Story image

Mobile-first communications lead to huge productivity gains, study shows

Mobile first, messaging first communications within the workforce lead to significant productivity gains, according to a new 451 research study released by NetSfere.

Furthermore, the survey of IT decision makers and employees shows that workplaces with inconsistent mobile messaging policy and tools not only limits productivity gains, but also opens the door to privacy, compliance and security risks.

The study found that nearly half of both employees and IT decision makers surveyed believe they stand to gain six or more hours a week as a direct result of using their smartphones for business communication which is predominantly for messaging and collaboration.

However, the right technology is needed, otherwise organisations set themselves up for fragmented collaboration and security risks, according to the research.

“While IT decision makers and employees agree that productivity increases when smartphones are used for messaging and collaboration, consumer messaging apps are still primarily used,” says 451 Research senior analyst workforce collaboration Raul Castanon-Martinez.

“Whether they realise it or not, many organisations are playing with fire because they aren’t taking a comprehensive approach to business communication, mobile messaging and collaboration strategy,” he says.

Other key findings from the report include: employees rely heavily on their smartphones and messaging for business communications with 64% using smartphones several times a day for work purposes; mobile messaging is the preferred way to communicate among millennials, but this trend is extending to all age groups; mobile first is key for user adoption with the majority of respondents showing a strong preference for mobile first applications; security, compliance and productivity are key priorities for IT decision makers when it comes to business communications; and 80% of IT decision makers consider it very important that their messaging tools be optimised for mobile specific working.

Infinite Convergence Solutions CEO and president Anurag Lal says, “It is clear that productivity gains delivered by mobile first communication platforms, combined with instantaneous nature of messaging are huge, but they should be made available to employees without compromising the enterprise IT environment whether its security, compliance or reliability.”

“If the enterprise fails to do this, employees will turn to consumer grade apps that will limit productivity gains and put sensitive business information out in the public domain,” Lal says.

IT decision makers are taking steps in the right direction, but more can be done, according to the research.

Security and productivity are key priorities for IT decision makers when it comes to business communications, with nearly half of those surveyed noting that their organisations have a significant number of employees constantly traveling or working remotely, resulting in the need for secure messaging tools and digital workspaces.

IT leaders are prioritising scalability, security and productivity, while integrating consumer-driven innovations like video calling into corporate-issued collaboration platforms, the study shows.

However, while the study found that IT decision makers understand what their organisations need for messaging and collaboration, it did identify several gaps in providing the right technologies for the modern work environment.

Organisations still tend to address mobility as an added feature, rather than a mission critical capability. Low adoption of corporate-issued messaging and collaboration platforms is proof, with 75% of employees stating that they use SMS for business purposes on a daily basis.

“The slow adoption of most corporate-issued collaboration platforms and the lack of support for secure mobile messaging should be a wakeup call to business leaders that they need to view mobile first as their primary employee communication and collaboration channel.

“While mobile communication improves productivity, consumer-grade apps result in fragmented collaboration, a limited role for IT and poses security risks to a business,” says Lal.