Today’s tech isn’t built for business. This is why.

7 November 2016

6 min read

Consumer tech is usually smarter, slicker and sexier than enterprise tech, so it’s no surprise that employees bring their devices to work. But despite the popularity of BYOD, should the lines between the two really be this blurred?

Today’s tech isn’t built for business. This is why. (Desktop)

Enterprise tech exists for one reason: to solve pain points in the business. It’s deceptively simple and usually provides specific and streamlined solutions. It’s purpose-built to address the needs of your business. Not only that, business tech anticipates the unique hoops that we have to jump through to stay secure, compliant and accountable at all times.

If a business user loses their smartphone then the consequences could be devastating, experiencing leaked private documents, customer details and log-ins to leaked key business systems. There’s also the embarrassment and risk of identity theft that comes with leaked personal data from the device. This kind of sensitive data is a cyber criminal’s dream; storing these on an unencrypted and more easily hackable consumer device is like locking the door while leaving the window wide open.

While it would be unfair to say all consumer devices contain deadly security flaws, intrinsic differences stop them being truly compatible with business use. Software updates are a large part of this. Most smartphone owners use 6-10 apps per week, which factors in multiple updates a month as new features are added and security flaws are patched.

Easy to keep track of, right? Now imagine controlling this process with multiple users, across multiple devices with multiple versions… The problems soon become obvious.

And with the rising amount of data leaks and hacking scandals of the last few years, businesses need to both anticipate and respond to cybercrime. The increase can be attributed to the slow speed of change in business combined with the swiftness new devices and apps are released – there are gaps in which hackers can break through. Changes to workplace culture like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) have also contributed to the pressure of keeping data secure.

Realistically, many IT teams just aren’t equipped to handle the security concerns of hundreds of disparate devices.

Rising pressure

With consumer tech being more powerful, regularly updated and… shiny, it’s easy to understand why many employees feel frustrated at the apparent downgrading of their experience at work. An all singing, all dancing phone that’s hot off the production line can’t help but leave ageing enterprise tech trailing.

“Employees have been left behind in the race to deliver digital”Michael Keegan, CEO Fujitsu UK

A study of British employees in the Fujitsu report revealed that 55% of people don’t feel like they’re given adequate access to digital services in order to do their jobs properly. People were mostly concerned with working remotely (57%), real-time access to information (50%) and saving time (46%) as the most important parts of up to date digital. Unsurprisingly 67% agreed that their organisation needed to invest more in technology services and applications in the near future.

“This research suggests that employees have been left behind in the race to deliver digital,” said Michael Keegan, CEO at Fujitsu UK and Ireland. “Now is the time for these organisations to integrate their digital offering front and back of house to capitalise on the opportunities available.

The HP Elite x3 allows users the seamless experience of working from wherever they need to, however they need to, while having the same access to servers and apps as a desktop or laptop.

A survey by Fuze examined attitudes and expectations of 5,000 workers and 2,500 teenagers. There was a startling gap between the expectations of young people and the reality of business technology. A total of 72% of today’s workforce says that business tech needs to catch up with personal. Great camera and audio quality, and the full Windows 10 app library that meets the productivity and entertainment needs of its users are examples of what makes the HP Elite x3 a business device that’s learned from consumer technology.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the teenage respondents in the study were 25% more likely to view a smartphone as an essential work item, with around 75% saying that access to the latest technology at work is important. While it’s naïve to expect brand new devices as they’re released, it does reveal that younger generations have a definite opinion and appreciation about the role of technology.

The teenage approach to communication mirrors the shifting trend toward working from home and remote working, which is generally cited as a happier and more productive way of working – so instead of brushing it off as unrealistic millennial whining, some businesses could learn a whole new way of working from their future employees of the month.

“The app generation has grown up with mobile as the default,” said Luca Lazzaron, senior VP of international operations, Fuze. “They are used to doing everything on their smartphone, especially communicating, and the current business technology set-up isn’t anywhere near ready for that.

“Businesses today have traditional ideas of where and what work is, and the technology that matches those traditional ideas – landline phones, desktop computers, even fax machines. Young people won’t know where to start with these outdated technologies.

“Their mobile-first, flexible, ‘app for everything’ approach marks a much better way of working and our research shows it’s not just young people who feel workplace technology simply isn’t up to scratch.”

Things have to change… the right way

Many people choose to blur the lines between personal devices and business tasks. BYOD might increase personal productivity but conversely it increases the amount of work (and blood pressure) of IT departments. It’s hard to stay secure when your employees are using 15 different handsets, each with a different software version and suite of apps in various states of update.

But can you blame them? It’s hard to fault people for wanting to work smarter and be more productive. Adjusting corporate policies to ban or encourage BYOD are one thing but the onus should fall on the tech creators to take the gloss of consumer tech and merge it with the precision and power of business tech. People, quite rightly, want to have their cake and eat it too.

Some companies have tried in the past, to varying degrees of success. The BlackBerry mobile handset was the go-to business mobile device for years. It didn’t have the same apps and flash as current consumer devices but the full qwerty keyboard and Fort Knox style security made it popular and kept it essential. Its older models proved so useful that reality star and businesswoman Kim Kardashian relied on old BlackBerry Bolds until this year, when her final working handset died and she was unable to find a replacement on eBay.

The problems for BlackBerry began with a clumsy attempt at combining their business pedigree with the sexiness of a sleek touchscreen smartphone. Incredibly poor sales of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 were so bad, BlackBerry were forced to write down nearly $2.6bn in unsold inventory by Q4 2013 and led to the cancellation of two further models planned for a 2014 release.

Instead of moving with the times and acknowledging the touch-friendly, app-loving and entertainment-hungry consumer market, they stuck to what had worked in their heydey and were left with a poor imitation of an iPhone.

The HP Elite x3 is a Windows 10 hybrid device that understands the needs of the people using it and the needs of the business managing it. The 5.96-inch screen is perfect for video as well as  editing documents on the go while the inbuilt Enterprise Data Protection locks up important data. Best yet, all data is stored either on the device or the cloud, which removes the usual digital paper trail of documents between multiple devices as people work however is convenient to them. With the HP Elite x3 you just plug it in and start working, Windows 10 Continuum lets you carry on with whatever you were doing in one seamless move – it’s as simple as that.

To experience the power of the HP Elite x3, get in touch with our team to book a demo. Until then, check out some more articles on BusinessNow.

Learn more about the HP Elite x3