People work differently.
The things that motivate you and drive your productivity may do nothing for your colleagues. And especially given the influx of teleworkers and the rise of geographically dispersed teams, your colleague could just as likely be sitting across the globe as across the office, creating even more workstyle diversity.
And that’s okay.
The technology that drives our workday forward has grown, evolved and adapted to facilitate different workstyles, processes and preferences. It continually evolves, and the only way to truly find success in modern business is to evolve right alongside it.
Technology is truly at the heart of our modern workstyles. Here are just three of the technology trends that are defining today’s business:
The rise of the “as a Service” model has put practically any business function you can think of within reach of any team, regardless of size, infrastructure or technical know-how. Many of these applications, platforms and more can be purchased and activated within seconds, instantly filling gaps in your organization’s technology needs. In other words, the barrier for entry has become incredibly low, allowing companies of any size to quickly try and buy new tools to help their businesses grow.
And best of all, the time and effort that IT has traditionally spent maintaining systems, upgrading security and adding new features and functionality is now shouldered by the vendors. IT no longer has to be responsible for ensuring that your organization has the most up-to-date version, the latest features and recent security patches—it’s all updated vendor-side. As IT departments are continually tasked with doing more with less, offloading these sorts of responsibilities will be key to keeping pace with the demands of the business.
Regardless of your need there’s more than likely an “as a Service” version that will meet the requirements of your team, department or organization.
More Intelligent Apps
Mobile applications are nothing new and have been driving an increasingly on-the-go workforce for years now. Every department across an organization is more mobile, and we all rely on our mobile devices for the information, people and files we need to get work done.
Apps are getting smarter, though. Through contextual intelligence, integration with wearables and improved features and functionality such as better GPS, geofencing and more, our mobile applications are more sophisticated than ever. And developers are just beginning to tap the potential of this increasingly intelligent set of devices and applications.
For example, a commonplace feature like the push notification—which brings information and potential actions directly to a user’s attention—is becoming more actionable and integrated into our day-to-day lives. Notifications can serve not only as reminders, but also as jumping-off points for meetings, files, discussions and other common workday activities. And thanks to integration with smartwatches, notifications will continue to become more powerful and readily available.
Improving mobile intelligence is all about removing steps from traditional processes, making mobile work as seamless and frictionless as possible.
Changing Communication and Collaboration
In today’s increasingly globalized workplace, with colleagues scattered across time zones, companies need a wide variety of communication and collaboration mediums in order to create a productive work environment.
Email is the old standby, but it is quickly showing its age. While it’s certainly still useful for updates, when it comes to true collaboration, email’s lack of version control and its long string of disconnected threads demonstrate its shortcomings.
More recently, unified communications solutions have started coming into their own, and with good reason; providing access to a multitude of communication methods empowers workers to collaborate in the most efficient manner as their needs dictate. An IM might be sufficient for a quick check-in, but it can be escalated to a meeting more or less instantly.
There’s also been a rise in near-time or asynchronous collaboration tools, such as virtual team workspaces. These solutions give workers a cloud-based, central location to work together that doesn’t require real-time interaction, a boon for more geographically dispersed groups. All of the document and file versioning is synced to the cloud (and we’re back to SaaS), ensuring everyone on the team always has access to the correct version.
Regardless of the chosen method, the constantly shifting communication and collaboration landscape is a sign that our modern workstyles demand a variety of collaboration mediums.
The speed at which technology evolves can be intimidating. But the practical benefit is that our tech is constantly adapting to the needs of the marketplace. Regardless of your unique workstyle and needs, there are hardware, software, applications and services out there designed to help you—and your organization—always work at the highest level of productivity and teamwork.
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This post originally appeared on CIO.com‘s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi.