23rd October 2013
According to a report by Gartner, the majority of collaboration applications will be equally available on desktops, mobile phones, tablets and browsers by 2016. The report states that, whilst a variety of collaboration applications are available, they are fragmented across different platforms and operating systems.
There’s no doubt that businesses are embracing cloud applications. A recent Verizon report indicated that cloud-based storage increased by 90% between 2012 and 2013 with cloud-based memory increasing by 100% over the same period. Verizon believes this is a direct result of business-critical applications moving to the cloud.
Likewise, the rise of mobile devices and their increasing sophistication is also indicative of an growing requirement for cloud services. Monica Basso, Research Vice President at Gartner said, “In the past, collaboration on mobile devices meant interaction through wireless messaging and voice calls. Today, smartphones and tablets have larger screens, touch-based user interfaces, location support, broad network connectivity, enhanced cameras and video support, voice over IP and so on. Such features enable a range of applications — both traditional and new — for employees to better communicate, collaborate, socialize, create and consume content.”
It is, of course, in the interests of application producers for their products to be available on as many platforms as possible and the increase in uptake of cloud applications will act as a catalyst for this process. Ultimately, the greater demand and potential revenue there is available, the faster producers will make their apps available.
Over the next three to five years, Gartner expects to see all businesses using mobile collaboration tools to help employees in their work – the broader aim being to increase productivity and engage better engage with customers.
Basso explains, “Mobile devices enable a new generation of collaboration and three trends are rapidly boosting mobile collaboration strategies and investments in organizations. These are: bring your own device (BYOD), personal cloud file sharing and the increasing availability of mobile applications.”
Ultimately, it is clear that workforces will become increasingly mobilised and mobile collaboration platforms will help to enable this. Basso argues that, “Empowering workers with mobile collaboration capabilities through smart devices, personal cloud sharing and mobile apps is a smart move for organisations to innovate in the workplace and stay competitive.” In reality, it may not just be a smart move, but a necessity.
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