Making Mobile Work, Virtually
A new Strategic Perspective for Saugatuck Technology premium research subscribers takes a close and careful look at what it really means to have and manage a virtual workforce in the era of the Boundary-free Enterprise™. Our net take: 30 years after telecommuting began to be feasible, the adoption and adaptation of Mobile IT (including remote IT) is bringing virtual workforces not only to mainstream status, but to being expected within any and all knowledge work categories (1117MKT, What’s It Mean to be “Mobile?” Six Degrees of Mobile Separation Within the BFE, 30Aug2012). And as mobility gradually morphs into virtuality, it is clear that the tipping point for rapid expansion of virtual work is coming soon.
The consequences of a large increase in virtual work are potentially revolutionary, as it requires sweeping change in management, work organization, and business location. It favors the technologies of mobility, reinforces the value of Cloud IT, and demands greater agility in working arrangements. Vendors will be called upon to meet the needs of an increasingly dispersed workforce, and companies will need to develop new ways to organize, manage, motivate and secure their workers, intellectual property and reputation.
For IT, the challenges are to ensure commonality of access to project materials, support for collaboration, security of data, and adequate channels for communication. These elements can be provided by having an adequate Cloud-based infrastructure in place with the same applications and data available to all, and with collaboration platforms in place to support both specific projects and general team building.
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