The world has changed in ways unimaginable since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The corporate world has implemented mind-boggling digital demands in the past year and a half to sustain in these unprecedented times. While nearly all industries transitioned towards establishing operations and implemented solutions to support a remote working model, businesses are now keen on anticipating what the future holds.
Many believe that remote working is here to stay and that traditional office routines won’t be normalized just yet, however, there are mixed opinions regarding remote working. According to a survey conducted by FlexJobs for more than 2100 people who worked remotely during the pandemic, from March 17, 2021, through April 5, 2021, not only do employees want remote work post-pandemic, but 58% also say they would absolutely look for a new job if they weren’t allowed to continue working remotely in their current position. Moreover, 65% want to work remotely full-time post-pandemic, and another 33% prefer a hybrid work arrangement.
Similarly, according to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index 70% of the workers want the WFH flexibility to continue, while 65% of them crave more in-person time with their teams.
While the future remains to be seen, there is an evident inclination amongst employees to continue with the remote working arrangement or transition to a hybrid work environment. In either case, it is essential for enterprises to come up with sustenance strategies and reinforce their businesses with scalable solutions.
What is a hybrid work environment?
The post-pandemic hybrid work model has many variations. While some organizations may allow all their employees to work remotely for some days of the week and from the office for the remainder of the week, others choose to allow some departments to work remotely full-time and other frontline departments to work on-field full-time. Some enterprises may also deploy a combination of both to enable a certain percentage of their employees to work on-site and allow the rest of the workforce to operate from home.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) for remote working
Remote working driven by the pandemic took enterprise mobility to new highs. The corporate sector saw a sharp surge in the adoption of device and endpoint management solutions as businesses realized the role MDM solutions played in streamlining and securing their enterprise mobility.
MDM solutions enabled IT admins of organizations to successfully transition from office environment to remote working and helped automate several recurring processes and managing large device fleets centrally. If the post-pandemic world presents an inclination towards remote or hybrid working, IT admins must establish processes and build an infrastructure with tools such as the latest, comprehensive MDM solution and other mobility requirements to meet the demands of the future and ensure no loss of productivity.
Probable challenges in the post-pandemic corporate world
Remote working, or the implementation of a hybrid-work model, undoubtedly has its set of benefits such as lower operating costs for organizations, extra flexibility to employees, increased productivity and work-life balance, but this presumed post-pandemic work model also bears certain pitfalls that hinder the organization’s efficient management and smooth functioning such as;
1. Increase security threats
The comparatively weak infrastructure available in remote working poses a matter of concern for an enterprise’s data security. With remote and hybrid work models shaping up, IT teams of enterprises are bound to reinforcing their corporate data security policies. Intruders seek opportunities to break into corporate networks to embezzle sensitive business information. Poorly secured Wi-Fi networks, lack of proper data protection hygiene are some of the many reasons why devices in a remote environment are more prone to data breaches.
2. Challenges in offering instant support
Every business desires to have seamless operations and processes. However as most corporate processes rely on electronic devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), no process is entirely fail-proof. Device errors and glitches in technologies are inevitable, which is why IT support is an important aspect to ensure smoothly running processes.
With the continuation of remote working in the post-pandemic world, IT admins of organizations will need to ensure the implementation of additional robust remote support tools to help them reach out to their remote and on-field employees to resolve issues faster and avoid extended device downtime.
3. Added IT workload
Since remote working is presumably here to stay, it indicates an evident increase in the IT workload since large fleets of devices would require IT support right from provisioning the devices with customized software and tools to monitoring devices performance and managing large inventories. The sustenance of remote working or workplace flexibility shows a need for organizations to reinforce their IT infrastructure with comprehensive tools to manage their devices and corporate data without overburdening their IT teams. One of the leading tools that have gained massive popularity over the past decades is Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.
What will be the influence of MDM on the post-pandemic corporate world?
Enterprise mobility lies at the heart of a hybrid work model. As businesses around the world brace themselves for remote working, massive fleets of new devices are being rolled out to support the hybrid working environment. MDM solutions are globally adopted and appreciated presently for their comprehensive nature and extensive device management and data security capabilities that these solutions offer over the air through a single unified console.
In order to efficiently manage the post-pandemic rise in remote and hybrid working, the corporate world is likely to see a greater surge in MDM implementations. The big question is, how will MDM solutions help streamline remote device management and curb the challenges involved in hybrid working? Let’s take a look.
1. Reinforced device and data security
Workplace flexibility and enterprise mobility make corporate data more prone to intrusions and cyber attacks. MDM solutions offer a plethora of features to strengthen an enterprise’s security and help IT teams devise and push security policies in place. Some of the security features enabled by modern-day MDM solutions include;
- Conditional Email Access: Conditional Email Access (CEA) is a robust email security policy that allows IT Admins to ensure that the corporate email is accessed only from devices that are MDM managed and enterprise policy compliant.
- Remote data wipe: IT admins are empowered to wipe off all the corporate data on a corporate or employee-owned device in event of its loss or theft ensuring that the business-critical data does not fall in the wrong hands.
- Network configurations: IT admins can secure networks with the help of a VPN that can be configured remotely from the MDM dashboard enabling an encrypted network to users to avoid incidents of data breaches.
- Data loss prevention policies: Prevention policies that disable network and data sharing can be assembled that prevent employees from copying or transferring corporate data from work apps and profiles to their private apps on employee-owned (BYOD) devices.
- Passcode policy: Passcodes act as the first line of defense and are a part of the basic data protection best practices. However, with MDM solutions, IT admins can enforce policies to ensure appropriate password complexity and timely renewal.
2. Instant over-the-air support
Reaching out to remote and on-field employees instantly in event of device errors or failures is one of the most crucial tasks that an IT team performs. MDM solutions that offer remote support capabilities make it possible for IT teams to connect with employees quickly and resolve issues regardless of their locations.
One of the best remote support features offered by efficient MDM solutions is ‘Remote Cast & Control’ which enables IT admins to mirror the employees’ screens on their dashboard and take charge of the devices virtually to identify and resolve issues remotely. This saves a time-consuming and tedious process of employees trying to figure out a way to explain the device’s misbehavior and helps stalled services to resume quickly. Additionally, MDM solutions also enable IT admins to capture screenshots, record cast sessions and generate context-aware ITSM tickets for faster issue fixes.
3. Automation of routine IT tasks
The prime benefit of MDM solutions is their extensive feature set that enables remote management and automation of recurring IT tasks. MDM solutions address the increased workload brought upon the IT teams with the surge in enterprise mobility and hybrid working. Contemporary MDM solutions help simplify and automate tasks such as bulk device enrollments, management of applications and content on devices, configuring customized policies on device and user groups, routine device tracking and maintenance and much more. Let’s take a look at the various MDM capabilities that help in IT automation and reduced workload;
- Over-the-air device enrollment: With over-the-air device enrollment capabilities IT admins are empowered to deploy out of the box enrollment policy application that requires minimal end-user intervention. With this, the devices are pre-provision and ready to use straight out of the box.
- Remote commands: Several recurring and routine tasks that require IT professionals to make on-site visits to set the tasks in motion can be automated with pre-defined commands that are executed automatically on the set time, saving on-site efforts.
- Pre-scheduled workflows: MDM solutions also help in streamlining and automating periodic tasks such as routine device OS updates, profile switches, compliance checks and similar tasks which can be pre-scheduled to create defined workflows that automatically execute themselves on the pre-set time.
- Application management policies: Furnishing devices with business-specific tools to ensure minimum distraction and maximum productivity can be a hectic chore. MDM solutions help to create detailed device profiles based on a particular team’s requirements, which can be collectively pushed onto a large fleet of devices. These devices are then automatically provisioned with the pre-selected applications and other policies set by the IT admin via the MDM console.
Although employees appreciate the work-life balance brought on by remote and hybrid working and businesses value the productivity boost that it reflects, the risks involved with flexible and remote working cannot be ignored. IT teams shoulder the responsibility to secure and manage the growing mobile device fleets. Tools, such as MDM solutions, that help streamline IT processes are at the forefront of governing a hybrid work environment in the post-pandemic world.
Leading MDM solutions like Scalefusion, offer extensive security and device management capabilities to construct a robust IT infrastructure and help IT teams reduce their workload by eliminating redundant tasks and optimizing their operations. Incorporating MDM solutions equips enterprises to achieve efficient device management regardless of what the future holds.