Ask anyone who has worked in IT in the last two decades and they’ll tell you that getting new hires set up typically involved scrounging a re-purposed PC and monitor, setting up an account on the corporate network, and crawling under a desk to set up the workstation.

How times have changed. Gone are the days when employees will put up with an outdated tower PC.

These days, companies (particularly smaller businesses and start-ups) may give a new employee a laptop, but that is increasingly the extent of company-issued hardware. New employees have very strong ideas about the hardware they want to use (and that they are skilled at using) and it’s likely to include a mix of laptops, tablet, and cell phones.

The business user’s demand has shifted from, “Give me the tools I need to get my work done,” to, “Here are the tools I use. How do I get my work done with them?”

 

Mobile Devices: Near-Perfect Business Tools

The smart IT person realizes that changing to accommodate this new demand is not just a matter of making users happy; it’s just plain smart. Why? Properly implemented mobile devices can be near-perfect end-user tools.

First, mobile devices are ubiquitous. Just about everyone (particularly anyone who has a job) owns at least one, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or notebook. Few are savvy enough to put their offices in their pocket, freeing up room for competitive advantage and all the innate capacity that comes when you run your business from a phone or tablet and decide to put your office in your pocket.

Second, the extreme portability of mobile devices means employees and business owners are unfettered from the workstation and can work at any time from anywhere.

Third, they give the ultimate return on investment as far as business tech hardware goes. Unless the business has to adhere to some sort of government or industry compliance, businesses may not even have to buy mobile devices because employees often want to use their own personal devices for work. If a business does decide to assign mobile devices, they are often a much smaller investment than traditional workstations.

 

Centralize Your Data

To really leverage the awesomeness of “anywhere, anytime” access to your data from mobile devices, you need to make your data accessible. “Accessible” means that your data needs to reside not on the C drive of the old Windows XP machine under your desk, but rather on some secure location to which your business partners, employees, and customers can connect. This, of course, is where the cloud comes in. Without the cloud, it’d be impossible to run your business from a smart phone or tablet.

Arguably the most widely used Cloud services are those used for data storage. If you are not already using a service such as Box.com, eFileCabinet, or Microsoft’s OneDrive, you should look into them. You can even get free storage through Google Drive, which you already have access to if you use Google apps or Gmail.

If you have data residing on multiple computers that could be a hassle to place online (maybe because it’s a lot of data) but you still would like to provide remote access to that data, you can look into any number of file-syncing services.

These allow you to have multiple instance of the same data on each of the machines; if you change the data in one location, the service updates it at all the locations. One example is SugarSync, which can sync data among your machines, keeping everything up-to-date and remotely accessible.

And Cloud services aren’t just for data, either. You can actually create networks of devices that are scattered all over the world via Cloud-based services such as Pertino. Pertino is a network Cloud service that allows you to add any device, or anyone else’s device, to a shared network in the Cloud.

It’s great for creating a business network that incorporates offsite workers, telecommuters, external partners, and their mobile devices. Best of all (from the small-business perspective), it’s tailored to those who are not tech gurus and offers a sophisticated, yet simple-to-deploy, way to create a centralized network for data sharing. In order to run your business from a phone or tablet, you’ll have to first go paperless, and effectively through the right solution.

In a nutshell, there is no shortage of ways to get your data centralized and accessible from anywhere at any time. Read full article.  Visit eFileCabinet.com to learn how you can run your business from a phone or tablet today.