Today, I responded to an email on my iPhone, updated a document on my iPad, and now I’m drafting this blog post from my laptop. It has me thinking, what is everyone else doing on each of their devices?

Some business activities that are done seamlessly from a laptop can be painfully complex from a smartphone. Other activities have a consistent ease-of-use across any device. For example, most workers today wouldn’t think too much about the process of reading and sending emails, no matter what device they are working from at the time. In fact, in a recent report, Forrester reveals that 90 percent of workers use computers for email, 66 percent of workers use tablets for email and 77 percent use smartphones for email. The high percentage across devices demonstrates how convenient and accessible email has become, regardless of whether it is being accessed on smartphones, tablets or computers.

Other functions, however, aren’t always second nature for all devices. In the same report, Forrester shares that 79 percent of workers use their laptops for word processing, followed by 40 percent using tablets, while only 18 percent of workers would use their smartphones for word processing. It makes sense, when you think about it – how often do you create documents from your smartphone? This points to the need for applications that are accessible, consistent and easy to use across platforms and devices so that workers can truly work anywhere, from any device

As much as the IT industry has touted enabling “anytime, anywhere” employees over the past few years, working on the go has been limited by the inability to perform ALL business functions from any device. Certainly, people will always have their personal preferences, but the truly mobile worker will be able to do virtually any business function from whichever device they choose, whether it is emailing or creating and editing documents.

All of this means that today’s enterprise software and applications need to be designed with the multi-device worker in mind. Word processing may be mostly conducted on computers today, but as we are increasingly experiencing the rise of the mobile workforce we’ll likely see a shift in the way enterprise employees are working from their devices. As this device shift continues to shape the way we work, we need to consider how our business applications need to change to meet the demands of the any-device workforce.

How many devices do your employees work from, and do you know which business functions they prefer to conduct on which devices?

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Three Things You Need to Know about Mobility

by Sam Morris on June 27, 2014

Are you providing your employees with “the last mile” to complete mobile productivity?

Last week, I had the pleasure of co-presenting an InformationWeek webinar with my colleague, Allen McCurdy, where we addressed that very question and explored the challenges and solutions for enabling productivity on mobile.

Now more than ever before, employees have at their disposal a wide range of devices, apps and services that allow them to work anytime, anywhere. But even with this unprecedented mobility, a good data plan and the latest smartphone are not enough to make your employees productive.

For the mobile worker, the last mile to true mobile productivity needs to include:

  • Secure access to enterprise applications.
  • Secure file sync-and-share capabilities.
  • The ability to print. I realize we’re talking about mobile, but according to many sources this capability is the most commonly requested PC-like feature for mobile users, and many IT departments have underestimated the demand for it.

With this in mind, during the webinar I presented three points for participants to consider when developing mobile policies and strategies for their workforce:

  1. End users hold the trump card. If IT doesn’t provide the right productivity tools, users will resort to resources outside of the enterprise to find the applications and tools they need to get their jobs done. A great example of this duct-tape approach is the proliferation of Dropbox in the enterprise for file sync-and-share. There’s no doubt that Dropbox is easy to use, but this convenience can also leave your enterprise vulnerable.
  2.  “Dropbox-like” alone isn’t good enough. In addition to being easy, what also makes Dropbox appealing for mobile workers is the ubiquitous access it provides to files across devices and users, both within and outside of the company. However, in the business setting file sync-and-share solutions need to offer more in the way of managing risks. This includes control and management of sensitive files, and ensuring network-based files stay on file servers and don’t get copied to the cloud.
  3. Mobile printing doesn’t have to mean buying a bunch of new printers. Can you imagine being able to print from your tablet or smartphone to that old workhorse HP LaserJet 4000 that you’ve had in the office for the last 15 years? Solutions like Novell iPrint allow IT to enable mobile printing with existing printers and infrastructure. For IT, this means no print jobs in the cloud and the ability to manage mobile and desktop printing in one place.

With the right technology partner, it is possible to maximize mobile productivity and minimize risks, all while working within your existing infrastructure.

For more detailed commentary on the topics in this blog post, please check out the archived webinar:  http://bit.ly/1novwAr.

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Behind the Scenes: What Process-Based Integration Can Do for You

May 17, 2014

What does it mean to integrate business processes? Process-based integration merges applications, services, and user operations such that all can respond to ongoing business needs. Think of it as defining how various tools and business activities interact with one another. The result is an efficient, adaptable workplace dynamic that keeps organizations competitive. If that’s still […]

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Why Integrate Data at the Application Level Rather than the Storage Level

May 1, 2014

The prospect of improving critical business systems is bound to elicit questions from every corner of the corporate value chain. One of those questions will be whether to integrate data at the application level or the storage level; thankfully, it’s a question with a clear, unequivocal answer. Due to significant risk and expense, functionality problems, […]

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Four Characteristics of the Productive Mobile Employee

April 24, 2014

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 […]

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Making IT Lemonade – Out of Lemons

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 […]

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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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