I attended a talk by Chris Anderson, who is the chief editor of ‘Wired’ magazine. This thought is based on his talk on how enterprise companies are uncool to work.
Most of us have friends who work in both Enterprise companies and Startups. The common frustration that you hear when you work with them is that their IT does not allow you to easily collaborate and work with them.
How difficult is a simple file sharing outside of firewall or even checking email outside your office laptop?
The 10 productive things that you can’t do with your company laptop or network are:
Mobility: New initiatives such as ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is adding more devices, apps, complexities, and operating systems. However, it is also adding productivity almost exponentially proportional to complexity. Employees can’t check their emails on any mobile device, can’t check mobiles on any computer outside firewall or office laptop, can’t save more than 5-days of email on server, and needs to archive losing the mobility. Communication is the critical aspect of collaboration. Capability to not send the files attachments on time to a sales guy may lead to a loss of a million dollar deal. The employees will be frustrated as their success is partly inhibited by lack of tools.
Openness: It is critical to use both unified communication tool and best of breed tools to work collaboratively. Lack of flexibility in tools limits the collaboration, and may lead to usage of sub- standard tools to communicate yielding in sub-quality results.
Technology as a personal statement: Believe it or not, the mobile you carry talks a lot of about who you are and what you believe. If you are embarrassed to carry a gadget or use a technology tool that you are not proud of, then it’s a problem. Even Apple cannot push its employees to use only iPhone or iMacs.
Apps: We are used to using an app for everything. It makes our lives easy and interesting. Make sure your employees go through a good user experience with every app or tool that you provide them. A travel portal may not be important for someone who works in a cubicle all the time, but bad user experience on travel portal may lead to frustrated sales guy missing flights, losing deals, or just getting frustrated enough to move to competition.
Cloud: Every tool and information should be borderless. Access anything from anywhere at any time using any tool. I have used Dropbox app so many times on hallway discussions and in lunch meetings to show content or make an important decision.
Sync: It is obvious following the cloud, but worth mentioning that every information should sync with every device for every user. For instance, having a limitation on say Exchange storage to 100MB to save database cost may lead to users archiving the emails every day, thereby losing the mobility and sync capability.
Social media: Much has said about social media. Connecting with your partners and customers through social media to hear them and help them where they are helps companies in the long term. I guess we all know by now the importance of social media. What we don’t know is how to make it mandatory for employee to engage customers at each level. Adding constraints on Facebook, LinkedI, Youtube, etc. is counter culture in the Web 2.0 world.
Un-structured in a structured way: Using these tools for the hec of it or without proper training is not going to achieve the objective. With all of these tools and technology it is important to have the human aspect as well.
Security: Although it is critical to protect your IP, it should not come at the cost of counter-culture. Nothing should be done to expose vulnerabilities nor to make IT tools complex to use.
Personas: Changing configurations at a click of a button is very important. Creating and moving between personas should be safe and secure. This enables your employees to talk to customers on a level they are interested in, and also to be more efficient.