If we consider mobility to be free movement and the ability to move and then apply this to business, we might see business mobility as the ability, or more optimistically, the freedom to work anywhere.
Imagine having no commute every morning because you’re working from home. Gaining an extra hour every morning to sleep, exercise or walk the dog. Taking the luxury to make a proper breakfast rather than a bite to eat and a coffee at the office.
Mobility changes how a business works. Workers are merging their personal and professional lives with the ability to check emails on the go (such as in the pub on a Friday night!), work from home without the difficulty of communication and even work when travelling and on holiday as if they were in the office.
But mobility isn’t about just extending the working day for as long as your phone is switched on, nor is it about making people work through their holiday abroad. It’s about creating a strong workforce without the need for them to be on your office doorstep or re-locate.
Good talent is hard to find for many industries and through mobility, new opportunities arise to hire remote full-time workers.
It’s up to the individual business to decide if mobility is the right thing for their company.
Cloud is driving mobility
Cloud is a leading factor in making business mobility possible as with the use of cloud services, there is no differentiation between an employee working at home or in the office, or at least there shouldn’t be.
Apps and tools such as remote desktop allow an employee to access everything they need on the go and away from the office. Secure cloud storage makes file access and database access easy for those working away from the office.
Mobility isn’t new in the world of business but before now, it has been more difficult to operate, communicate and run smoothly.
The cloud is developing this. There are multiple applications that can be used for instant messaging and sharing of files with colleagues as well as Internet based voice and video calling. The applications available today make it possible for co-workers to be half way around the world from each other and work together as if they were sat next to each other. Arguably, this wouldn’t be possible without cloud applications.
The ability to drop a file into a shared cloud storage application and have someone else immediately download it is not different to the way we once passed a USB Memory Stick or CD across the office.
There are of course weaknesses to relying on the cloud for mobility and for it to work perfectly, there do need to be some protocols and rules in place.
Security and Internet Failures
For businesses that rely on the Internet to use applications and get work done, then remote working can become difficult. The average home network isn’t always reliable with consistent speeds and they are known to have outages, which might take days to fix. That’s not very helpful if a project is due in two days time.
Security is also a concern for home networks. Where an office might have proper online security in place to reduce cyber attacks and hacking, home networks might not be so protected and when working on and downloading sensitive information, there may be some compliance and regulation issues.
Whilst the Internet infrastructure might be seen as a weakness to mobility, there are ways around this. For security, using a VPN might help to side-step some of the issues. As for the Internet service being used, it is either a case of upgrading the home Internet to business standards for remote working or just hoping problems won’t be encountered too often.
Either way, business mobility is developing with the help of the cloud and cloud applications and it is becoming a viable business strategy for many companies. As it allows new talent to be brought into the business without the need for them to live nearby or even in the same country and allows people to relocate and work from wherever is most convenient for them.
It’s even possible that conventional offices will become a thing of the past as business mobility continues to develop.
Mobility in the cloud has now reached the point where mobile applications can be used to control various elements of cloud computing. For example, Cloud Machine Manager is an on-demand cloud computing tool that allows users to instantaneously turn servers on and off at the tap of a button.
By using CMM to turn servers off when they are not needed, you can enjoy significant cost savings, savings of which can be used to reinvest in provisioning bigger and better servers.
To find out how much you can save with CMM, check out our savings estimator.