Higher ratio of remote work over the long-term

by July 6, 2020 0 comments

Demand for mobile cloud apps and services is likely to remain strong even post-pandemic. Having the policy, culture, and apps to support remote workers could be a competitive advantage for companies post-COVID, feels Shiv Sundar, Co-Founder and COO, Esper.

The current pandemic has seen an increase in WFH and may push the mobile workforce even further. How is the market around mobile cloud apps likely to grow? How much can the mobile be maximized to as a work productivity tool?

The current pandemic is likely to create a higher ratio of remote work over the long-term. At Esper we have transitioned to fully remote work across various locations in US and India. Many of our employees have travelled back home and are working from their hometowns.

Global adoption of cloud communication apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom skyrocketed during the first weeks of the pandemic. Some services saw a 400% increase in adoption in a matter of weeks. Demand for mobile cloud apps and services is likely to remain strong even post-pandemic. Having the policy, culture, and apps to support remote workers could be a competitive advantage for companies post-COVID, considering 99 percent of global employees prefer to work remotely.

It’s impossible to say exactly what the future holds, but I believe we haven’t seen mobile’s full potential as a work productivity tool. The lines between traditional laptops, tablets, and smartphones are blurring quickly. Many of the newest mobile devices offer unique dual screens or folding screens and wireless keyboards to essentially function like a laptop. If I had to guess, I’d predict that in the future, employees will work primarily from flexible, mobile Android devices and apps.

Another thing which could get a fillip is telemedicine, where the mobile can play a huge role. Can you speak about how the mobile can give telehealth solutions?

Mobile telehealth innovation and adoption was already growing rapidly before the pandemic. But, mHealth (mobile healthcare) became a necessity during COVID-19 due to resource limitations and patient safety concerns. The Global mHealth market size is expected to grow over 30% YoY. Many of the latest mobile telehealth, or mHealth, deployments involve the use of thermal temperature sensors and biometrics to screen symptoms or perform contact tracing. Self-serve mobile kiosks with thermal sensors are taking over the role of healthcare workers for patient intake and triage.

Mobile telehealth can lower healthcare costs and create better patient care access. But, studies show that mobility can also improve patient outcomes. Behavioral change is more common among patients who interact regularly with mHealth apps. Mobile telehealth technologies also generate a continuous stream of data, which supports better decision-making among Doctors about patient care.

A mobile application for managing diabetes is now US FDA approved, which means Doctors can use an allocated ‘drug code’ to prescribe the app in a similar way to medicines. Post-surgical therapy on smart, connected mobile devices can be used to reduce patient reliance on pain medication after knee replacement surgery. The shift to mobile telehealth was already in motion, but COVID-19 gave us more incentive for innovation.

The supply chain was severely affected during the current crisis. Can the cloud become smarter and leverage the power of both mobile and IoT to bring down future disruptions?

The COVID-19 crisis sent shockwaves throughout the global supply chain beginning in January. The pandemic had an impact on both supply and demand since output and customer buying habits changed dramatically.
Business agility has been particularly important among eCommerce, logistics, and last-mile delivery firms whose performance is directly tied to customer satisfaction.

Resilient organizations have 20-30 percent better customer satisfaction. Resilience doesn’t mean organizations are immune to disruption. Instead, it means they’re more prepared to recover from the standpoint of operations and finances. Resilient companies in the supply chain are continually working to cut costs and improve visibility by using mobile to streamline processes or create visibility.

Mobile and IoT generate a massive stream of insights, so the intelligent cloud is key to improve forecasting accuracy using real-time and predictive analytics. The intelligent cloud can also be used to support better collaboration between logistics and transportation organizations for a coordinated response across the supply chain in times of uncertainty.

What about security risks if more and more cloud operations include an increasing amount of both mobile and IoT devices?

Enterprise security risks have changed dramatically in the age of cloud, mobile, and IoT. Organizations need to forget about firewalls and legacy network policies because these are no longer an effective mindset. 15 years ago, you could avoid many security risks by creating a hardened perimeter around your network. Today, enterprises need to protect remote mobile and IoT devices from a dynamic set of risks using cloud infrastructure.

Patch and vulnerability management has always been a challenge for many cybersecurity teams. Mobile and IoT devices increase the total number of devices that need to be updated. Many cybersecurity teams have no easy or effective mechanism for over-the-air updates to mobile devices. Many hardware manufacturers have unique patching schedules, making it even more difficult than ever to track and apply patches.

The key idea here is visibility and control. It’s much easier to monitor devices and respond to security risks with a single cloud tool for the entire mobile and IoT fleet. More specifically, cloud-age IoT security requires a concept called “desired state enforcement” that monitors for negative changes in the health of devices, apps, operating systems, configurations, and content.

Security should be integrated into the CI/CD pipeline for secure DevOps teams (DevSecOps) to create the capacity for real-time detection and automatic response. Desired state enforcement means defining whitelisted and blacklisted states for mobile and IoT devices and automatically rolling back changes that create security risk.

Can you speak a bit about your agile approach with regard to DevOps and Android enterprise device management?

At its core, Android DevOps is about using agile working practices to continuously improve the customer experience. But, DevOps is a culture, not a specific technology product. Agility is key to unlock the potential benefits of a DevOps practice like faster releases, fewer failures, and better uptime. Esper builds Android DevOps tools and we practice DevOps because agility is the only way we can innovate quickly enough and maintain our customer-obsessed culture.

A customer-obsessed culture and agile working habits are an unbeatable combination for any organization, regardless of industry. Every single business decision should move an organization closer to shared goals of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Within the context of Android DevOps, winning teams continuously monitor and respond to data on the device user experience.

Operational excellence is another concept that’s closely tied to our agile practices and Android DevOps mission. Organizations who are operationally excellent are more resilient because they use every experience to improve. Esper offers a cloud test lab and Android virtual devices to help our customers “fail fast” and discover bugs before they are released to production.

Esper also offers richer visibility via telemetry data and the tools for our customers to put their fleet on auto-pilot by automatically locking devices or rolling back failed deployments. And again, we also practice these agile values. We continuously strengthen our operational excellence by creating a culture where employees are encouraged to experiment, fail fast, and learn from their mistakes.

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