How to Manage the Perfect BYOD Roll-Out
For some people the recent launch of the new iPhone 6 and the (slightly) surprising reveal of the new Apple Watch was cause for celebration and an opportunity to embrace the next evolution of Apple technology.
For others, the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch represent just another challenge in the perennial battle to manage the influx of multiple user devices (end points) and corporate networks.
IT managers within enterprises are faced with having to ensure the security and integrity of their corporate resources and data. But at the same time they need to allow multiple users, including guests and employees, the flexibility they demand for using different devices, whether corporate-issued or part of the BYOD trend.
The real drain on IT resources however, is what to do with them once they are on the network. The perfect BYOD roll-out needs to simplify the process of enabling the visibility and control required to tackle mobility management. There are a number of key considerations which any IT manager responsible for BYOD roll-out should consider.
1. Enterprise-class access to all devices - It is critical to be able to scale efficiently, secure effectively, and deliver enterprise-class access to all devices, even consumer grade. Establishing how best to securely connect and monitor managed and unmanaged devices should be one of the very first requirements for a network administrator.
2. Deploy a truly service-aware network solution - Once you have created an environment where all users are seamlessly connected to a network that is working at full performance, the next challenge is how to manage usage on the network.
Enabling BYOD and especially company-issued consumer devices means users will want to actually use their device to connect and interact with network resources and services.
This could mean any number of devices, and thereby usage, scaling up and down at any time with users connecting devices and interacting with network resources and services such as printing and projecting. This requires a truly service-aware network solution that can manage such fluxes in activity.
3. Know you spectrum limitations - It is important to consider that many consumer devices used for BYOD are limited to supporting the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi spectrum. Therefore, enterprises need to consider the high-density deployments and troubleshooting issues that might arise from an environment, where the majority of the devices are competing for airtime.
Limited by channel capacity and general over-use, the 2.4GHz will not be moving towards gigabit Wi-Fi. Since many of the devices on the market still support only this band, it’s important that enterprises have the adequate functionality to deal with the ever-expanding load on this struggling spectrum.
4. Brace yourself for the Wear Your Own Device (WYOD) trend - Again, referring back to the Apple Watch launch, it’s clear that wearable devices are on the cusp of widespread adoption. Following in the trend of mobile phones, then tablets, the number of connected devices which people own and then bring onto the Wi-Fi network is expanding.
According to a study by Accuity, smartwatches are set to be the second most popular wearable device (after wearable fitness devices), with 5 per cent of consumers planning to purchase one in the next year for a total of 8 per cent adoption by the end of 2015.
This will rise to 25 per cent owning one in the next five years. Other wearable technology, such as Google Glass, may have made little mainstream impact so far, but as prices for leading-edge technologies reduce, adoption will rise. IDC anticipates that the cost of Google Glass will fall to around £160 by 2018. WYOD will become commonplace.
Whilst an administrator can’t really limit which devices users might bring into the workplace, they can prepare themselves and endeavour to future-proof their Wi-Fi and mobile device management strategy.
The lesson we’ve all learned in the last four years is that mobile will continue to evolve and adapt and while we are delivering better results, more productive user experiences and adding to the bottom line, when it comes to infrastructure there are still areas that need to be addressed.
Written by Gareth Green, General Manager, Aerohive Networks
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”