Adapting IT teams to support new equipment

New kinds of mobile technology are becoming more commonplace in offices across the country. Between smartphones, smart watches and tablets, the equipment that businesses use to conduct their operations has gone far beyond just computers.

As more modern technologies emerge, IT groups will have to expand their operations to help support them. No longer just a trendy new gadget, many of these tools are now essential parts of how businesses will operate.

The challenge of tablet support
It can be difficult to tell early on after a new tech product is released just how big that item will become. Some technologies rise quickly and then fade away just as fast, while others offer surprising staying power. For IT professionals, this can present a challenge – which products do they train themselves to support, and how do they best secure these new devices?

According to IT Tech News Daily, concerns about securing tablets are putting pressure on the IT industry. 

"Mobile workers and virtual workspaces are here to stay, but so are the demands on IT to continue to ensure enterprise-grade security, manageability and interoperability," said Tom Puorro, director of product management for Cisco.

One security issue is that when employees don't have access to their own tablets at work, they may bring in their own and try to conduct business on it. Companies can't provide security to technology they can't access, so data can be at risk when staff try to use personal devices. As new devices hit the market, companies need to be quick to set out rules for how employees can use them for work.

When worked-issued tablets are available, 75 percent of surveyed IT managers said that at a minimum, they must be equipped to get company emails and document applications – chat functions, video conferencing and access to company databases were also viewed as important.

Mobile technology can improve productivity in and out of the office. Mobile technology can improve productivity in and out of the office.

Making offices more mobile
Improving business mobility can offer a company a lot of benefits. It allows staff to work from anywhere at any time, which is especially useful for important business trips. Employees can stay connected and don't lose valuable time just because they are away from their desks. Staff take fewer sick days or even vacation days when they have the option to work from home as well. 

According to a survey by Cisco and Illuminas, only 51 percent of IT professionals said their companies had an organized mobile strategy. The benefits of implementing such a program company-wide seems to have strong benefits, however – 72 percent of those surveyed said mobile technology improved productivity and 70 percent said it increased efficiency overall.

Unsurprisingly, mobile security was the top initiative for respondents, and managing security risks was seen as a top challenge. 

Businesses that want to invest in more mobile equipment for their offices will need to be sure that there is a clear, actionable plan implemented by their IT departments to help keep these security risks at bay. Investing in equipment for staff that the company can monitor and secure is one of the best ways to improve mobile productivity without putting company applications at risk. 

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.