December is South Africa’s official summer holiday time, and the Christmas period saw most businesses closing up shop or working with a skeleton staff. However, there are many companies that couldn’t afford to lose the trading time and concurrent dip in earnings, and had to pay higher wages to ensure they were operating, even on public holidays.

By Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Phoenix Distribution

Collaborative technologies have made it much easier for organisations of all sizes to work remotely, though, so this status quo is slowly changing. The biggest inhibitor of the use of these technologies has been security concerns, though, so many organisations are still not leveraging the power of a truly mobile workforce.

According to the latest Cisco Mobile Forecast and Cloud Index reports, global mobile data traffic will increase nearly 10-fold between 2014 and 2019, and because of increased usage of smartphones, smartphones will reach three-quarters of mobile data traffic by 2019. The research also indicates that by 2019, mobile-connected tablets will generate nearly double the traffic generated by the entire global mobile network in 2014. In light of this, organisations need to approach mobility more seriously.

When we think of mobility, our first inclination might be to look at the hand-held device in our pocket. But that view is too limited. The concept of enterprise mobility must now extend into a strategic initiative looking at how content is consumed, how efficiently it’s being delivered, security capabilities, as well as the end-point device.

At a recent Gartner Symposium, the analysts stated that among IT decision makers the top concerns with enterprise mobility are security, integration and rapid change. More than two-thirds of those decision makers surveyed by Gartner say that security, hacking, and malware is their number one concern, while 46% say that they’re concerned with integrating their enterprise data and applications. Slightly less than half worry that their businesses won’t be able to keep up with the rapid changes in technology.

A few innovative companies have addressed the security concerns, and we are seeing more and more enterprise mobility solutions that allow easy, complete, and secure enterprise file sharing solution while giving IT complete control over business content to ensure security, maintain compliance, and enable BYOD. With these kinds of solutions, mobile devices turn into roaming offices, allowing users to work where and when they need, with the device they have at hand.

In addition to the obvious benefits such as easy collaboration and sharing with colleagues and external parties, these mobility solutions offer a modern and effective replacement for insecure and cumbersome legacy systems like FTP. With tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices the norm these days, anytime, anywhere access to information can help companies to accelerate collaboration, improve product and project delivery, drive revenue and improve customer service.