MISSISSAUGA, Canada, April 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The distributed workforce now exists beyond the rise of hybrid, flexible or remote working environments, and it is having a significant impact on business operations in industries around the world. New global research highlighted in a report from SOTI titled, “When Work is Anywhere: Managing Technology’s Role in the Distributed Workforce,” reveals organizations in healthcare, transportation and logistics (T&L), warehousing and retail are increasing investments in new technology and devices as the workforce and infrastructure becomes more widespread. As businesses expand, they need to better manage this ever-broadening scope to gain the efficiency and productivity necessary to remain competitive.
Number of Devices in the Field Continues to Increase
Advancements in the Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce, real-time supply chain visibility and critical communications across the global landscape have resulted in a seismic shift to more distributed operations. As a result, respondents have reported substantial growth in the number of devices being deployed across companies over the last year:
Additionally, survey respondents from multiple industries reported that the mix of devices (smartphones, scanners, rugged devices, SaaS applications, etc.) in their organizations has increased over the past year:
“Our data shows that almost 80% of companies are now managing at least one technology such as new devices and applications that they weren’t a year ago, representing a significant shift in how their businesses are now running,” said Shash Anand, SVP of Product Strategy at SOTI. “Ensuring the productivity of a distributed workforce is one part of the equation. Today, businesses have access to technology to better manage the supply chain to track and control device usage in the field. This is forcing companies to invest in new ways to oversee and analyze the subsequent growth in technology and data use.”
As Devices and Data Grow, So Do Security Threats
As a result of this growth in device use, more data is being collected, processed and stored than ever before, fostering the need for data management security and compliance. Over the last year, 42% of global respondents cited the need for better access to devices to control and protect their IT network, while 34% increased their spend on mobile technology security.
“Distributed operations with wider, more fragmented global tech footprint creates a more complex dynamic of devices and data – all of which need to be secured and managed,” adds Anand. “While security is critical, the increasing reliance on shared devices alongside the connectivity of device data creates a need to have seamless visibility and access to monitor the health and use of these devices – with issues being fixed quickly and remotely once they arise. This is due to the increasing reliance on shared devices alongside the connectivity of device data. Without it, organizations simply will not yield the productivity and efficiency gains from their investments and leave themselves open to risks.”
Outdated Processes Threaten Productivity Gains
The arrival of the distributed workforce has spurred the need for technology to be adopted on two fronts – one in the form of the physical device itself, and the other in the effective management of all devices in an increasingly dispersed operational environment.
While digital workflows are becoming more commonplace, manual processes continue to play a significant role, suggesting organizations still have a way to go to truly manage an elevated operational infrastructure.
Over the past year, 31% of all manually-enacted workflows were still being done on paper, while 44% are managed via email. This unstructured method is especially concerning in the healthcare sector where the manual information and data are likely to be patient related, and therefore unsecured.
A Digital Transformation is the Key to Optimizing Workflow Management
The report found that in the healthcare sector, 61% of organizations manage their workflows manually, with legal (69%), retail (59%) and education sectors (59%) being close behind. The report also found that U.S. (70%) and Australia (67%) respondents were most likely to use manually processes.
Unfortunately, many organizations across various industries and regions continue to use outdated, paper-based processes. This means sensitive data such as patient and customer payment information is unsecured, potentially leaving personal data in the wrong hands.
“Businesses must understand that discarding outdated legacy processes and software to ensure that data and devices are managed securely and follow compliance is crucial in their digital transformation,” adds Anand. “Whether it is preventing malware attacks or breaches, addressing employee retention or enhancing workforce productivity, the robust management of devices and data in an increasingly dispersed operational environment will be key to ensure ongoing business health and success.”
SOTI’s report “When Work is Anywhere: Managing Technology’s Role in the Distributed Workforce” can be downloaded here.
SOTI’s research was conducted online between February 4 and February 17, 2023, via interviews with 2,500 people aged 18 and over. The interviews were conducted via online methods, with IT professionals working in companies comprising of more than 50 employees globally. The 2,500 interviews were split across eight markets. These were: U.S. (500), Canada (250), Mexico (250), UK (500), Germany (250), France (250), Sweden (250) and Australia (250). In addition to seeking to present global, overarching trends, the results were broken down by these individual markets while also analyzing data from different company sizes and sectors.
SOTI is the world’s most trusted provider of mobile and IoT management solutions, with more than 17,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide. SOTI’s innovative portfolio of solutions and services provides the tools organizations need to truly mobilize their operations and optimize their mobility investments. SOTI extends secure mobility management to provide an integrated solution to manage and secure all mobile devices and connected peripherals in an organization. For more information, visit soti.net.
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