In today’s tech-heavy business landscape, collaboration needs to be as simple and easy outside the office walls as it is inside. Adoption of smart devices is at an all-time high—and climbing—which is why the expectations of mobility’s user experience and accessibility in the workforce are greater than ever before. Are organizations measuring up to these great expectations?
A Harmon.ie report, The State of Mobile Enterprise Collaboration 2014: From Personal Productivity Toward the Connected Enterprise on the Go, found that mobile workers and telecommuters are still struggling to access important job related data and information spread across various services and applications. Their conclusion? Businesses need to take collaboration to the next level in order to derive maximum value out of all that mobility has to offer.
Importance of Mobile Collaboration for Businesses
Cognizant’s Senior Analyst for Digital Transformation and Mobility Kevin Benedict, commenting on the Harmon.ie report, said that businesses face some of the biggest enterprise challenges because they don’t understand “the competitive importance of mobile and collaboration platforms, and how strategic these technologies are to their future success.” With that in mind, IT and businesses need to improve their expertise when it comes to using collaboration platforms and enterprise mobility solutions to transform their companies strategically. But why is mobile collaboration such a critical factor for business success? Here are some reasons why mobile collaboration works so well.
Employee satisfaction. Studies show nearly 29 percent of telecommuters work from home part-time, 20 percent of telecommuters across the globe work full-time, and 40 percent of U.S employees use their personally owned devices at work. These statistics clearly indicate that employees are willing to work in a mobile-centric environment. By embracing mobile collaboration, businesses allow their employees to work and collaborate how they want and from where they want, leading to increased work-place satisfaction and reduced work related stress. This also encourages employees to be self-motivated and at the same time, maintain a better work-life balance.
Team-building. Collaboration not only makes for a happier organization, but it fosters a sense of bonding among colleagues and remote team members. This is increasingly becoming an important factor as “coffee breaks” and “water cooler chatter” are being replaced by a workforce scattered across country, if not the globe. Also, with a remote workforce, managers can’t just pull employees into a conference room for an impromptu meeting. Technologies like unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) become that much more important because they enable businesses to improve productivity, and leverage the collaborative benefits of various tools and applications, supporting successful remote operations.
Better communication. Mobile videoconferencing allows businesses to benefit in a number of ways from high-definition video communication, through devices their employees already own and use regularly. For instance, being able to interact with their teams face-to-face even when they are located thousands of miles away is a huge advantage to managers and business leaders. Videoconferencing is also an extremely useful tool in training new employees and team members, without the added time and expense of traveling.
Improved performance. Mobile devices enable users to access existing collaboration platforms like email, instant messaging, and even web conferencing, from anywhere, anytime. Employees who use mobile devices for work purposes tend to remain more informed and “in the loop” than those who don’t. With help of mobile videoconferencing solutions, employees won’t miss important meetings, and can communicate with clients even on-the-fly—a vital capability in today’s increasingly global and virtual business environment.
Advanced collaboration features. Business collaboration is much more than just accessing desktop tools. The latest mobile devices offer unique features that enable users to work in ways that were unimaginable in the past. For instance, people can share ideas and concepts through drawing and sketching on their mobile devices easily using whiteboard apps. What’s more, the interactive touch interfaces of smartphones and tablets make data manipulation and analytics even more engaging.
Winning at Mobile Collaboration
At the grassroots level, businesses that fail to grasp the cumulative impact of mobile, BYOD (bring your own device), and the “IT consumerization” on their workforce, will fail to reap the true benefits of mobile collaboration.
In order to harness the productivity benefits of today’s mobile-centric workforce, enterprises should make sure to provide business related content in the most accessible and familiar formats. Otherwise, many features and functionalities will go unused. Businesses must tap into these features to utilize mobile in the best way possible. IT should also incorporate cross-device common app frameworks that support various operating systems, in order to derive maximum benefits from BYOD initiatives.
Lastly, to make mobile collaboration truly successful, it’s crucial to achieve the proper integration between new devices and existing systems, tools, and software. Breakdown silos and create a seamless environment that supports more effective real-time communication, better collaboration, and more productive meetings. Consumer applications can be an inspiring source for businesses to capitalize on all the new features mobile devices offer, and fully embracing what a mobile enabled workforce can bring to the table will help organizations stay lock-step in line with their competitors.
At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.