Making businesses mobile
A truly mobile business gives employees “office-level” access to the tools and processes they need, anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. With mobility linked to increased staff productivity and satisfaction, businesses of all sizes are striving to become more flexible to empower employees. But what enables mobility? The cloud. A mobile workforce needs fast, easy access to business technologies, and advances in connectivity, hosted storage and XaaS mean they can have it.
Beware the cloud wash
After the initial hype around cloud died down, it became clear that many vendors were guilty of “cloud washing” products, so it’s important that small businesses can translate the jargon and identify a true benefit lead solution, which specifically empowers their business.
NIST has a conclusive definition of the essential cloud characteristics. Whether you’re looking to host a particular business process or store data remotely, you should benefit from flexibility in provision and payment models, and transparency in your usage.
Mobilise your business through the cloud
Let business lead technology. Define who amongst your employees needs mobility most, and implement a cloud strategy around the processes and systems they rely on. Those out in the field, such as sales, might want access to your CRM, for example, so they can provide quotes and take orders in real time, whilst speaking to customers.
For internal systems or external tools, it all comes down to getting the right information, to the right people, at the right time. Do this effectively and you can increase productivity and profits through a mobile workforce.
Practical ways to build mobility and cloud into the business strategy:
- Plan ahead: identify and prioritise where you will get the most value from cloud. Evaluate suppliers to ensure you don’t get cloud washed. You should also define which kind of cloud solution suits your business: private, public or hybrid.
- Disaster recovery: a key area to move to the cloud. If the worst happens, your back up is hosted off-site and your assets are safe.
- Flexible working: embrace BYOD, allow employees to work in the way they want to, but don’t ignore the security issue. Ensure data is kept secure through a resilient network, so you don’t have to monitor and manage all the devices.
- Document management: upload to the cloud, download from the cloud, print from the cloud. Enable remote employees to collaborate seamlessly to boost productivity.
When making the move to the cloud, you need to walk before you can run. By planning ahead, working out the sweet cloud spots for your business and researching suppliers, you can ensure you avoid the teething problems associated with a new deployment and take smaller, but more effective, steps to true mobility.