EPMEPM: Technology & Social

Consumer Tech Goes To Work

The way we work today is so very different to the way we worked even a short number of years ago – and one of the key drivers of this change has been consumer technology. Alister Maple-Brown  shares two cloud-based tools that are gaining traction in the workplace.

Traditionally, businesses have kept a tight rein on the devices their employees use and the software they access. But stroll through almost any company today and it quickly becomes apparent that employees have taken matters into their own hands. Now, instead of relying on IT-sanctioned desktop computers and centrally deployed software, you’re much more likely to find people using their personal devices.

It’s easy to understand why. The consumerisation of technology has put a vast range of devices and tools into our hands, enabling us to work where and when we want and how we feel most comfortable and productive.

Yet many businesses have been slow to consider how they can apply this to their advantage to increase productivity and facilitate collaboration amongst their team.

Here’s two options to consider:

Facebook has already pretty much taken over your personal life. Now it’s coming for you at work, and is set to make work as addictive as socialising.

Launched in November 2016, the enterprise communication and collaboration network Workplace by Facebook is expected to be similar to rivals such as Yammer and Slack – allowing you to communicate and collaborate with your team, and cutting down on email chains and other old hat ways of working. It will boast a news feed and mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Its biggest strength will likely be its familiarity to us all.

Update (6/12/16): Facebook Workplace have announced a full-fledged new collaboration app platform accessible via Workplace. Announced on TechCrunch Disrupt London, the Facebook Workplace platform will support integration with apps for CRM, file sharing, email, calendars and more.

For decades Microsoft’s Office Suite has reigned supreme. It’s a business necessity, right? Maybe not. Most users report using less than 10 per cent of the features offer within the Microsoft Office suite. And it’s not cheap either.

Enter Google Docs. Part of a suite of Google cloud applications, Google Docs enables you to create, edit, store and share files with other users online from remote locations and in real time.

The power of Google Docs is its versatility. You no longer need to concern yourself with data storage and backup as this is handled by Google. And if you use a variety of different devices all you need to do is open a browser and you’re good to go.

One thing is for sure, there’s enormous potential for companies to embrace a redesigned approach to business. As we continue to embrace the use of consumer technology in the workplace, we’ll see dramatic gains in productivity and profitability.

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Alister Maple-Brown

Alister Maple-Brown is the CEO of leading property management software provider Rockend. For more information visit rockend.com.au.