As solutions providers, we’re used to evaluating and implementing new technologies daily. Some are straightforward, and get little attention outside our customer’s data centre. Others, though, demand a profoundly different approach.
Mobility solutions fall firmly into the latter type. Done right, the productivity and morale advantages can be considerable – but it takes solid planning and experience to reap the greatest reward.
There are some consistent approaches that we have seen pay off, time and again.
1. Involve people from a range of roles in the business. Whether via a formal process or more casual chats around the water cooler, getting insight from non-IT colleagues can give your project many real-world advantages. It also means you escape the sense of ‘us and them’ and gives you a better chance of getting user buy-in when it is needed.
2. Make it very easy for users. Even though today’s users are far more technically savvy than ever before, an unfamiliar environment will lead to lower satisfaction levels – and more calls to tech support. Fortunately, it is possible to make sure that no matter what device a user works with, they can get a look and feel just like their familiar desktop. If this is a primary consideration in initial planning, the outcome does not have to be hard or very costly to achieve.
3. Reconsider security. When your users can be anywhere, working at any time, and from many devices, the notion of the IT environment changes. Put that in the context of a fast-changing risk environment, and it becomes clear that traditional methods and strategies are unlikely to be sufficient. It is worth involving both human resources and legal advisors, to protect both your organisation and your people. There are some new considerations involved, especially where users work on their own devices. For example, if someone loses their iPhone, can you remotely destroy company data? And can you demand that users avoid high-risk apps on their own tablet? A part of our process is to prompt customers to think about such possibilities, so there are no surprises later.
4. Scrutinise cloud options. While the bigger cloud providers are mostly based overseas, it is worth considering if there is a proven, Australia-based provider that suits your needs. Local support and the avoidance of overseas data sovereignty issues are particular considerations. Your technology partner should be able to talk you through a range of options to find a good fit.
5. Prepare your network. Changing work practices can unsurprisingly cause a shift in traffic patterns. This doesn’t have to be problematic, but it is worth the time to assess whether you need to make adjustments.
6. Don’t hold back on the questions. When we work on any project, we appreciate when customers ask the tough questions. It not only helps us to get a deeper insight into their business priorities; it also makes for a more collaborative approach. Your questions help your technology partner to create a better outcome, so it really is a win-win situation.
For more about making your flexible workplace plans a success, contact the Computer Merchants experts.