Companies of all sizes are facing the demand of two popular employee trends – the want to use personal devices at work and the desire to work remotely. These trends are prompting many employers to implement mobility features that will embrace data across any and every device within their organizations. While mobility is a game changer regarding real-time collaboration and productivity for companies of all sizes, SMBs are at a disadvantage with budget limitations and often limited to no on-site IT departments.
The following figures pulled from SMB Group’s 2014 SMB Routes to Market Study reflect SMB business owners’ opinions on this topic: • 67 percent of small and 81 percent of medium business owners say that technology solutions help them run their businesses better or that technology solutions help them significantly improve business outcomes • 41 percent of small business owners indicate that mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are top technologies required to run their businesses After interviewing six SMB owners based in Europe, the demand was clear. SMBs need these new technologies in order to grow their businesses and improve their processes. Unfortunately, their movement towards implementing a mobile strategy falls short due to limited budgets, lack of resources and little time to plan. The hurdles they face can be avoided with a little forward thinking. If you keep the following three problem areas in mind, you’ll be on your way to a successful mobility project.
1. Limited Budgets
SMBs are particularly susceptible here due to two key factors – budgets and priorities. As capital investments shift to operating expenses and managers fluctuate priorities, these factors become difficult for SMBs to control. A mobility solution can deliver real bottom-line returns on investment, but you need to take the time to fully understand the up-front and ongoing costs before launching the project. Look at it as a way to improve the productivity of your mobile employees so they can do more in less time.
2. Lack of IT and Infrastructure Resources
When dealing with mobility, there are technical aspects that need to be addressed. If you don't have the in-house know-how, figure out whom you can enlist to help. The most likely contenders are IT channel partners, or mobility specialists, and the vendors themselves. The duo typically offers trial downloads, assessments and regular mobility workshops. Take into account that it’s in their best interests to make your project successful in this fast growing mobility market since there’s nothing better than a happy customer willing to give them a reference!
3. Lack of Planning
IT projects that don't have clear goals are doomed to fail, and mobility is no exception. Planning is key. Not just in meeting ultimate goals, but also in minimizing headaches during implementation. The companies I interviewed all shared the same sentiment. They were looking to increase employee productivity, collaboration, customer satisfaction and ultimately revenues.
So, the questions to be considered here are: a. How can you provide a secure method to enable anytime, anywhere access to content from your employees’ desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets while also enabling real-time collaboration (order processing, project management, sharing of files and documents, etc.) on company-confidential documents? b. How can you deliver a secure solution that allows your employees to share content with selected external constituents across their desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones? c. Can you offer a viable alternative for users to access, sync and share their content over insecure and unauthorized cloud services such as Dropbox? Security, management, control, compliance and visibility are all key components to a successful SMB mobile strategy. Many organizations are taking advantage of new access, sync and share solutions to significantly improve collaboration and end-user productivity while maintaining complete control and content security compliance.
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 1,800 employees in 45 locations. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.