President and Country Chairman, Vodafone Americas
Today’s Connected Employee: What the CIO Needs to Know
Enterprise businesses operate in an increasingly complex landscape today. Many factors are changing the enterprise environment and disrupting business – for example, socioeconomics, new regulations and new technologies all play a role in changing how business is conducted.
The changing business world has a huge impact on people – it’s leading workplace structures to change, which changes how we work. Today’s employees increasingly rely on new technology for everything they do at work. In fact, technology is so ingrained that today’s employee can be called the “Connected Employee,” because he or she expects access to workplace technology from anywhere, at any time. As businesses shift into this new environment, CIOs should look to create a digital workplace and give employees the tools they need today and into the future.
Introducing new ways of working
The technologies available to businesses today have created opportunities for new ways of working. The trend toward flexible working is just one effect of technologies such as video conferencing and instant messaging, which allow people to work outside traditional offices.
At the same time as companies are adopting flexible working policies, they are also working to ensure high levels of productivity. While it may seem that flexible work could hinder productivity, Vodafone’s Flexible: Friend or Foe study found 83 percent of companies that have adopted flexible working policies have experienced an increase in productivity.
When employees have choice in how they work, they are more likely be fully engaged, and therefore produce higher-quality work. New, more flexible ways of working, enabled by cutting-edge technology, are improving productivity, leading to success for businesses.
Enabling the right IT infrastructure
Beyond offering flexible working, CIOs must give employees the tools they need to do their jobs both in and out of the office. To ensure efficient use, business must implement infrastructure powered by secure, powerful network technology, which will enable tools such as mobile and collaboration software, and other tools that support flexible work. The CIO should also explore tools like the Internet of Things, (IoT) which can connect objects and turn them into assets that send and receive data. The IoT can also play a role in increasing productivity – according to Vodafone’s IoT Barometer report, 45 percent of companies that have adopted IoT have seen improvement in productivity.
Securing enterprise data in the digital world
While new technologies offer countless benefits, businesses implementing them must be aware of potential security challenges and put robust security protocols in place. Businesses should ensure new technologies meet standards based on rigorous, repeatable tests, before deploying them. Companies should also continuously review and reevaluate security protocols for every new technology introduced.
CIOs across every industry should work to build a digital workplace that supports flexible work with powerful technology. The companies that succeed in meeting the needs of the Connected Employee will ultimately be set up for more success in the years to come.