The New Year is upon us, and it is safe to say that once again change is in the air. Amid economic headwinds and the threat of recession, business leaders are looking for smarter, more cost-effective ways to manage through uncertainty. Just as digital transformation accelerated during the pandemic, it continues at a brisk pace to accommodate the lasting effects of hybrid work and constantly moving employees between their remote workspaces and their corporate office and everywhere in between.
Some companies, including Tangoe’s U.S. workforce, have moved to an all-remote work environment in the U.S., while others require employees to return to the office for a specified number of days – three, two, one — each week. According to a recent study, “66% of U.S. employees work remotely, at least part-time. With up to 92% of employees working at least one day per week remotely, the average U.S. worker works 5.8 remote workdays per month.” We have reached another inflection point as remote work forces the reimagination of physical real estate, the shifting corporate landscape, and the evolving technology that supports it.
Now is the time for IT leaders to reinvent business processes through automation to make the most of the networks, cloud services, and mobile devices driving today’s organizational employee and customer experiences. Automation presents a powerful path forward to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and plan with intelligent, actionable information.
Fixed connections got a makeover
While corporate office connections before the pandemic were migrating away from multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) private networks to centrally orchestrated software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) often with broadband on and off-ramps, the trend has accelerated. The ability to centrally manage networking solutions at the software level, rather than on-premises has made modern technology attractive, as well as the ubiquity and cost-effectiveness of high-speed broadband alternatives.
Given that remote workers are ever more reliant on the Internet versus direct office connections plus the ability to better enforce endpoint security, SD-WAN creates a new paradigm for business networking as a platform for innovation. IT departments are planning towards more modern technology adoption and away from traditional business networks and finding greater performance, security, and cost savings in the process. It also enables a smart platform such as Tangoe One to integrate directly with a corporate network to deliver even more through actionable insights for more efficient network utilization and telecom expense management (TEM) recommendations. With TEM, companies can identify cost savings, restructure contractual agreements, and optimize their business operations by learning from artificial intelligence (AI) and business trends.
Mobile steering a brave new course
If fixed connections provide the foundation, mobile and wireless are becoming the experiential engine of every organization. Especially since the pandemic, employees working from home have relied ever more on their mobile devices and business apps to get their jobs done. In addition, businesses have become more reliant on their mobile fleet to create new end user experiences. From enabling smarter global clinical trials to mobile gaming, mobile is transforming businesses and industries at breakneck speeds, while creating new challenges for IT departments to overcome and get ahead of.
Getting a handle on an organization’s hand-held devices – setting them up for success, making sure they are connected for best performance, and understanding their utilization – is becoming key to any organization’s success. While having employees bring their own devices (BYOD) to work was a great solution to keep business running during the pandemic, rethinking BYOD is imperative for transformative business applications today.
According to a Nemertes report, “For one thing, BYOD cripples an enterprise’s ability to develop mobile apps: it is impossible to roll out a mobile application if the potential universe of platforms that must support it is virtually infinite. For another, ensuring the security and privacy of corporate data on personal devices and in consumer applications is extremely difficult; enabling auditable compliance of such privacy and security is even more so.” The report also quantifies, “For a 500-device company, Nemertes finds that it would run to just over three full-time staff dedicated to mobile device management to ensure ongoing security and compliance.”
A smarter use of resources may be to outsourcing managed mobility services, which is becoming a growing trend for many good reasons. Providing IT with an integrated, automated 360-degree view across their mobile fleet provides more handy, smarter data through AI and machine learning, ensuring that all business applications are compliant, secure, and performing for optimal results. What’s more, the ability to outsource logistics for annual tech refreshes and help desk support frees up resources to focus on their core business operations.
Cloud applications take business to new heights
What once was a more cost-effective operational and collaborative solution, the cloud has gained in complexity and cost as businesses continue to grow their reliance on it for infrastructure and software-based services. Especially as workers have begun to assemble more in the cloud versus in person, meetings and collaboration have taken an all-new form, with employees based in different corners of the country and various continents.
The number of cloud licenses and subscriptions have ballooned making it ever more difficult for IT to harness the horse as it is shot out of the gate. From mid-market to global enterprises, multi-cloud environments are growing rapidly in size, scope, complexity, costs, and security risks. Tangoe’s Cloud Expense Management (CEM) provides the only comprehensive, end-to-end lifecycle CEM solution to simplify, manage and optimize license usage on a single platform.
Having the ability to wrap your head and arms around a company’s complete cloud picture – bringing data out of the shadows and into the light – is a critical next step in making the most of cloud spending, resource allocation, and optimized business processes. As the forecast continues to be very “cloudy” in the year ahead, automating cloud usage and spending data makes good sense and provides a better path forward in the face of economic uncertainty.
Connecting the dots to paint the big picture
Just as comprehensive cloud data can inform smarter business operations, so does connecting all the technology pieces of the puzzle. Having a smart platform integrated across fixed networks, mobile, and cloud can provide the holistic, clear view needed to chart a smarter course during a shifting business landscape fraught with complexity, uncertainty, and cost constraints.
Through robotics process automation (RPA), AI and machine learning, Tangoe One has the most expansive data set to benchmark against for its customers. With 65 intellectual property (IP) patents across TEM, mobile, and cloud, Tangoe leads the TEM industry in applying RPA to collect and process data more efficiently for businesses of all sizes. Having smart data at the ready in real time can provide the flexibility needed to successfully transform and navigate in the most challenging and best of times.