How to boost performance through technology

HR functions need to keep up-to-speed with mobility strategies to help workforces become more productive and competitive, as advances in technology change the way organisations operate and communicate.

Mobility strategies are fast becoming an area which can help enable businesses to improve competitive edges in cost-efficiency and boost productivity, according to IBM’s managed services & workplace offerings lead, Jim Khamis.

“The key to striking a happy balance involves the development and execution of flexible workplace strategies that align with core business strategies,” he said.

“HR leaders should look at mobility as an opportunity to improve employee productivity and engagement and work with various parts of the business develop or provide new mobile apps that enable this.

Khamis added that HR leaders also need to collaborate across business functions to develop proactive mobility strategies that address security, marketing and key business objectives.

A recent IBM report, Flexible Workplaces, found that almost half of companies believe greater use of technology and more flexible workplaces will reduce costs and potentially increase revenues.

Furthermore, 58 per cent expect improved employee productivity as a result of a more flexible workplace while 52 per cent expect improved employee satisfaction.

“The key to striking a happy balance involves the development and execution of flexible workplace strategies that align with core business strategies”

As such, almost three-quarters of CIOs and IT managers are placing greater priority on flexible workplaces over other investments in the next 12 months.

Another emerging trend is can be found in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), in which a variety of devices and operating systems are permitted, allowing employees to access enterprise data and applications through their own device.

However, a BYOD policy can introduce risks to a business and information security, while employees often lack the IT knowledge and motivation to reduce security risks to their devices.

A change in work practices will mean a change in risk profile, and Khamis said a risk assessment is the first step to a sound BYOD policy.

“This should cover everything from developing and enforcing strict password guidelines to establishing comprehensive policies regarding supported devices to using biometrics to secure devices,” he said.

Forward-thinking companies have also started to use social media as a collaborative tool through “social business”, leveraging two-way communication not only within the organisation but between customers, vendors and partners.

Khamis added that a well-defined, published and easily accessible social media policy will help set parameters around social media use in a way that is clear and consistent with the organisation’s overall corporate code of conduct.

By Nicholas Hui