Police officers use smartphones to capture and share evidence. Doctors review medical records by scanning patient wristbands. Transportation carriers receive real-time proof of delivery throughout the supply chain. With almost half of the global workforce using mobile devices for business, adopting a mobile-first strategy is no longer just a good idea: it is now the only idea.

“We’re seeing a shift in the economy based on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality, IoT, and cloud analytics,” says Paul Edwards, Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Mobility for Samsung Electronics Canada. “The legacy walled garden approach to technology is no longer relevant. With 5G connectivity just around the corner, it’s imperative that organizations adapt their IT approach to the new realities of the workplace.”

Edwards joined ITWC CIO and Chief Digital Officer Jim Love in an October 31st webinar entitled “Enhanced Productivity and Security in the Next Mobile Economy.” Halloween was an especially appropriate time to discuss some of the more frightening prospects for businesses that don’t prepare for the Next Mobile Economy, chief among them, the inability to attract and retain talented workers.

“Millennials will make up half the workforce by 2020,” said Love. “They bring new attitudes to technology in the workplace, but what they don’t bring is a willingness to do things in the same old way.”

According to Love, in order to be happy in their work, Millennials need to feel connected and productive. Also high on their list of job requirements is a supportive, progressive company culture that allows them to work in their own way. Paradoxically, the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 found that only 36 per cent of all Millennials believe their organizations are helping them prepare for the Next Mobile Economy.

The divide between knowing what to do and actually doing it is evident in a Harvard Business Review report commissioned by Insight Enterprises. Although 58 per cent of respondents said their organization’s technology offerings factor into job candidates’ decisions to accept employment with the company, 51 per cent said that outdated and inadequate workplace technology was impeding their ability to retain highly skilled, experienced employees.

“There’s no question that we have to keep the Millennial workforce engaged, “ commented Love, “not just for the sake of employees, but also for the sake of customer satisfaction and profitability. Love cited a Forrester report saying organizations that have happy employees have 81 per cent higher external customer satisfaction. “And in almost all cases, organizations that are leaders in the field of customer experience have higher revenue growth,” he adds. “It’s a powerful correlation.”

In Edwards’ opinion, open, collaborative mobile tools are critical, not only for accommodating Millennial preferences, but also for unlocking much-needed flexibility and productivity advantages. “Most business leaders agree that companies should focus on future-proofing by increasing agility and openness, yet it’s alarming to see that one or two established companies are falling out of the S&P 500 each week,” he said. “At this rate, 75 per cent of S&P 500 companies will be replaced by the late 2020s.”

A news story about Uber being valuated prior to going public reinforces the importance of disruption and innovation in a competitive, digital landscape. The first valuation figure came back at $52 billion, which seemed too good to be true, so Uber decided to run the valuation again. The second one came in at $68 billion. “This blew everyone away,” said Edwards. “It took Ford 107 years to get to a level that Uber attained in five.”

Although the next Mobile Economy is incredibly complex, the rules for business survival seem surprisingly simple. Companies that succeed will need to foster an open collaborative technology space, while at the same time ensuring that mobile empowerment doesn’t come at the expense of security and control. View the webinar “Enhanced Productivity and Security in the Next Mobile Economy” for more insights into how business leaders can weave progressive mobile strategies into every level of their organizations to stay competitive and grow in the coming era of 5G connectivity.



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