Mobile changes how people work

New ways of inputting information create opportunities and challenges

The mobile and BYOD revolution has changed how employees do their jobs by freeing them to work anytime, anywhere. But mobile technology and evolving computing form factors also are encouraging (or is it forcing?) people to try new methods of working.

Ron Miller at CITEworld writes: “A notion persists among many analysts, IT pros, and even users that you can’t work productively on a mobile device, especially smartphones, because of input and screen size limitations. I believe this is a false premise based mostly on a lack of imagination about the ways we work, especially when thinking about Microsoft Office and heavyweight enterprise applications. If we start to rethink work applications in mobile terms, we can begin to develop highly useful apps that let us get work done on the fly, on any device.”

Ron’s speaking mostly about knowledge workers such as himself who have to input a lot of information. There already are some apps available to help with this task — predictive typing, voice recognition, tools such as Google Goggle (which conducts Google searches based on images scanned by your smartphone’s camera), etc. — yet all currently have some limitations.

That being said, they’ll get better and other apps that make data entry and manipulation easy on mobile devices will emerge. Which means mobile technology will make enterprise employees even more productive down the road. And that’s exciting.

Much of this will happen organically because younger employees are more adaptable and less inclined to cling to “old ways” of working. However, the process might be a lot smoother in enterprises which encourage and embrace transformative technologies such as mobile, collaboration software, social and wearables.

What do you think? Will employees ever be able to rely exclusively on mobile devices to do their jobs? Or is it too soon to write off the PC?

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