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Are you connected? The importance of mobile collaboration

It’s been a long time since my college days! I knew that, but it was brought home a couple of weeks ago when we did multiple college visits with my teenage daughter. Some things don’t seem to have changed too much: T-shirts, jeans and flip-flops still dominate the landscape and Frisbees continue to be a constant danger on any open green.

Being what my daughter calls a geek, I did notice some marked changes from my visits even a few years ago. When I was in college (more years ago than I care to admit) we had to physically meet to collaborate, and working on anything computer-related required spending time in a dark basement. Times have changed. Just like me, every single student had a smartphone and most had some kind of tablet device attached to their hand. It didn’t matter whether they were sitting inside the student union or outside on the green, they were connected and collaborating. I thought today’s business people were “connected” but these kids take it to a whole new level.

These students are rapidly moving through their college experience. What does bringing this expectation of connectivity and mobility to the workforce mean to IT organizations? To attract the kind of talent coming out of major universities today, businesses have to be prepared to provide pervasive availability of information and applications, bringing along with it all the security and connectivity issues that IT departments cringe to think about. Top students are making connectivity a required part of their employment and are looking around to make sure they get it.

Connectivity isn’t just being pushed by students entering the workforce. Today’s professionals are connected and coming to expect and DEMAND that their organizations support their ability to work from anywhere and anytime. Businesses’ need to do more with fewer employees is driving a similar requirement. IT departments that have not started down the path of mobile users are being pushed to provide the functionality.

Technologies in this space are starting to “grow up” with the kids that are using them.  Virtual desktops and mobile applications are now considered commonplace and complimentary applications and functionalities are rapidly developing. Understanding how people are accessing the information available has become one of the hugely growing markets in the technology space.

What are YOU doing to bring mobility and pervasive information to your employees? Have you started looking at wireless networks, VDI or mobile applications? If not, maybe you should….SOON!