Whoever you are, wherever you are, you want to be able to access your information at your convenience. You want it to be easy to find and up-to-date. You want your information in the palm of your hand.
One upon a time, you would lug a ‘lap-top’ computer around with you on your travels. You would need a padded case in case you dropped it, and space to prop it onto a train or plane table. Then you would begin the search for Wi-Fi. Sounds familiar? Today, we expect to be able to use our phones instead.
1. No PC required
With the rise of people using their phones instead of a PC when working remotely, it is more convenient that you have access to your remote data there too. When countries are increasingly making it difficult to carry anything larger than a phone on a plane, it is now essential.
If you have ever tried to view a none ‘mobile-friendly’ website and wished for a magnifying glass, then you will know that it is not just a matter of viewing a PC app on your phone. The best apps are specifically designed to be used on a phone.
2. Always synchronised
The last thing you need as a busy person is to be in a meeting with an important client, only to find that your information is out of date. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can also make the difference between a deal and no deal.
You want to be confident that you are always looking at the latest version of your data. Automatic synchronisation and version control are essential features of any online data-sharing tool.
3. What you need, wherever you need it
You know that key document is supposed to be in the main file area in your personal folder, but you cannot find it because, for the life of you, you don’t remember what you called the file. Then you have to open yet another window to check who’s approved it, and another to see the comments. But you only have your phone, so you need to keep switching between windows.
Information should be easy to find – wherever you are. You should expect to be able to locate essential information easily and quickly.
Document sharing should be easy to set up and easy to find relevant information about them later.
4. Saving time
The last thing you want to do when checking who’s done what on your latest project, is to plough through loads of different levels of software options, only to find you have no updates. Or worse, having to open many different apps to find the same. Having a top-level dashboard that flags what has changed will save so much time.
Getting a quick notification when something has changed is also very helpful. You shouldn’t have to rely on Joe Bloggs to remember to tell you he changed a crucial meeting or delivery deadline. A well-integrated system should do this for you.
5. Staying in touch
Have all your information available at the tips of your fingers is only half the story. You need to be able to interact with the rest of your team easily when you need to update, query, or start a new project. This is where you need features that allow you to comment on files without resorting to long trails of emails. It is also worth looking out for features that allow you to see who has viewed a document, even if they have not commented on it. These features make it more like working in an office together, without actually being in an office together.
6. Always connected
Whether we like it or not, we are increasingly working in a world where we are expected to be always available. Always available means being always connected. Today’s workforce is radically different from previous generations. They might catch up with messages during breakfast, and then arrive in the office for an hour or so before jetting off to another part of the world. Wherever they are, they expect to be connected to news, updates, and other pertinent information immediately. People no longer clock in to work, they work wherever is most convenient for them. Mobile devise are their constant companion and their primary window on work. What previous generations would have expected to be available in the physical office, current generations expect to available on their phone in their pocket.
7. Be safe and secure on the go
Although a good data sharing system will have internal controls that keep your data secure, using some basic common sense will keep your data secure. Don’t use open Wi-Fi networks, as they are often unencrypted. These are not only risky for on-line banking, but can also leave your precious data open to hacking too. Although this is just as much a risk for laptops, it is easy to forget when you are ‘just using your phone’.
This blog was originally written for Glasscubes Ltd. Find out more about they can help you take control of your information at www.glasscubes.com