Mobile Collaboration Will Drive Innovation in your Workplace.
Mobile collaboration can change the way a business works, it provides increased flexibility, productivity and responsiveness by improving access to existing desktop tools. Mobile collaboration introduces a range of capabilities that enable employees to interact, share, work on a common task, review, blog, comment and engage with customers on multiple devices through instant messaging, screen sharing, web and video conferencing and shared workspaces.
One of the best things about mobile collaboration is that it can be used at any time and at any location using smart devices such as tablets and smartphones. Features such as video conferencing allows employees to participate in meetings irrespective of time and location, providing quick responses on decisions and improved efficiency. Gartner predicts that, by 2016, most collaboration applications will be equally available on desktops, mobile phones, tablets and browsers.
Collaboration can be broken up into six categories:
- Real-time continuum: Voice, IM, SMS, Web/ Video conferencing.
- Content commons: Blogs, wikis, Q&A, file shares, workspaces.
- Activity updates: Status updates, presence, activity streams, microblogging.
- Email: Email, calendar, contacts.
- Profile and Identity: Social nets, HR systems, applications, directories.
- Social feedback: Follow, vote, share/suggest, like, comment.
Mobile applications have transformed the Internet from a Web-centric to an app-centric model, applications are made to be simple to discover, user friendly and affordable, although, purchasing multiple apps and storage can result in additional business costs, and certain apps are only available for specific devices.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative is being quickly adopted throughout companies. The days of doing everything on a work-issued laptop or desktop are coming to an end as employees can now bring their own smartphones and tablets to work to access emails and calendars as well as applications. The new generation of smartphones and tablets have larger screens, better network connectivity, enhanced cameras and video support.
File synchronization can be used for sharing documents with people in your team, allowing you to collaboratively work on it and then share it with suppliers, partners or customers. Employees can move files such as documents, audio, pictures and videos across multiple mobile devices, PCs, network drives and other storage clients, this can however cause issues as it allows confidential information to be very easily moved into the public cloud, meaning private data can be accessed.
These features enable employees to work outside of the office, allowing them to keep up with their tasks while traveling, coordinate with colleagues in other time zones and deal with prominent customer issues outside of office hours. Providing staff with mobile access to business data can boost productivity and employee morale however it is important for businesses to make sure the content is accessed through secure locations and devices so data remains protected.