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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mobility can fuel collaboration - with the right tools

Encouraging greater collaboration between coworkers is a great strategy for boosting productivity and inspiring creativity.

Category:   Enterprise Mobility

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Encouraging greater collaboration between coworkers is a great strategy for boosting productivity and inspiring creativity. One of the benefits of the growing use of mobile devices in the workplace is the opportunity for more workers to be in touch with each other from anywhere, even while traveling or working from home. Mobility in the corporate environment can make it easier for employees to access the resources they need and chime in on projects they're contributing to.

Mobile collaboration requires the right resources
CMSWire explained how mobile technology offers greater opportunities for collaboration, even spanning time zones and geographical distances. However, to take advantage of the benefits of cooperative engagement, businesses can't just put devices in the hands of their workers or invite them to bring their own gadgets to work. They need to consider mobile workflows in their network infrastructure and company software. And these tools need to be implemented well in order for employees to actually use them.

Corporations need solutions, such as Wide Area File Services, that allow workers to tap into enterprise resources without removing information from the company's secure environment or introducing complicated processes into employees' workflows. Commonly, workers might be inclined to email documents to themselves if they want to access them remotely, or they might turn to consumer-grade products like Dropbox to share projects with group members. These solutions aren't ideal, however, because they take documents outside of the company's control, making it almost impossible for IT teams to oversee security and keep data safe. Email collaboration can also impede real-time access to the most up-to-date information.

Instead, enterprises need secure file sharing services that make using mobile devices for business purposes a seamless part of overall company activities. Workers should be able to follow the same processes on their smartphones and tablets as they do on their corporate PCs, and documents should remain within the protective walls of the company's security system.

Planning mobile tools
To design a robust mobile strategy, business leaders should start by thinking of their employees' workflows and habits, CMSWire recommended. For example, do workers travel often and need access to company documents on the road? Do they edit documents on the subway during their commutes? Do teammates share spreadsheets that need to be regularly updated? Do they need to be able to send short messages to their colleagues?

These questions can help managers identify the types of programs workers will need in order to work efficiently and effectively from their mobile devices.