As the idea of the ‘workplace’ is gradually unshackled from its traditional definition of performing tasks from a fixed, shared office, so too does business mobility continue its ascent – two trends driving one another. Indeed, for three-quarters of Western Europe’s workforce, the workplace of 2018 could be a coffee shop, their home, or a train. Strategy Analytics forecasts 1.87 billion workers worldwide will be mobile by 2020. With mobility very much here to stay, we’ve identified some key trends which will continue to drive mobile working in the coming years.
The millennials influx
Millennials are projected to make up 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2025. Digitally-savvy by nature, this smartphone-reared generation’s influx into the workforce will trigger greater expectations of mobile and flexible working options from a group who are used to having online capabilities constantly at their fingertips. Companies must therefore view mobility as the enabler that it is, and evolve their technology infrastructure to meet the growing demands from a productivity, connectivity and security perspective. The benefits of such mobility are chiming with some business leaders already: according to Deloitte, 68 per cent of organisations agree that “a mobile workforce is an enabler of business and talent strategies.”
The consumerisation of business hardware
The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the consumerisation of business hardware is – in part – directly attributable to the smartphone revolution. As organisations embrace mobility alongside the technology demands of millennials, however, adaptations need to be made to business hardware. While design and weight have already become more aligned to consumer standards, business devices must also continue to feature tools which boost security and productivity while on the move – from a variety of connectivity ports to smart data encryption
The rise of IoT
IDC is projecting a significant rise in IoT spending in 2017, which is set to increase by 16.7 per cent to over $800 billion. Businesses will account for over half of this spend (57 per cent), Gartner forecasts, as they look to benefit from the boosted workflows and mobility it facilitates. Further IoT capabilities will be driven by the introduction of 5G – mooted to be mainstream by 2022 – hugely improving the speed and capacity of IT networks, and in turn increasing IoT adoption in the workplace.
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