Market intelligence firm IDC (News - Alert) says that, globally, mobile workers will reach 1.3 billion by 2015. The U.S. and Canada take up a good portion of that number, clocking in at 153 million. To the businesses that hire these on-the-go employees, making the most out of mobile collaboration is a key factor to ensuring productivity success.
We are on the cusp of a BYOD era, one where work life is slowly intermingling with personal life. Today’s dynamic mobile ecosystem spoils the average user with an overabundance of choices. They pick mobile devices and conveniently use them to access corporate and personal emails, applications and documents. Of course, with the proliferation of smart devices comes the proliferation of app use. What this means for the BYOD movement is not just device management, but overall security management to protect sensitive information and networks. This also means businesses have to make sure that work is getting done and that collaboration is not only easy, but being used for the right reasons and the right way.
Collaboration is at the heart of every company. The result is that there is a growing demand for tools that will support this evolving workplace. Businesses need to understand the impact of mobile technologies on the company level and how organizations will have to adapt and operate in an environment where users, employees, customers and partners are bringing their own mobile devices into the workplace.
According to CIO, making it easy for collaborative efforts is crucial, in addition to embracing the technologies that allow it to happen, like video chat and conferencing. Virtual meeting rooms mean collaboration can happen as it is needed, perhaps spontaneously, so having the technology present on mobile devices means it can happen anytime, anywhere.
Harnessing the cloud also means project management can connect geographically dispersed staff, as having information in a central location offers the ability to access necessary data for efficiency, without having to install software and keeping track of licenses.
Above all, make sure staffers are trained in the proper use of collaborative tools so that there are no informational gaps or misunderstandings. Without knowing how or why these tools can work for good, it becomes a rather moot point. Establishing guidelines and the inner-workings of collaboration tools helps a team, no matter where they are, stay on the literal and digital same page.
It behooves organizations to develop a strategy that will offer employees capable devices, apps, and services, and allow information to flow freely so that employees can easily access it. Providing the ability and flexibility to adapt to individual needs produces good long-term results, and it can be done if a company focuses on the bigger picture and not just the gadgets that make up the landscape.
Mobile device management can help when it comes to mobile collaboration. Companies like MobileIron offer mobile enterprise management software that manage apps, content and devices all in one. MobileIron’s mobility management solutions offers cross-platform management capabilities for IT as well as a Web experience for the end-user.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson