Adapting and adopting the new digital workplace

The explosion of smartphones, tablets and Internet of things (IOT) devices is transforming the way we communicate, consume services, and manage our personal lives.

"The combination of mobile devices and cloud-based apps is also changing the very nature of our work environments, where collaborative open spaces and non-routine schedules are becoming the norm, and the #GenMobile workforce (today's mobile-savvy workforce) expects to be able to work anytime, anywhere," says multinational IT enterprise company, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

Outlining the digital workplace, the company states that organisations are adjusting their physical spaces and technology designs "to attract and retain top talent – the influx of millennials who want an open, modern space within a mobile-friendly environment – and to boost worker productivity."

According to the The Internet of Things 2015 report, 34 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020, of which 24 billion will be IOT devices. The largest adopter of IOT ecosystems will be businesses, not consumers. Businesses are projected to have 11.2 billion IOT devices installed by 2020.

"In Africa we are witnessing an extreme uptake of mobile technology and a shift to the cloud. This could be attributed to the landscape in which African firms operate with numerous regional with a smaller staff complement supporting the main office. More and more firms here are realising that this technology shift also affects their brick and mortar operations, meaning that their building architecture has to complement their business IT design in order to work efficiently," continues Anton Jacobsz, MD at Networks Unlimited, a value-adding distributor of converged technology, data centre, networking, and security technology throughout Africa.

To enable the digital workforce movement on the continent, Networks Unlimited will be distributing HPE's new suite of integrated networking software and hardware solutions.

The new portfolio by HPE enables IT teams to anticipate and resolve connectivity problems, and create secure policies to build digital workplaces that are optimised to boost employee productivity. That is, the new, integrated wired and wireless portfolio, combined with innovations in network management and security, allows IT organisations to design and augment their networks for the digital workplace. The portfolio includes:

Prediction of WiFi connectivity issues before they happen: With massive volumes of devices connecting to the network, IT teams require detailed visibility into the access layer – at the user, device, and app level – to keep productivity high and ensure business continuity. HPE software delivers powerful and intuitive forensics so that IT teams can anticipate and quickly resolve connectivity problems before the user is affected, rather than troubleshooting after the fact. It can monitor a broad set of metrics proactively such as the time it takes for a mobile device to associate with a WiFi radio, authenticate to a RADIUS server, obtain an IP address through DHCP, and resolve names for DNS services.

Additionally, the solution gives IT professionals detailed information on the amount of airtime wasted on Web content that has been assigned a lower priority category and reputation, so they can take proactive action and improve WiFi health.

Securing the network down to the device: To meet the challenges of the digital workplace – particularly with the addition of IOT devices – enterprises must be able to modify their security policies quickly and enforce underlying infrastructure changes on-demand. With the increasing use of cloud-powered devices and apps connecting to their network, enterprise IT teams need a common policy framework to protect business resources, regardless of device type or connection method.

HPE's solution allows security operations teams to create policies that adapt to BYOD growth and the emerging challenges surrounding IOT adoption.

Optimised performance with new multi-gigabit wireless and wired networks: HPE software and technology has the capacity to help provide a seamless user experience by delivering maximum performance to bandwidth-intensive applications and the highest quality of service for latency-sensitive applications, such as Microsoft Skype for Business and WiFi calling.

"There needs to be a mindshift from ‘purely technology to realising business benefits' within companies when it comes to both mobile and the cloud, in order to adapt and adopt the right office design and the technology that supports the new digital workplace. We believe that the Aruba solutions we are offering our African customers can accelerate this move," concludes Jacobsz.


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