By Gavin Meyer, Executive Director Itec Southern Africa
There is no doubt that businesses are already in the full swing of things – identifying areas of innovation that can keep the business afloat, or even possibly grow it. However, a key factor for businesses this year is certainly going to be their ability to keep the purse strings tight. The challenge? How do you grow and sustain your business by tightening belts? Similarly, how do you gain a solid competitive advantage over larger enterprises without breaking the bank? And, is this even possible?
The reality is that speed to market is the new currency for businesses, and this in itself has catapulted the rapid growth of mobility (together with the wide range of advanced technology applications, products and services) – nevermind the fact that staff demand immediate access these days. In fact, today we are witnessing what is known as super-mobility – where being a mobile worker is no longer a perk but rather an expectation. While many businesses don’t like the idea of letting their staff ‘out of sight’ unless it forms part of the business imperative, such mobility is one of the differentiators when it comes to future business growth, sustainability and competitiveness and as such, there is no doubt that those business not taking advantage of the mobile worker will face being left behind.
Technology is playing a crucial role in such super-mobility. Think video conferencing, integrated enterprise communication systems, advance document management solutions, cloud opportunities and the like. These are all technologies that form a cornerstone to an effective mobile workforce.
However, we all know that business owners are cognisant of the security implications of having their data available at any given moment – and rightly so. As such, as we move into this ‘super-mobile’ working style, it is evident that businesses will need to look at not only their IT infrastructure but, very importantly, identify key technologies that are easy and cost effective to deploy but deliver solid, immediate security solutions.
In doing so, companies should look at monitoring solutions that enable them access to remote or recorded environments, enabling one to keep an eye on the operations 24/7 – both onsite and remotely. Similarly, security of IP telephony is as important as data protection and day to day line of sight. Protection through voice and data encryption for example form a critical part of a mobile workforce approach, coupled with the safe guarding of intellectual property and the reliable back up of business critical data.
Super-mobility is the sign of the times and those businesses that get it right – while not compromising on security and optimising infrastructure – will certainly get ahead in 2017.
The question is, will your business be one of them?