveyed said that using some or more third-party services for mobility management will be a high or critical priority during the next year.
One way that organizations can begin to alleviate IT’s administrative burden is by employing a third-party mobile device management (MDM) solution. The right solution can help IT manage the work and personal areas on both personal and corporate devices, and control security at the server level.
Companies can also reduce the burden on internal IT by diverting BYOD inbound calls to an outside vendor. This can be done by outsourcing cellular network, public Wi-Fi support and mobile device problem resolution to the preferred mobile operator, which eases the burden on the internal IT department.
Of course, MDM and help desk support are just a few of the tasks that can be outsourced to help alleviate the strain on IT departments. There are many vendors out there, each offering a variety of options to help organizations secure, manage and monitor the workplace of the future. To begin, organizations must carefully investigate and choose a provider that can deliver the help they need.