New technologies seem to go one of two ways. They either prove to be global phenomenon’s that people just can’t wait to get their hands on, camping outside retailers in the freezing cold for anything up to a week before the actual release date to make sure they’re one of the first to get their hands on the devices; or they turn out to be nothing more than a fad that sees a lot of interest in the early days before dying off like the leaves on a tree in autumn with nobody mentioning it again.
The cloud is one form of technology that has been developed, and is continuing to flourish. There are several different forms of ‘cloud’ that allow users to save, access and edit their files and systems from anywhere in the world, provided that they have access to the Internet on their computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone and businesses in particular have been able to reap the numerous benefits such as access to presentations saved on their office PC from home and enterprise mobile solutions that mean people can stay in touch with the project managers back at base, while they’re out working on site.
Companies are no longer confined to the four walls of their premises, opening for business at 9am and closing the doors at 5, and they’re now falling behind their competition and missing out on great opportunities if they don’t utilize the latest technologies and innovations that allow them to work from mobile locations. Downtime is one of the biggest problems affecting companies in any industry. When you have numerous members of staff away from the office travelling to meetings they’re obviously unable to do their work in the office, meaning tasks are sitting there incomplete. However, mobile business is changing all of that meaning decreased downtime and increased productivity with employees able to keep working – and in regular contact with their project managers – while they’re sat on the train or in a motorway service station.
There are a lot of systems used in business across all areas of the company from task management for all employees to specific software for the payroll and HR departments. The key is to make sure that the processes you have in place are flexible and easy-to-use. This means that whichever system you choose needs to suit every employee, making their life easier so that they can be more efficient and, importantly, stress-free. It also means ensuring that the system works on your chosen mobile devices. If your firm is handing out tablets to employees, you need to ensure that the software is compatible with that particular operating system otherwise it could become a real pain. A happy employee is likely to be far more productive, enjoying going into their place of work so make sure that any updates to the system are still as user-friendly to avoid any unnecessary downtime (there’s that dreaded word again), that comes when staff have to re-learn how to use the system.
The more people who work outside the office, either on site or while on the move, the more emphasis there is placed upon the necessity for easy-to-access information. For example, you might be running a construction agency from your head office in the UK, somewhere in London. With the nature of your profession, you’re going to have people working all over the country on the various tasks you’ve been employed to do, such as an office build in Manchester. As such the people working on that particular project are going to want quick and easy access to the brief for the job as well as any other relevant information. Rather than having to down tools and try and get in touch with the project manager back at the head office, they could easily head onto the enterprise software from the site where they can find everything they need, reporting back with progress and allowing for complete real-time visibility for all relevant parties – and all thanks to the cloud.
Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason