Work from anywhere evolving processes and tools
By Adam FreillEquipment Technology Leadership Software
SOTI report finds explosive growth in distributed workforce is redefining Canadian business operations as IT takes hold.
The distributed workforce is having a significant impact on business operations across industries. A recent study by mobile and IoT management solutions provider SOTI indicates that IT budgets and adoption of new mobile devices are rising as companies manage aggressive digital transformation in Canada.
The research report, “When Work is Anywhere: Managing Technology’s Role in the Distributed Workforce,” reveals that organizations are increasing their investments in new technology and devices as the workforce and infrastructure becomes more widespread. The company says as Canadian businesses expand, they need to better manage this ever-broadening scope if they are to gain the efficiency and productivity to remain competitive.
In the past year, 50 per cent of Canadian survey respondents reported an increase in IT budgets; 33 per cent reported substantial growth in the number of devices being deployed across their organizations; and 44 per cent reported an increase in IT staff.
Additionally, 29 per cent of survey respondents reported that the mix of devices (smartphones, scanners, rugged devices, SaaS applications, etc.) in their organization has grown over the past 12 months.
“Over the past year, 52 per cent of Canadian companies have invested in technology they haven’t managed before, including new groups of devices, software and applications,” said Shash Anand, senior vice-president of product strategy at SOTI. “This represents a significant shift in how businesses are now running as they move to a more distributed workforce and take advantage of developments in IoT and supply chain visibility to remain competitive.”
As a result of this growth in device use, more data is being collected, processed and stored than ever before, fostering the need for data management security and compliance, says SOTI. The report found that 37 per cent of respondents cited the need for better access control to protect the IT network over the past year, while 33 per cent increased their spend on mobile technology security.
“As operations become more diverse and remote, an increasingly complex interplay of devices and data emerge, which must be managed and secured effectively,” added Anand. “It is important to have seamless visibility and access to health analytics of devices, be able to quickly fix issues, and ensure devices are secure. This will be critical to mitigate risks to the business.”
The arrival of the distributed workforce has spurred the need for technology to be adopted on two fronts – one in the form of the physical device itself, and the other in the effective management of all devices in an increasingly dispersed operational environment. Many organizations across various industries and regions continue to use outdated, paper-based processes, however.
The report found half of Canadian organizations have workflows that are managed manually, with a quarter of all manually enacted workflows still being done on paper, while 34 per cent are managed via email.
“Whether it is preventing malware attacks or breaches, addressing employee retention, enhancing workforce productivity or more, discarding outdated legacy processes and software and moving towards the better management of devices and data will be key to ensure ongoing business health and success,” concluded Anand.