Last night I was wracking my brain to come up with one occupation where collaboration isn’t critical. Health care professionals, product engineers, IT, architects, educators, government employees – I was hard-pressed to come up with even one example.
For law firms in particular, mobile collaboration done well can translate to improved court preparation, litigation, and communications across the board –resulting in more frequent and intimate exchanges with clients. As law firm owner, Chad E. Norton told ABA Journal: “I can run my entire practice off my iPad.”
Yet, while effectively sharing information is so important at so many organizations, it’s something that isn’t always done well in today’s mobile BYOD business environments. The challenges vary across organizations but here are eight common mobile collaboration missteps that we see time and time again:
- Being iPad centric: Yes, supporting iOS is important for most, but it’s tough to predict what devices will dominate your organization down the line. Look for a solution that enables collaboration on any type of devices – iOS, Android and Windows.
- File sharing silos: Too often organizations haven’t adopted a standard file sharing mechanism for the employees so they adopt anything they can get their hands on including FTP, Dropbox or email, creating unnecessary slowdowns and user frustration.
- Fragmented workflows: If a collaboration solution isn’t fully integrated with the complete enterprise workflow, including common applications such as Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint, then users have to jump through extra hoops to send, share, and access the information they need.
- Unsecure editing: Users should never have to turn to a third-party app in order to edit documents on mobile devices. Every document opened in a third party app on a mobile device creates the opportunity for a copy being stored in the cloud. Security suffers, as does productivity.
- No version control: Effective collaboration requires that all parties are working off the latest-and-greatest documents, which requires automatic notification when files are added, changed or removed.
- Open app policy: IT should dictate what apps users can and cannot download for business use, using whitelisting and blacklisting settings in the right collaboration solution.
- Lost devices = lost data: If an employee misplaces a device, you don’t want your confidential enterprise data to disappear right along with it. Remote wipe capabilities are a must in today’s BYOD world in order to keep your documents out of the wrong hands.
- Access free-for-all: Not all data or users were created equal but many organizations treat them as such. Without granular user role controls that allow you to assign roles to each user with different access privileges, you’re operating as if all collaboration activities are one and the same.
If any of the above collaboration missteps ring true for you, it’s time to take control of how, where and when your users share information and get back on course to boost mobile productivity.