At this point, most of us are mobile. Seventy-four percent of us work out of the office at least occasionally, according to one source, but that doesn’t mean we’re all productive. Some mobile employees are very productive. Others are just absent. Here are four characteristics that productive mobile employees have in common.

1. They update their status—almost obsessively

While France is talking about banning work emails after hours, the fact is that we’re always connected. In one survey, 64% of employees say they check email at least once a day outside of regular work hours while 12% of those said they check work email in real time beyond the standard workday. This ability to be constantly connected brings with it responsibility. Coworkers and bosses can’t see what mobile workers are doing, so it’s crucial they remain open about their status and availability. As Jeff Haden at Inc.com says, “Great remote employees let others know when they won’t be available, and why… and how they can still be contacted in the event of an emergency.”

2. They use lots of different apps

Mobile employees go out and get what they need. This has created “shadow IT,” or IT projects that the IT department doesn’t know about. Shadow IT can be a big pain for IT departments. It can also make mobile employees very productive. This is why 66 percent of enterprises are discussing a corporate app store. They want to support mobile productivity in a way their IT departments can handle. Whether your organization is ready to support an app store or not, don’t expect application proliferation to slow down. The online app market is likely to be worth US$25 billion by 2015.

3. They focus on results

Mobile employees don’t get the chance to build the same kind of personal relationships other employees do. That’s one reason some organizations force employees to come in to the office. The positive side to this is that mobile employees learn to provide value very efficiently and regularly. They have to become more result-oriented. Often, they have metrics that can demonstrate the worth of their performance.

4. They’re younger… right?

It’s commonly accepted knowledge that younger workers are more likely to demand and be comfortable with mobile work. As young workers who have grown up with smart phones enter the workforce, a mobility watershed is approaching. This generation mobile will change the way we work, some say.

But the truth isn’t quite that simple. Senior management makes up a big portion of the mobile workforce.

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From Computing.co.uk

Of course senior and middle management can be young, but they’re less likely to be. So why are these older workers making up the mobile workforce? Senior employees have more flexibility. They also have plenty of cash to spend on the newest device, which in a BYOD world, makes them more likely to be mobile.

This news about all ages embracing mobility shouldn’t be surprising. After all, we started the blog talking about how we’re all mobile these days. And that means organizations need to realize that mobility is no longer an option. It’s the way the modern world works. Seek out productive mobile employees, and it can be the way your organization works too.

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Making IT Lemonade – Out of Lemons

by David Fletcher on April 16, 2014

All too often, the IT environment you’re stuck with is far from ideal. Someone before you picked one system to do one thing, and another person chose a set of applications to take care of another issue. The last guy put half your servers on Linux and half on Microsoft. And of all the things you’ve got, a good share of them don’t play well together. The system has given you a bucket of lemons. You always hear people say “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It may not be easy, but we have some recipes.

Are these the situations you’re facing?

You’ve got a little bit of everything

So you’ve got something from everywhere, and everyone that’s ever come and gone left their mark. The days of the monolithic Microsoft shop are gone, which means you and the rest of the IT staff spend huge hunks of your time just getting everything to work together.

Now it’s your job to make sense of it all. A lot of people probably tell you that you need to streamline everything and settle on one set of applications. But there’s a problem: the people before you tried to do that, too. From now on, you have to find platform-agnostic and highly interoperable solutions. Fortunately, most good modern solutions let you work with what you’ve got, even if the people before you left a mess for you to clean up.

You’ve got aging lemons

Not a lot of people still talk about mainframes anymore. But they’re still there. Although your organization might have gone through a tech upgrade or two, odds are that you’ve still got a few machines hanging around from a long, long time ago. Maybe they’re still working fairly well, and they play vital roles in keeping business operations running smoothly. Maybe you have new mainframes and are running more of your transactions on that platform. That’s not really the issue. The big problem is that the applications you use are still terminal-based ones, and your business continues to rely heavily on them. Also, your terminal interface might be hard for your users to take advantage of, or the applications may not play well with one another.

Modern technologies and solutions can help you connect your old and new resources. Even if you have a mix of old and new mainframes you want to connect with a set of modern end-user machines running Windows 8, the two pieces of technology can still work together. Even if there are decades separating the two technologies.

You’ve just got to add a little sugar

If you’re like most IT professionals, you want the very best technology. You want things to run smoothly, and to give people the mobility and flexibility they want and need. A lot of people nowadays think achieving this means you need cloud capabilities. Often, business users might be asking for cloud applications too, even if they’re doing so just because it’s the latest buzzword. But you probably have an on-premises system and no money to invest in a cloud.

This is where things start to get sweeter. You already have the underlying infrastructure you need in that bushel of lemons you inherited. All you need to do now is add sugar. Certain modern solutions allow you to provide mobile access or a complete service-oriented architecture with the commodity servers, file systems and other solutions you already have in house, which makes your old lemons taste much sweeter.

You don’t get to choose the IT infrastructure you inherit, but you can do great things with it. Maybe you’re looking for terminal emulation so your people can get access to aging mainframes from modern machines. Maybe you’re looking for something that makes your on-premises servers act like a cloud. Maybe you want mobile printing. Whatever the case, you don’t have to go out and upgrade your entire infrastructure. All you need to do is take all the lemons you’ve inherited and make some sweet, refreshing lemonade.

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The Death of Windows XP or is it All Just Evolution? (Infographic)

April 9, 2014

Is it true that all good things must end? When it comes to enterprise technology, innovation never really ends. Today’s breakthroughs are tomorrow’s obsolescence. Technology evolves. Think about the applications, platforms, and processes that powered your business over the years. Many of them are gone, but did their replacements kill them off entirely? Or did […]

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Infographic: End of Life Support for Windows XP

March 19, 2014

It’s down to the wire: On April 8, 2014, Microsoft’s support for Windows XP will be coming to an end. That means no more security patches, updates or technical support for the popular operating system (nearly 30 percent of computers are still on XP!). That also means we could see the unleashing of viruses, spyware […]

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From COBOL to Mobile: The Evolution of Terminal Emulation (Infographic)

March 18, 2014

Mainframes, COBOL, dumb terminals, thick clients… There’s enough throwback computer lingo out there to make you yell “HLLAPI!” and don a pair of platform shoes. But as old-fangled as those terms may sound, many of the technologies they reference stuck around long after Studio 54 closed its doors. In fact, several of them are still […]

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Can You Believe the Predictions? What 2014 Really Holds for Business

February 26, 2014

The arrival of 2014 means everyone’s speculating about what the next twelve months have in store. But what, specifically, might the New Year portend for business? And what about the technology sector in particular? By now, scores of tech blogs, news outlets, and industry pundits have published forecasts for 2014, and several common predictions crop […]

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How to Help Your Boss Understand the Ramifications of Application Dependency

February 12, 2014

The persistence of legacy applications is an unavoidable business reality for enterprises around the world. That being a given, you might think consensus on the ramifications of legacy apps would be easy to reach, but that isn’t always the case. And failing to reach such consensus could push your organization into dangerous territory, IT-wise. Remember, […]

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How to Explain Application Integration to Your Mother-in-Law

January 29, 2014

Ever had trouble explaining an abstract computing concept to someone completely removed from the modern corporate workplace? To non-techies, even seemingly basic subjects like application integration can elicit blank stares, bewildered squints, and shoulder shrugs of defeat. Thankfully, there are ways to break such ideas down into easy-to-digest primers. Here’s how to explain application integration […]

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Futurecast: What 2014 Holds for Application Integration

December 27, 2013
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In the past, enterprise application integration (EAI) was a strictly app-to-app affair. Businesses would devise ways to integrate whatever applications they were already using with an eye toward better efficiency among disparate business units. But EAI is changing, with a more infrastructure-based, data-centric approach emerging. What does that mean for enterprise? While it’s impossible to […]

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Why It’s OK to Continue with Windows 7 (For Now)

December 18, 2013

While many organizations scramble to prepare for the end of Windows XP support, you’re breathing easy. That’s because your team migrated to Windows 7 long ago. You tested and tweaked mission-critical applications, discussed the transition with stakeholders and users, went forward with the rollout, and called it a day. Good for you. But there’s just […]

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