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Embrace the mobile workforce – Anyone, anyplace, any device, any time

By Thomas Schneck • 15 Feb 2018

In the very popular Mobile is Eating the World presentation, the folks at Andreessen Horowitz note that the future comes looking like something you can't use for real work – it often looks like a toy for rich people. But the toy gets better, the toy scales, the toy reaches consumers, and ultimately it enters the workplace and work changes.

That's what has happened with mobile. Mobile is not a subset of the internet anymore. It is the internet. We have entered into a new age of computing and a new ecosystem. We moved from an era in which the “edges” were defined by the latest phone to one in which the platform is ubiquitous and the “edges” – the winners – will be defined by what you can build upon a mobile platform.

Mobile is not just the new standard medium for customer interactions, but also the new standard for user experiences. Amazon, Uber, Apple, Spotify and others have fundamentally changed expectations of how to engage. The modern digital citizen expects a fast, effortless interaction.

Mobile is also the new standard for how employees expect to interact with the organizations for whom they work. For far too many knowledge workers, that activity is substandard compared to what they experience in their everyday lives as consumers. For many, “work” computing is somewhat akin to a visit to a computer museum.

Simple and transparent consumer-grade knowledge worker tools designed for mobile workers and devices really ought to be table stakes at this point for most content solutions. However, AIIM data (What Underpins the ECM Name Game?, published in fall 2017) suggests that this isn’t the norm.  

  • 53% of organizations say their existing ECM/RM/IM solution “fails” or “struggles to meet” their need for “mobile device access.”
  • 45% respond with similar levels of frustration with regards to “usability and intuitive design.”

The agile, digital business thrives with the inherent flexibility of mobile workers, and embraces the anytime, anywhere, any-device model of productivity. “Work” now happens outside the walls and limitations of a traditional office. Consumer-grade technology experiences in the workplace are key to what industry analyst Jacob Morgan calls the “learning worker.”

“A learning worker is far more valuable to an organization because he or she can adapt with a changing workplace environment. While having specific skills about certain industries or technologies may have worked hundreds or even tens of years ago, these days technology is changing at too rapid a pace to be pigeon-holed by only knowing how to use certain programs or systems.”

Snap a picture of a document and kick off a new process based on automatically indexed data. Route documents for approval, provide additional information or simply perform an ad-hoc search. Approve queries and make informed decisions at the point of need. And do it all on whatever device you want, and wherever and whenever you want.

If you can’t do this with your existing content management system, it’s time to try something new.

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Topics: Mobility, Team Productivity