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Transformation of Work: The Impact of Mobile Technology in the Workplace

Ryerson University
| in
internet of things

This report was constructed in order to offer information on innovation in the workplace. By using qualitative and quantitative methods in its review, and by compiling findings from other research studies that involved experts and key informants, this report is able to show a strategic approach of mobile technology. This study took two approaches to compile the information; third party research (academic articles, publicly available information), and primary research through interviews (industry analysts, key informants, different sectors). 





In Canada, mobile technologies are impacting the structure of the workday, our interaction with colleagues, our requisite skills, and the physical design of our work environment.

Mobile technologies involve wireless devices, network capabilities, as well as web based collaboration tools and applications. Some or all of these capacities work to transform productivity positively, resulting in clients and employees being more engaged in the company. Mobile technologies have the ability to impact the process and progress of the workday. Through interactions, designing of workplaces and spaces, any aspect surrounding the structure of the workday can be transformed.  Mobile technology has the potential to increase productivity, transform business processes, and drive the growth of new products and services.

Mobile technology is contributing to the reduction of waste when delivering services with public infrastructure. Loreto Saccuci, CEO of of Blue Rover noted a client discovered they were wasting 25% of their water via leaks in their water system. Mobile sensor technology discovered the problem, resulting in great gains in efficiency.

There have been questions surrounding privacy and security of mobile technologies in the workplace, which prevent some companies from choosing to explore how mobile technology can be beneficial. As well there are concerns surrounding cost, integration, people using their own devices with the networks calls, separating the workday from infringing on home boundaries, as well as policy and process concerns companies face when deciding whether to include mobile technologies into the work space. More research on effects shown by impacts and metrics have been requested by companies still deciding whether to make the shift to mobile.

Online security has become a greater issue since the acknowledged widespread use of government surveillance of internet communications.  A representative of mobile sensor company Blue Rover noted clients expressed concern about knowing where their data is going given that it may make their information susceptible to foreign laws.

Mobile technology has the ability to increase awareness and allow access to information, while also improving effectiveness and collaboration within the company. Organizations have reported there being significant benefits resulting from the implementation of mobile technologies. Mobile objectives, use and applications differ for different organizations yet most companies began to develop strategies without an assessment of the company's goals.

According to Transformation of Work, the top five findings are:

  • Mobile technology adoption is important and growing in Canadian organizations
  • Mobile technology is clearly impacting and transforming the Canadian work environment
  • The adoption of mobile technologies is being driven by a number of factors, but understanding and measuring the value remains elusive:
  • Obstacles remain to maximizing the value of mobile technologies in the Canadian workplace:
  • Businesses are just starting to understand and manage the opportunities in mobile technology and need help to develop management processes that drive value

Organizations that offered support for report


Ayelet Baron IDC Canada Office Interiors
blueRover Inc.  IMC Brands Applied Inc. Revera Inc. 
CBC/Radio-Canada Info Tech Scotiabank
Celestica Metrolinx Tangerine
Compass Group Canada Ontario Ministry of Transportation Toromont Industries Ltd. 
EY Canada NBI/Michael Sone Associates University of British Columbia 
Fluid Mobility  Nottinham Communications Vision Critical Communications -Inc. 
Horizon utilities Corporation Novotech Technologies Women’s College Hospital



1. Introduction                                                                                                 

3. Methodology                                                                                               

5. Current Adoption                                                                                        

7. Measuring Impact: How Mobile Technologies are Transforming Business   

9. Understanding Value: Drivers                                                                  

Strategic investment to drive productivity

Expectation of existing workforce

Senior management knowledge and support

Competitive pressures

Perceived return on investment

13. Barriers to Adoption                                                                                     

Privacy and Security

Cost of implementation

Integration with legacy systems and services

Weaknesses in infrastructure

Unclear value proposition of technology

Technology reliability Unclear and fragmented policies and procedures

17. Successful Practices                                                                                      


Enterprise level strategies for adoption


Mobile business strategy applications committee

Effective mobile device management and security

Effective mobile applications management

Work-Life integration management policies for mobile devices

Effective procurement processes for mobile technology products and services


BYOD Policies

Strong technical support systems for mobile technologies


Focus on addressing millennial workers and customer demands

25. Mobility Management                                                                                        

27. Conclusions                                                                                                              

29. References