Productivity and performance tracking have been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote and hybrid work. Now, as pandemic restrictions recede and more traditional work habits reemerge, it’s inevitable some organizations will want to extend tracking beyond the company PC to mobile devices.

That means IT could soon be involved in selecting, implementing, and supporting productivity and performance monitoring solutions that keep tabs on workers wherever they are — even if they’re not sitting in front of a computer.

Some collaboration suites offer built-in tracking already — it’s used holistically to identify communication roadblocks, ensure teams work together, find technical or administrative impediments to collaboration, even to help  workers understand their own personal productivity and improve it. These kinds of tools track usage across devices and platforms, focusing on interaction with a suite of services instead of an individual PC or device.

For more direct monitoring, software is installed on individual PCs to track basic metrics (sometimes without employee knowledge). These tools track how often a user is physically interacting with a PC, the websites and resources they access — and can even be used to take snapshots from the webcam.

Companies that have invested in these tools in the last few years, and who may want to expand tracking to mobile devices, will have several decisions to make before moving forward with their plans.

One big issue looms. While both iOS and Android are designed for enterprise management, they aren’t designed to offer the same open nature as PCs when it comes to app capability. This is particularly true for managed apps installed by IT (or by the user from an enterprise app catalog) as both Apple and Google have established clear lines between business apps/use and personal apps/data/use.

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