Article

How Mobile Collaboration Can Drive Your Business – and Four Tips for Getting It Right

by Joosung Nam

Mobile collaboration has evolved far beyond chat and email, but many enterprises still haven’t fully unlocked its power. As companies race to become more competitive using technology, the right mobile strategy has huge potential to kick your business into high gear.

Key to understanding the power of mobile collaboration: recognizing it can improve entire workflows, not just simply make individuals more efficient. We’ll get to concrete examples in a moment, but first let’s look at two broad use cases where mobile collaboration can have a big impact.

  • Capturing and adding data from the field: For workers on job sites, in retail stores, and at other remote locations, smartphones and tablets let them capture and share data instantly. Workers can share information and project updates in near real time, and do so in a way that includes all relevant stakeholders, not just individuals. This allows their team members to act quickly and keep a process moving along.
  • Real-time notifications: For business leaders and other traveling workers, receiving immediate updates when the status of a negotiation or a project changes is incredibly powerful. And having this information delivered in a collaboration tool provides the context they need to make informed decisions on the spot, meaning business keeps moving.

4 Steps to Successful Collaboration

So how do you craft a successful mobile collaboration strategy? Here are four best practices to consider when you’re looking for ways that smartphones and tablets can better serve your own company.

1) Do the work up front to ensure the mobile component will really increase efficiency. Changing a well-established process can be difficult, so make sure the solution you have in mind will really improve a process and do so without disrupting your corporate culture. A key part of this is choosing a mobile collaboration platform that’s flexible enough for your needs, and easy enough for staff of all technical abilities to use.

2) Think beyond text. Capturing images, video, and other content comes naturally to mobile users, so embrace this as part of your solution. A good collaboration solution will let users  upload and share media instantly, meaning co-workers and collaborators outside your organization can immediately visualize and act on what’s happening on the ground.

3) Clarify desired outcomes to define success ahead of time. As with any IT project, you need to assess whether you’re meeting your goals or if the process needs fine-tuning. This  can take numerous forms depending on the solution, but consider metrics like the rate of employee adoption and time-to-project completion. If it’s a sales solution, ask your reps if it’s making them more effective. Defining  these successful  outcomes ahead of time will help focus your efforts as you create the solution.

4) Ensure cross-device compatibility. Your employees carry a variety of device types, including both iOS and Android, smartphones, and tablets. Don’t limit your mobile solution by choosing an app that only works with certain  devices. Broad adoption is often key to success, so don’t limit this from the outset.

When a mobile strategy is done well, collaboration becomes frictionless. Employees can communicate easily with colleagues and customers, and roadblocks to completing tasks quickly disappear.

Smartphones and tablets have transformed our personal lives and disrupted entire industries. Mobile is now set to have an equally profound impact in the enterprise, so get in front of the trend and put mobile collaboration to work at your company.