Employers across the country are increasingly recognizing that the way we work today has changed drastically, and that mobile workforces are the way of the future. Evidence of this trend comes from the 2013 Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends report, in which analyst and research firm Forrester notes that 37% of employees work from multiple locations, 82% use multiple apps, and 53% use multiple devices.
Even the U.S. government has acknowledged that the anytime, anywhere work environment is here to stay. Earlier this summer, President Obama issued the “Presidential Memorandum – Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Program” to increase mobile work options and appeal to the expectations of today’s always-on, always connected workforce.
The memorandum states: “To attract, empower, and retain a talented and productive workforce in the 21st century, the Federal Government must continue to make progress in enabling employees to balance their responsibilities at work and at home…In doing so, we can help ensure that the Federal workforce is engaged and empowered to deliver exceptional and efficient service to the American public while meeting family and other needs at home.”
There are numerous benefits to creating a mobile workforce, including improved information sharing, increased productivity and a better work-life balance. Given BlackBerry’s experience serving government customers for more than 15 years, we have identified several factors that agencies should consider as they look to realize the benefits of mobile-enabled employees and enact policies that address the Presidential Memorandum.
- Security – Mobile communications, especially those involving state secrets and national security, must never be compromised. BlackBerry solutions meet the stringent requirements of the most trusted, security-conscious organizations, such as NATO and the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). BlackBerry has earned the coveted “Restricted” classification from NATO, and in March 2014, BlackBerry 10 became the first and only mobility solution to receive Full Operational Capability (FOC) from DISA. Backed by more than 50 government certifications and approvals, BlackBerry’s enterprise and government users can rest assured that their email, data and apps are protected.
- Cost Effectiveness – Investments in technology should provide a strong return and stay within budget. BlackBerry is the only company that can support the full range of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) requirements, from the most secure to the most open BYOD environments, with a tangible cost advantage. A recent report by Strategy Analytics, a global market research firm, showed that BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES10) is the most cost-effective multi-platform EMM solution available. BlackBerry offers an implementation and service package that is substantially less expensive than any of its competitors.
- User Experience – In the age of consumerization of government IT, there are critical benefits to choosing a mobile solution with a “dual persona” feature that meets both business requirements and personal expectations. BlackBerry Balance allows users to completely separate work and personal information on their BlackBerry 10 devices, giving them peace of mind that their privacy is protected while their sensitive work information is secure. Additionally, BlackBerry’s Secure Work Space for iOS and Android is a containerization option that allows users to completely separate work and personal communications. It provides managed applications that are secured from personal apps and data, including an integrated email, calendar and contacts app, an enterprise-level secure browser and secure attachment viewing and editing.
- Productivity – In today’s fast-paced work environment, employees need the most advanced tools to complete work on the go and stay connected. BlackBerry devices and solutions allow users to stay productive, without having to carry a laptop. With the added support for the latest versions of Microsoft Office, synchronization with key cloud providers, and technology which maintains 100% of the original document formatting when making edits on the go, BlackBerry helps increase mobile productivity and can help put the “work” in teleworking.
The Presidential memo is a positive step in empowering mobility. However, technology decision makers must act now to balance both employee needs and information security. With enterprise and government-friendly solutions, technology leaders can successfully enable their mobile workforces to conduct secure communications and business anytime, anywhere.