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Mobility: Productivity for businesses

10 Jan 2013

Encourage customers to think mobility strategy, rather than BYOD, cautions Otto Ruettinger, Lenovo Australia and New Zealand director, SMB.

Say the word ‘mobility’ and the resulting conversation is often about the latest form factor – getting smaller, thinner, lighter, with extended battery life.

But for me, mobility is less about the device and more about what it can do to increase business productivity.

Selling mobility is about presenting a vision of what it can do for the bottom line. It’s about the flexibility to work whenever it suits, wherever you are.

It’s about using pockets of time that would otherwise be lost – left behind in the airport lounge, train or waiting rooms.

We know businesses are seeking out solutions that can make their employees’ lives just that little bit easier as they are asked to do more with less.

They are looking for a friend and an ally and this opens up the door for channel partners to work with businesses to implement a mobile strategy.

Go deep

Like any solution, the key is developing a deep understanding of the business and tailoring a strategy to meet its needs.

While the PC remains central to the digital working lives of millions, there are many new consumer-friendly devices appearing which offer different experiences and applications.

These devices – including smartphones and tablets – become companions to the PC to extend productivity.

As more people purchase these devices for home use, it’s common to hear the ‘bring your own device’ buzz phrase.

However, I believe we are a long way from BYOD becoming an effective IT strategy.

Resellers have a strong role in educating customers on the reality of BYOD. For some devices, it may make sense, but when it comes to PCs and notebooks, a robust product, built to be reliable when used for eight to 10 hours a day, will always come out tops in the end.

Consider a scenario where an employee brings their own device and it breaks down.

The lost productivity as they wait up to two weeks for the retail store to send it for repairs can really be a blow to the business.

In addition, BYOD raises many questions around privacy, security, data ownership and recovery if an employee leaves, compatibility with existing business software and hardware, IT support requirements and responsibilities and so on.

While BYOD may appear on the face of it to be an attractive option for reducing IT costs, a strong mobility strategy is a far safer bet when it comes to driving productivity.