Mobile means business. During the past decade, mobile devices have become ever-present in our lives, performing a range of activities that were formerly limited to desktop and laptop computers. Now, mobility is an essential tool for startups and small businesses to empower workers and connect with customers.
As mobile computing becomes the expected standard for work and life worldwide, the cloud offers a way to increase productivity, security, and access to information to mobile workers (plus partners and customers) working anywhere, anytime, on any device.
What Does Cloud Mobile Productivity Mean for Your Business?
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
Businesses are taking advantage of this trend is by letting employees work from anywhere or “bring your own device” (BYOD) as ways to accommodate different work styles and save costs. BYOD relieves businesses from tracking and maintaining aging company-owned workstation and laptop computers, but it comes with a downside. When every employee is using a different device, the business is challenged to ensure security, manageability, and consistency for work-related data and software. By providing productivity tools and secure, shared storage through the cloud, you can ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to work, even if they’re using different devices. Your team will become more productive and satisfied with their jobs, and your business will gain higher-quality work as a result.
Use the Tools You Know
Do your employers prefer Windows devices, iOS, or Android? Cloud-based and mobile versions of popular business software suites are available now across all mobile platforms. Enable your staff to use the skills and practices they already know to create content and analyze data.
Build Business Anywhere
Mobile tools let your sales force close deals, including getting a contract signed, all while at the customer’s office or while picking their kids up from school. Anywhere they go, your business tools can go with them.
Considerations Before Moving Your Business to The Cloud
To best realize these benefits for your business, ask the following questions.
How much are your aging computers costing you?
Among small businesses, the average cost to repair a four-year-old PC is $531 per year, according to Techaisle’s 2014 Small Business PC Cost Study. Consider migrating to cloud-based productivity solutions as you refresh older PCs with new multifunction tablets and mobile devices.
How easy is it to manage mobile device apps and security?
Users need to access apps on their devices, but those apps and devices need to be managed and kept up-to-date. Does your solution provide a way for users to self-install approved apps and remotely lock and/or wipe corporate data from devices that get lost or compromised?
Are your employees giving away valuable business information without realizing it?
Some free cloud-based productivity tools and consumer applications make money by tracking how it gets used or by advertising to anyone who installs one. “Free” services often come with other information security risks, too. Evaluate all the hidden costs as you look at the value of a straightforward license agreement.
Can your people securely and simply access corporate data on personal devices?
It’s likely that business users have two or more devices to do their work. Does your mobile business solution make it easy for them to sync data from work folders to authorized devices? Do you have a way to manage content security on files, even outside the firewall? Can they log on securely without multiple passwords and credentials?
As businesses develop ways to extend access to data and content to consumers, partners, and employees, think mobile first, cloud first. And remember, when considering cloud-based productivity solutions for mobile workers, look for business-class performance: comprehensive capabilities, familiar and consistent user experience, business-class security, and a trustworthy cloud provider.
Sources: Microsoft’s eBook The Cloud for Productivity and Mobility for Small Businesses, Partnership with Microsoft Corporation, Techaisle’s 2014 Small Business PC Cost Study