Episode 42: The Right Mobile Technology Can Be One of the Great Resignation Antidotes
Hi everyone. Welcome to the Enterprise Mobility Insights Outlook podcast. I'm Gina, Daniel-Lee Vice President of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships here at Stratix and your host for this podcast series. For those of you who've joined us before, this is the first in a new podcast season where we where we will be discussing some of the biggest challenges facing the enterprise. Things ranging from changing customer expectations to navigating the new normal of remote work.
And further expansion of mobile devices across more and more workflows. Today we're taking a little different approach to our discussion. We're going to talk about people, specifically the people that keep all of our businesses running and growing so that we can achieve our organizational goals. Have you heard of this term, the great resignation? It's been a pretty hot topic and it is where people are leaving their jobs for reasons like wages being stagnant, the rising cost of living, and people simply being dissatisfied with their jobs. Folks are reevaluating long term
goals and they want more flexible working conditions and quite honestly, a healthier work life balance. So, as companies work to attract and retain top workers, how does technology fit into this picture? We know that poor technology often leads to employee frustration when laptops, desktops, networks and other systems don't work right? I know those were like that really frustrates me and the new normal of more remote work means organizations need mobile devices that deliver easy access to things like workflows, applications and collaboration tools from anywhere. Today, I'm going to be talking with Mario DiAntonio, who's a key member of the Stratix Solution Architect team and an all around great guy. Mario and I are going to talk about how mobile devices drive flexibility, agility, and ultimately higher productivity. So high, Mario, how are you? Thanks for joining me today. He, Gina, thank you very much for inviting me to this podcast.
Of course, let's start by having you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and also give them some insight into the role of a solution architect. Yeah. Thank you very much. I'm really excited to discuss how a mobility practice can counteract the effects of the great resignation. And first and foremost for my team, we really bring two things to the table. One is a high degree of empathy. We see. We feel we interpret
events from our customers perspective and that allows us to do the second thing that we do very well, which is we fully consider the complexities of a problem. We simplify them. We're able to communicate them to different levels of the organization and then develop a solution with a very high degree. Of confidence.
I've certainly seen that in action. So our topic today, the great resignation, you know this means many things to many people tell me in your words what this means to you. Yeah, I'm glad that you asked that. The great resignation really is. For me, it's professionals have been striving to achieve this work life balance for very long time, long before Tim Ferris enticed us with ideas like the four hour work week. But the shutdowns of COVID had a tipping effect, and workers at all levels are starting to reevaluate their priorities in favor of life. The result, as we view it today, really is
that great resignation, and it's forcing employers to change the way. That they engage with their candidates as well as how they're handling employee retention. So that to me is the great resignation. I agree with you and let's dig into this just a little bit because there's a lot of analysis around why people are actually leaving their jobs. Right? And while it might not be the number one reason, I think technology plays a part here. So can you explain how technology factors into the user experience and and quite frankly, the overall job satisfaction? I absolutely can, and I apologize, but I I kind of talk in stories a little bit. So,
if you'll indulge me here, have you ever seen the Discovery series alone? I have not, but I have heard of it. Fascinating concept. It's a fascinating thing. Yeah, it is. It's fascinating concept and what it is. I'll give you the short version of it. Essentially, what they do is they take 10 hardened survivalists and these men and women are able to select their gear. Then they drop them several miles
apart from one another into the wilderness. Last one to tap out gets half a million dollars. Now you got to remember, these are not your ordinary, average, everyday people. These folks were trained and equipped exactly for this job. And the fascinating thing about all of this is that the reason they tap out is not for lack of equipment or poor planning. Most leave because they are quite literally alone, and
men, women and women are both social creatures. And we're meant to build community. And so I think there's a great correlation to that and the enterprise or the business experience that we all face because when you're standing in front of a crowd of your customers and your colleagues and your boss's breathing over your neck. And your team is expecting you to deliver this absolute dynamite presentation.
But then your laptop is rendered catatonic because it decides now is the perfect time for an OS update. With all those eyes staring at you and you're just completely powerless to do anything to change the course of events. There's no better definition of alone than that right there.
And I think mobility has a way of counteracting that. Right. Yeah, I completely get it. I think I shared this with you in my house the terminology is I just wanna hit print, right? I don't want to reconfigure my settings. I don't wanna unplug something. I just wanna hit print. It has to be that simple. It is, and it's that frustration that we have when we've lost confidence because the technology, instead of being our advocate, has become our adversary. And that's something
that our our team is working to correct. So tell me, what does a good user experience look like? Yeah, great question. I think from our perspective that good user experience really comes down to how they're going to use those devices. It's about building in confidence. Will this
device perform the same way I practiced? Will this device be able to share and and contribute to the overall conversation? Can this device be flexible to my needs? My teams needs? And my organizations needs? And can I secure this device in such a way that my IP, my IT department and really my, our own individual assets become a growth engine for our organization and not the next thing for another organization to borrow and run with? So, I think a great end user experience is very different for each end user, but it starts with selecting the right devices for the job and then having those devices deployed in such a way that it instills that high level of confidence in the end users. So when we provide a great experience for the end user, that could provide some challenge though for the IT teams that have to support that, right? Talk to me a little bit about that. Yeah, IT teams kind of get the the brunt of a number of different bad situations. Ultimately,
IT is responsible for every piece of technology inside of an organization, but they have to teeter between this kind of balance and that balance lies between functionality and security. And so another story for you if you just consider the Pentagon, right, it's the most secure facility in the entire nation. Every single device that walks through those front doors is completely managed and controllable by the IT organization so that there's absolutely no security threat. Period. Works great in that setting. It's horrible
for the dynamics that ensue inside of an enterprise business as we're trying to ebb and flow with the customer needs and opportunities that lie in front of us. We have to remain flexible and for that we need a high degree of functionality. Well, the opposite is also not a good suggestion for it. Because if you're supremely flexible, how do you manage and control your your intellectual properties in such a way that they have and retain value? So, the happy medium between that lies inside of a strong mobility practice where you don't have to sacrifice your security. In fact most mobile devices that are available to enterprise today come with NSA approved security measures, but you also have a high degree of flexibility and confidence that comes from the fact that most users are in fact familiar with these devices long before they ever stepped foot in your organization. I think you're right. And you know, we've been talking a lot about the proliferation
of mobile and in this conversation, we're specifically talking about the great resignation. I heard you say earlier that devices are are our advocate and not our adversary. So let's dig a little bit more into how actually mobile devices can help with that. Sure. Absolutely. So one of the big problems that we try to overcome is like what's the general pattern line? No plan survives the first shot fired. We tend to come up with
a great strategy overall. And I say we, I'm speaking on behalf of IT teams and technology decision makers in general. We come up with a great plan. We're going to use this device to perform these functions for these people. Great. But what happens when that all fails? What happens when the applications don't turn on or the internet is spotty? Or a device gets run over by a bus? Then what? And this is where a certain level of redundancy and accountability has to be built into the system, and so things like a mobile device already has that built in. A mobile device, is intended to be highly mobile, meaning it is going to be connected sometimes and other times you're gonna have terrible hotel Wi-Fi like I'm experiencing right now. And sometimes you're gonna have no connectivity
at all. But as they say in show business, the show must go on. And so having a mobile device that was first and foremost designed to make the user productive regardless of the situation. I think that tends to be extremely helpful to the end user. Another piece of that is
just the the high level of usability. And you can call it user friendliness or even I like the term confidence user confidence that comes with mobility devices because people are used to using their iPad or iPhone, their Samsung devices, because they're already used to that. There's a degree of familiarity that they can take advantage of, especially when the things you count on like cell service just aren't there. Yeah. So you're hitting on, you know, kind of my next thought here too. It's not just about the devices, right, but it's about the connectivity, the applications, those are important too. That's right and a good mobility consultant, trusted advisor these things into account and it's a big part of our standard practice is that yes, absolutely we can help on the front end and that is deciding what is the right device for these different use cases and all the different flexibilities within the organization, but also what are the applications that are gonna be necessary, what are the systems that need to be connected and really thoughtfully progressing through the different possibilities as they exist within an organization.
Then there's that next step, which is actually deploying the thing. So there's one thing to dream it all up. It's another to actually put it into practice, and a big part of deployment isn't just the provisioning, the kitting, the delivering of those devices. I mean, if you don't train people how to use these things, they're never going to figure it out. Some will figure it out on their own. I should take that back. But most will become incredibly
frustrated. And that lack of communication becomes a big problem. And then later, you know, as the use and feel, they learn for how they've been used. It's important to take that information back to those key decision makers and say, hey, here's some additional ways, opportunities that we might be able to advance the business. But communication is key in all three of those areas.
I agree with that. So what's what's one of the biggest frustrations around applications and the adoption of those applications that you've seen? Yeah, great. Great question. And I'll tell you the biggest frustration really is that the overall adoption and I think lack of or missing people's expectations, which typically comes from a lack of communication or just missing the mark on communication, tends to lend itself towards increasing frustration.
If we can spend time understanding what the real problems are from those that are actually having the problems, and then solve the problem for them, not just those that are making the decisions. Educate them on how we're solving that problem. This becomes their problem to solve. They understand it. They're vested in this. The adoption goes right along with it because
they are already deeply invested in the solution and understand that we're not just, you know, we're not just the bigger, smarter guys that are outside thinking this whole thing up. It's really what we're doing is we're facilitating the ideas that they already had in their head, the solutions that perhaps they've been thinking about, didn't know how to put together. And we're really building a solution that is custom tailored to their needs. So we've talked about the device and we've talked about the application, but none of that really means anything if the user is not trained on that solution. Right? So let's talk about the importance of training people on the new technology before they actually have to use it.
Yeah, that's this is a really good point and I think we could do a whole other podcast on training, but what ends up happening here, at least in my experience, is that decision makers tend to misunderstand the role of IT. Because IT is ultimately responsible for each individual device, they tend to get saddled with things that are way outside of their professional comfort zone. So while it is great at understanding, interpreting current security policies and seeing how that plays out in the organization today, what they are not strong in is training. What they're not strong in is enablement that tends to require a certain degree of professional development experience, even adult education experience.
Those kinds of things where you can really get in, understand a person from their whole being, not just the position or the function that they're trying to perform and get them that training. If training goes well, adoption goes well. If training goes poorly, I've seen entire device rollouts become jeopardized and the investments for those rollouts become a point of let's just call it massive political contention. Whereas you know and especially in certain industries like education, where you've got folks with tenure that have been successful for many years, educating students of all ages. You walk in with a shiny flashy device that they didn't know about. They didn't have a say in they didn't have, they weren't able to give their their recommendations for training and then therefore weren't able to receive what they needed in order to be successful with that device. I mean it is, that's the very recipe for a disaster. The opposite of that is also true if you communicate well, set the expectations and deliver trainings that are relevant to those individual users.
You'll have advocates all over that organization. Hmm. I completely agree with that. So Mario as where kind of rounding out our conversation
here. Let's talk about upgrades a little bit. Can you give me your thoughts on how an enterprise should approach upgrading their technology to have a successful deployment? Yeah, there's there's a couple of things to really kind of consider here. Gone are the days where I think bring your own device was a significant push. I'm seeing more and more adoption of companies taking on corporate liable devices or basically that means the company owns the device and therefore sets up the device on behalf of their users. And the reason behind that is again they can provide the experience for their users that they're really looking for and they can kind of master that piece but when they're when we're talking about that, we also have to consider the reality that their, actually I shared in a Wall Street Journal article with you just a couple of days ago where there's a growing distrust of end users towards their IT organizations. Because I
feel like they're spying on them all the time. Well, with a strong mobility policy and a strong mobility practice, you can kind of counteract that. Since most consumer devices like that are being used inside of the enterprise space were designed for consumers first. Apple, Samsung, a lot of these guys that are designing these for consumer experience first. They put those consumer protections on the device. That data is secure from a consumer perspective on those devices, and the end users have come to know and trust those devices and those organizations with their own personal data on their device.
That tends to lend itself very well towards that IT experience. And so as companies start to take on those corporate liable devices more and more by selecting devices that are already familiar to their end users and utilizing strong current EMM and MDM practices, they can not only protect those devices but also help their end users, their employees, feel confident that yes, the data secure but no my IT can't watch me selecting pictures on Instagram and so on. So. Now, that's great insight. Yeah, really good conversation. Thank you for your insight and your input. So if you've listened to our podcast before, you know we're coming to the rapid fire question section of our discussion. So I'm gonna start by asking you, what's your
favorite pizza topping? So true to my video game analog, I do like mushrooms. There you go. OK. Winter or summer, which is your favorite? Ohh, summer all day. I'm from San Diego so I do love the sunshine, sand and palm trees
so summer it is. I I think I'm waiting here 70 degrees and I'm freezing, right? Yeah. Final question. So would you rather go to space or to the bottom of the ocean? Umm, I would choose space. I went to school for aerospace engineering and that was so, yes, I I would love to visit space sometime.
I would too. So maybe we can get our tickets there soon. Mario, great to have you on the podcast today. Really great insight. Thank you for sharing with us your expertise and I really appreciate you joining me today. Thank you very much, Gina. This is a lot of fun.
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