MT Expert' Ten Top Tips: Get gadget-savvy

These days, everyone has a smartphone, says Costis Papadimitrakopoulos. And it's up to employers to make them welcome in the workplace.

by Costis Papadimitrakopoulos
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Technology has undergone a huge shift in the last five years, as the boundaries between what constitutes a 'work' gadget and what’s a 'consumer' gadget blur. With more and more workers hoping to trade in their desktop for an iPad, what should businesses do to ensure that employees’ gadgets improve their bottom line?

1. Offer staff choice
Employees are increasingly asking if they can pick what devices they use at work. Research suggests the number of workers using personal devices to access business information has grown sharply. Employers, take note

2. Ban blanket bans
Rather than imposing a blanket ban on mobile devices, look at how to cater for this new generation of workers, while ensuring productivity and security aren’t compromised.

3. Keep security in mind
To keep confidential data secure, define clear usage policies and make sure employees understand them

4. Mobilise your workforce
Mobile working isn’t all email: you’ll get more out of devices if you have advanced functionality. As well as helping staff achieve a better work/life balance, mobile working can help businesses cut costs by reducing how much office space they need.

5. Consider creating an app
Apps aren’t just limited to the consumer world. Business applications are growing at a staggering rate too. Businesses are now creating bespoke applications in-house, so that their workers can access the information they need, wherever they are

6. Embrace the cloud
A new generation of employees grew up using the cloud at home. These workers are your cloud ambassadors – give them the tools they need!

7. Don’t be anti-social media
Although social networks have roots in the consumer market, they can help you communicate, provide customer service, recruit and advertise. With Gartner championing social media as an ‘enabler for enterprise results’, businesses that ignore the digital revolution risk being left behind

8. Keep mobile costs down
Find a mobile provider that offers an ‘all you can eat’ data service to keep your costs down. Either that, or encourage staff to use WiFi where possible

9. Don’t be afraid to show off your tech benefits
Technology’s becoming an HR issue, as employees search for the most forward-thinking businesses with the best tech perks. A great way to adopt this is to launch a buy-your-own-device scheme, whereby employees simply get given a budget and can chose any device they want

10 Stay ahead of the curve
The business world has a huge opportunity to reap the benefits of the innovation being made in consumer technologies. Keep a keen eye – and don’t be afraid to experiment.

- Costis Papadimitrakopoulos is the CEO of business software company Globo.

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