Sean Farrington, UK managing director of QlikTech, tells how staff can be better equipped to deliver more on the move
The success of any organisation will always rely on its most important asset, namely its people. The notion that a business is only as good as its people is as true today as it was when cavemen were reliant on themselves, growing and exchanging their own crops to survive. So, how can you make sure you are getting the most from your people? Well, it could equally be said that, in any industry, even the best employee can be improved once equipped with the right tools.
This means adapting to the way employees carry out their work best. Across the business world, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are unarguably becoming more prevalent in the office. This consumerisation of IT “trend” is one that organisations are encouraging, with research conducted by QlikTech showing more than 90 per cent of people believe mobile technology is not only “useful” but “crucial” to their business. Furthermore, Gartner predicts that by 2014, 90 per cent of organisations will support corporate applications on personal devices.
So, we’re fast moving towards a world where employees are using the devices of their choosing to do their work to the best of their ability. This involves all systems – and especially business intelligence (BI). Allowing employees access to BI systems wherever they are via mobile devices can help them to collaborate in the same way that they might over a social network and ultimately discover things about their organisation that they would never have thought possible before.
The main question is how can IT departments support mobile BI without compromising the organisation’s security? In many organisations, this is where the department’s job becomes more difficult. We believe that browser-based tools are the answer. First and foremost, deploying browser-based solutions across an entire company is not only incredibly simple, but is very fast. A whole workforce just needs access to a browser – no matter whether they are using a smartphone or tablet.
We actually have a number of customers using a Business Discovery platform through mobile devices. A good example of this is London-based company EAT, which has taken steps to optimise the QlikView tool for mobile, giving all employees greater access to, and interaction with, the solution. In fact, area managers across the organisation will be equipped with tablet computers, synchronised with other devices across the business, everything from HR systems to point-of-sale systems. EAT employees have been able to interact through an improved mobile experience, which allows them to initiate a meeting through QlikView regardless of where they are.
With the Olympics – the largest global sporting event of the year – looming, the company needs to ensure it meets demand from customers at any time, whether by putting the correct level of stock on the shelves or by meeting the level of custom with the right number of staff. As the area managers will be responsible for managing a number of shops and their subsequent performance during the weeks of the Games, they will need the latest information at their fingertips at any given time to tell them who will be needed where and when.
Encouraging mobility is a great way to give better access to business information and EAT is showing how employees can harness data properly on mobile. We may all know the term “big data” well, but giving employees the ability to analyse properly masses of information available to them on mobile devices will help to find solutions when they are needed the most – in a real-life working environment on the go.
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