New predictions from researchers at Gartner have said that by 2016, the average personal cloud will "synchronise and orchestrate at least six different device types”. This means that whilst the current fragmentation of collaboration and productivity tools creates complexity, this is likely to have been overcome by 2016.
By this time, most collaboration apps will be equally available across mobile, tablets, desktops and laptop browsers, enabling workers to effectively collaborate in real time. The issue is due to be discussed by Gartner analysts at the upcoming Mobile Collaboration at Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit 2013, September 16-17 in London.
"In the past, collaboration on mobile devices meant interaction through wireless messaging and voice calls," said Monica Basso , research vice president at Gartner.
"Today, smartphones and tablets have larger screens, touch-based user interfaces (UIs), location support, broad network connectivity, enhanced cameras and video support, voice over IP (VoIP), 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."
Whilst currently there is a lack of standardisation in the market which has led to enterprises using a variety of tools to solve specific issues, it’s thought that the market will mature sufficiently between now and 2016 to enable businesses to make use of mobile collaboration.
This will not only mean a more productive and efficient workforce, but it will also facilitate better customer relations through engagement with improved interaction.
"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," said Ms. Basso.
It’s thought that the BYOD trend will continue and this will drive new mobile and client computing strategies. Using personal devices for work means that it’s often not long before employees are using apps to make their job easier. Sharing and personal cloud is expanding and these are "a must” for tablet users due to the lack of USB ports”.
"Empowering workers with mobile collaboration capabilities through smart devices, personal cloud sharing and mobile apps is a smart move for organizations to innovate in the workplace and stay competitive," said Ms. Basso.
"Nevertheless, a number of challenges can arise from piecemeal, poorly-architected implementations. Successful deployments of mobile collaboration will need an analysis of business requirements — understanding the potential risks and restrictions while assessing existing investments and obsolescence trends."
For a more detailed analysis, the report Mobile Collaboration Will Drive Innovation in Your Workplace can be found on the Gartner website.