September 18, 2018
by Marco Nielsen, VP of Managed Mobility Services
With acute talent shortages in manufacturing and other business sectors, effective employee training has become a critical success factor. Yet only 41 percent of executives in a recent manufacturing workforce report believe their companies train people to develop the right knowledge and skills for their respective roles.
This training gap is worsened by industry’s growing dependence on technology. Tech-based training is a particular challenge as rugged and other mobile devices expand from their day-to-day operational roles to become critical links in the supply chain and to support customer service.
When thinking about today’s ever-evolving technology, including data analysis and growing cybersecurity threats, it’s important to acknowledge that many companies find it difficult to set up and maintain training programs for solutions that are designed to solve specialized needs.
But there is also a cost if a company doesn’t keep its staff up to par. For example, a 2018 State of IT Training report reveals 40 percent of employees who receive inadequate training are less likely to remain in their positions for over a year. Turnover can cost a company 20 percent of the former employee’s annual salary while damaging productivity and innovation.
In light of these hurdles, what practical steps can be taken to manage the nuances involved with handling and managing rugged devices?
Improving the use of mobility training among staff
A good place for enterprise manufacturers to start is by better identifying business-critical goals and then molding training to fit those goals.
A lot of training today focuses on traditional areas such as IT management, security, program management and networking. While each of these areas is important, a traditional approach too often overlooks the specific needs of a staff that supports and manages mobile hardware.
Employees who work with mobile devices usually deal with frequent operating system changes and updates. They may face knowledge gaps around security that could threaten data integrity as well as inhibit productivity. An organization with an amply resourced IT team may be able to handle specialized mobility training, but such training is just as likely to require a multi-pronged approach with both hardware and software vendors, including managed mobility services (MMS) providers.
In-house versus outsourced: Key differentiators in handling staff training
From an in-house perspective, training is oftentimes the first thing to be cut due to budgetary restrictions. In fact, 60 percent of companies recently surveyed cite cost as a top IT challenge, followed by time. In many of these cases, organizations can benefit from an enlarged pool of expertise available with a combination of in-house and external training resources.
For example, side-by-side training with a preferred outsourced vendor works very well for IT teams that may lack expertise in effectively implementing a mobile enterprise strategy or for dealing with the day-to-day management of the mobile infrastructure. Outside MMS partners can also add value if they provide access to hands-on labs that offer in-house team members the opportunity to apply learned concepts to the products and procedures they will be using in their roles.
When enterprises turn to an outsourced training support program, they demand a 7x24x365 mobile connectivity. According to Stratix’s recent whitepaper on the rapid evolution of enterprise mobile, the majority of today’s mobile end users say most customers (66%) and colleagues (70%) expect them to be available outside of traditional work hours – and mobile is how they maintain contact. Mobility is becoming an always-connected asset for most enterprises today, and the underlying support infrastructure has to be there.
Managing an abundance of mobile devices starts with creating a mobile enterprise strategy but quickly dives into the details of dealing with the day-to-day management of the mobile infrastructure. It’s time for enterprise leaders to invest more in training their employees to achieve competitive advantage while gaining the benefits of reducing staff turnover and attracting new talent.
About Marco Nielsen, Vice President, Managed Mobility Services, Stratix:
Marco has over 20 years of cross-functional experience in systems architecture, operating systems, hardware and communications. Marco brings extensive experience, leadership and expertise in the development and execution of Enterprise Mobility Strategies. Marco leads various strategic workshops across mobility subjects, oversees the deployment of mobile devices for enterprise clients, and provides relationship management with clients ensuring the ongoing recognition of value on their mobility investments.