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  • In recent years, road warriors and individuals operating out of home offices have become a fixture in the business world. These remote workers help companies become more flexible and competitive, while participants often achieve greater work-life balance. However, providing the support needed to keep remote teams connected can present noteworthy challenges. A recently released study of approximately 200 technology professionals conducted by Dell, "Unified Communications and the Remote Worker," found that many businesses struggle to provide remote workers with an experience that matches that of their in-office counterparts. In addition, the report found that a lack of visibility and performance monitoring tools within many organizations leads to a decrease in productivity and higher IT and operating costs, while exposing the enterprise to greater risks. Although organizations and their leaders recognize the value of unified communications (UC) for today's mobile workforce, strengthening existing initiatives and boosting ROI frequently requires a more formal framework and a focused approach. "Organizations need better visibility into their UC platforms to provide a quality experience that encourages adoption and to better manage costs and determine ROI," said Curtis Johnstone, senior UC Product Architect, Dell Systems and Information Management.

  • The majority of business and IT leaders surveyed consider the enablement of a mobile workforce a top organizational priority. However, they added that they need better monitoring tools to understand and improve the end-user experience, according to research findings from Aternity. The company's "2016 Business Transformation and User Experience Trends Survey" reports that mobility and cloud management and IT convergence are all driving the need for increased visibility into employees' use of these technologies. Many company leaders believe that this enhanced visibility will enable them to boost worker productivity, among other positive outcomes. Yet, while most companies allow for at least some staffers to use their own devices for work—bring your own device (BYOD)—a significant share are not prepared to manage mobile devices and apps that are connected to enterprise networks. Clearly, there is urgency for tech teams to respond to these issues, especially as users introduce more personal data to systems that IT can't control. More than 200 C-level executives, as well as IT directors and managers, took part in the research. Additional research included in this slideshow was taken from findings published by organizations such as Gartner and Intel.

  • Businesses are greatly increasing efforts to encourage their employees to adopt customized mobile apps, according to a recent survey from Apperian. The "2016 Executive Enterprise Mobility Report" reveals that nearly all the organizations surveyed are equipping salaried staffers with these apps, and many are doing the same for contract workers and business partners. Overall satisfaction levels with the results remain lukewarm, but that's starting to change. To encourage more adoption of custom mobile apps, a number of companies are launching internal enterprise app stores and opening up help desks dedicated specifically to mobile users. With this approach, they hope to improve business processes, increase productivity and raise employee satisfaction levels. "Custom apps connect employees to enterprise systems so they can be productive from anywhere," according to the report. "An increasing number of companies push a large set of apps to employees, with greater emphasis on productivity apps. … Advancing enterprise mobility management technologies are enabling companies to support users outside their organizations—such as contractors—with apps that matter." 100 professionals took part in the research.

  • The majority of worldwide organizations are planning multiple—if not dozens—of mobile app projects, according to a recent survey from Progress. As a result, the hiring market is booming for mobile-specific developers. In addition, many companies are looking to outsource this function in order to get better and more affordable user designs. With typical mobile app projects lasting at least three months, development teams face numerous challenges along the way, including those related to security needs, timely delivery and the expectations of business units. In addition, the availability of required resources remains in question. "Developers need to take a long, hard look at the internal resources available to them and consider whether or not they are making the best, most cost-effective use of available skills and expertise," according to the report. "External software houses may be better placed to handle [user experience, or UX] design, for example. … As the volume and diversity of mobile devices continue to grow, customers will inevitably discover new ways to use them. The Internet of things (IoT) and a new generation of wearable and nearable devices are potentially huge opportunities for mobile app developers, but they will need to keep their options open in terms of the operating systems and devices they target." More than 150 global IT decision-makers took part in the research, which was conducted by IDG Connect.