The following is sponsored by Cloud Powered Work, which is a project with IDG, LinkedIn, and Microsoft’s Office365. Everything in this post is mine, and my opinions are my own.
I just produced an episode of my radio show from my hotel room, because I realized that an episode was due and I hadn’t done the work before I took off for the day. Last night, while I waited for my slightly delayed airplane, I cracked open SkyDrive pulled down three writing projects I had due. One I had started from my desk at work. The other I actually started in the airport parking lot a week before. The third I started in another hotel room from another business trip.
Mobile productivity isn’t a “can it work” kind of question any longer. It’s a “how can I equip my team to be productive no matter where they’re sitting” kind of question.
The Old Days of the Future
A bazillion years ago, I remember listening to then-chairman of Sun, Scott McNealy talk about this future with dumb terminals, where we’d be able to walk up to any computer in an office, slot in a special card, and the computer would create our work environment and make available our information. I remember thinking, “Whoa! This is amazing!” But then, that never quite happened the way it was expressed back then.
And now? With cloud powered work helping to make mobile productivity a reality, it not only works, it’s becoming more expected. Can you imagine telling the boss, “Oh, I’m traveling for work for a few days. I’ll get that to you when I can spend some time at my office desk in about a week. Okay?”
This Requires Discipline
The IT part of putting together mobile productivity isn’t exactly hard, though there are new challenges. People tend to lose things and break things when they take them on the road. It happens. I lost a laptop in the back of a taxi in San Francisco, and fearing it was gone forever (because seriously?), I went out and bought a new laptop. And then, a week later, the cab driver mailed me the old one with only a broken trackpad to show for it.
But what made that experience okay (besides blowing some money I didn’t need to spend) was that all my data was in the cloud. I didn’t lose anything when I lost the device, and more importantly, no one would be able to use my data for their nefarious causes.
Years ago, I used to work with this guy who was head of product development for our corporation. He lost not one but two laptops full of company data. Two laptops full of our secrets and plans and financials and whatever. And people could just take them because they were on the laptops. Oh, and nearly none of that was backed up anywhere.
So what’s the difference? If we store our work in the cloud, then it’s easy to switch between machines. If we store our work in the cloud, it’s secure. Yes, it’s important to keep a personal backup somewhere and never put our eggs in that one basket. But with the sync capabilities and all the other ways we can harness mobile-minded tech like Office365 and other products, there’s a lot of benefit to how we do what we do.
I’ve gotta jump off this laptop and onto my nifty little Dell XPS tablet. But that’s okay. All my stuff’s there, too. It’s wherever I need it to be, and that’s what matters.
Swing by Cloud Powered Work for some resources.