Companies see gain in innovative employee mobility programs

by Sohini Bagchi    Feb 20, 2013

mobile worker

Employee mobility has taken on a whole new meaning with a growing number of businesses operating in a connected world. Enterprises are also keeping pace with this transition bringing in innovation in their mobility strategies. With mobile consumerization – especially the bring your own devices (BYOD) trend is fast spreading its wings, businesses are realizing that it is not about the devices or apps alone, but the focus should also be on people when they consider a strategic mobile policy.

Today, companies are taking steps to make their employee mobility programs more accessible and attractive. According to a recent PwC survey on Global Mobility Policies 2012, enterprises are adopting newer workforce mobility programs, such as frequent business travel and training programs to employees. The survey notes that enterprise mobility programs have drastically evolved over the past decade and businesses are responding to major changes in workplace demographics and technology in an increasing globalized economy. For example, companies are increasingly committed to reviewing and updating their employee mobility programs.

“Today the key focus of enterprise mobility program is on productivity and refining policies for efficiency. Ten years ago the key areas of focus were cost reduction and regional policy development,” says Eileen Mullaney, Global Mobility Consultant at PwC US. Mobility practices offer multiple options so business leaders can choose what works best for their specific situations or interests. Mullaney explains the changing nature of mobility programs. “In 2012, 46 per cent companies offered permanent transfer policies, as against 29 per cent in 2002. Twenty-one percent offered commuter policies, compared with 8 per cent in 2002 and 71 per cent had extended business travel policies, compared with 30 percent in 2002,” she says quoting the survey results.

The changes in mobility programs compels companies to take a more strategic approach to mobility that better aligns these programs with their business growth objectives and career development plans.

Experts believe that as far as technology changes are concerned, the consumerization of IT has already liberated the workplace, freeing workers from the boundaries of IT command and control. Innovative mobility programs will further fuel the BYOD trend.

“Employee mobility is becoming an enabling factor with companies striving to expand their global market and reach. This will increase the demand for bringing employee-owned devices, apps and other technologies in the workplace,” says Ashok Sethi, CIO of Sapient. However, the increase in mobile landscape also suggests that CIO/CSOs take adequate security measures to protect and secure their devices and networks. They should invest in advanced security solutions such as mobile device management and mobile applications management.

Agrees Daisy Chittilapilly, VP, ITS, Cisco India and SAARC as she points out that with innovative mobile trends coming up in the global market, companies should no longer view mobility solely as an IT expense, but rather an opportunity to innovate and grow. She believes that smart enterprises will develop strategies to provide employees with capable devices, apps, and services, and allow information to flow freely so that employees can easily access it while they are on the move.

From that perspective, companies that embrace the value of mobility in an increasingly connected world with the help of innovative employee mobility programs while at the same time securing their enterprise, will lead in the next era of computing.