A lot has changed since the early days of office life. As the trope goes, every weekday morning, an office employee would bid their spouse goodbye, wave to the kids, and head to work. After putting in their eight hours, our worker-bee hero would leave any remaining tasks for the next day and go home. In other words, until the late 20th century, for most people, work happened at work, and home was just home. But now, work is home and home is work and technology needs have changed. “Always on” means remote work, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and 5G will redefine how we think of IoT.
We live in a new world now. There is fast, reliable home internet access, and we carry computers in our pockets with smartphones and other mobile devices. We no longer need to be at a physical office to stay connected to colleagues. As a result, this has blurred the lines between home and work. What’s more, the events of 2020 turned the concept of remote work from a curiosity to a necessity. The experiment for many organizations was a huge success and they now view remote work in a new light. Companies are already creating strategies and making arrangements for employees who want to continue to work remotely, all or part of the time.
Remote work is beginning to feel like the new normal for many of us. As more workers want to work remotely, and more companies are making the switch to flexible work environments, the business case for implementing a remote work policy — if you’re able — becomes a no-brainer. But…what about the tech?
My Device is Better Than Your Device
BYOD policies will no doubt have a bigger role in the future. Employees increasingly want to use their own devices to access corporate data and want the fastest, newest, technology that they have experience using. Employee owned devices are often newer and more advanced than the equipment deployed by many IT departments. BYOD also provides advantages to organizations including: increased employee satisfaction (they can work more flexibly), cost savings (reduced hardware spend, software licensing and device maintenance) plus productivity gains (employees are happier, more comfortable and often work faster with their own technology).
BYOD does bring its own set of challenges. What data can employees have access to? What security measures are in place if an employee’s device is lost, stolen or compromised? How much is this really going to cost? Even though IT hardware spend is potentially reduced with a BYOD approach, it may cost more for a company to integrate and support a diverse range of employee devices. Considering the full implications of allowing corporate data to be accessed on personal devices is crucial.
The 5G Grind
Carriers began launching 5G standalone networks this year, which will have big implications for organizations. 5G accommodates larger data transfers and minimizes the lag-in time from when data is sent/received. This will enable real-time connectivity for IoT data exchanges and other “smart” objects plugged to the network. Organizations can use 5G’s capabilities to build a gateway to data and applications for geographically diverse employees. Plus, 5G offers reliable connectivity and lightning-fast bandwidth speeds. This is ideal for enterprise tools like video conferencing and collaboration platforms, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
With access to 5G, employees can use IoT devices to make their work lives more convenient and efficient. They can also add artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to their everyday tasks to create a more intelligent work environment. And, as remote work becomes more prevalent, employees will use these devices everywhere. Whether it’s inside offices, in home work environments, and even on the go. Everything is interconnected.
As these ongoing trends meld into one megatrend, we will no longer associate a device with an individual employee, an office location, or its connection to the network. It’s free-roaming and independent, yet ever-connected, thanks to 5G and IoT.
This explosion of devices and new categories of “things,” of course, will create risks. Enterprises will need to think carefully about how IoT devices – as well as traditional mobile devices and technologies like telecom and the cloud – fit into the business in terms of management, protection, servicing, security, and costs.
So what does the convergence of these three trends mean? Here’s what enterprises need to know: It’s never been more critical to gain visibility into a technology ecosystem and create a holistic understanding of where all devices are and what they are costing.
Tangoe’s Platform has been doing exactly this for a very long time – almost since a technologist first coined the term “Internet of Things.” Over the past 20 years, we’ve continued innovating our solution to meet the ever-changing needs of the modern enterprise. This includes our increased focus on automation – and we don’t plan to stop.
With our complete solution for telecom, mobile and cloud, Tangoe helps you meet all the challenges the future may bring. We can do it all: sourcing and ordering new IoT devices, automating your processes so you can focus on expanding your technology ecosystem, and helping you make decisions about IT investments. And we’ll save you money the whole way.
Don’t navigate the new normal alone. Contact us to learn how partnering with Tangoe can help you prepare for the future while saving money.