Mobile working has become a crucial part of our professional lives. SMEs face the same difficulties: secure access to data, anytime, anywhere. This problem is even greater for those working in teams where collaboration on a multitude of documents is a part of their activities says Filip Tack, CEO and co-founder of Nomadesk.
Process and hardware have been able to overcome some of these hurdles. However, they often lack the flexibility and responsiveness needed to answer the logistical problems faced by people who are always on the move, or are part of a disparate team. Furthermore, these solutions are often costly and not the ideal fit for small and medium enterprises, which often operate without an IT team.
It’s a lament I hear time and time again. As James Pink, managing director of medical device regulatory and training solutions provider, Pink Associates put it recently: ‘We do not have a central IT person nor a central server, but still need to make sure that our associates have easy and timely access to the client data required to deliver what are often business critical solutions for our clients.’
‘A big concern is around confidentiality and availability of data. We have access to very sensitive design, test and proprietary technologies associated to our clients’ products, so I need to be sure that data is protected if my associates were to lose or have their information stolen.’
Digital nomads need a solution that adapts to them and not vice versa. There can be no obstacles?platform incompatibility and poor user interface are not acceptable. The solution must take into consideration the pillars of safe and efficient document collaboration: ease of use, compatibility across all platforms, mobility, flexibility and constant access to data.
Wendy Griffiths, managing director of small publishing company, The Primary School Homework Book Co echoes the challenges facing many small firms seeking to collaborate remotely: ‘I really didn’t want to have to pay out the £5000 I was quoted to replace our old physical server running Microsoft Exchange, but I did want a solution I could have confidence in?in terms of availability, security and business continuity. My Web site people introduced me to Microsoft SharePoint but it was far too complicated. Live Mesh was another option but it too was overly complicated and unintuitive, while Google Docs is not really for business.’
When searching for a document collaboration solution, security is evidently one of the most important aspects to consider, as laptops are so easily stolen or lost. As teams disperse and information is scattered across different computers, the risk that something unwanted happens to them proportionally increases. Therefore, geographically dispersed teams need to be sure that they are not only working on the exact same files but that these files are safe and can never be lost.
Though file sharing is not rocket science, it has its challenges nonetheless. A good solution is the key to efficiency and organisation; it is the infrastructure upon which many SMEs and digital nomads rely to do their work. Finding a fluid and simple way to share up-to-date documents and files with as much security as possible is an important choice to ensure a healthy business and a solid team force.