Recently, IBM Midmarket General Manager John Mason published “When Small Businesses Use Cloud and Mobile to Go Global” on IBM’s Smarter Planet Blog. Mason talks about the value of taking advantage of mobile and cloud to capture global markets.
That’s great advice because as Mason points out, many folks out in the world will be using smartphones as their sole means of accessing the internet. There’s no denying the value of using cloud and mobile in this fashion, but the cloud-mobile connection has a lot of value for you as a mid-market company because of the way it works to make content available to you and your employees across a variety of supported devices.
The cloud acts as the connector and gives you access to your content anywhere on virtually any device.
One of my favorite examples of the mobile-cloud connection is Evernote, which has a mobile, desktop and web app. That means you can get at your Evernote content regardless of where you are and it syncs across devices. So if you’re out and you have an iPhone or Android, you can take a picture, speak a note or type it. If you’re in your browser looking at content you want to save, you can use the browser plug-in. You can view it all on the mobile, desktop or web app.
This cloud-mobile connection means that you can save or access content wherever you are and always have access to across all of your devices.
If you didn’t have this type of connection, and I remember a time when we didn’t, you would need to create it artificially by emailing yourself the documents you are going to need and maybe organizing it in folders.
Another advantage to the cloud is that if you’re sharing documents among a group of people, there is only one true document. You don’t waste a lot of hard drive space with older versions and you reduce the risk of opening or using an obsolete document because the most recent document is the one that’s in the project folder that everyone can access.
When you have a mobile-cloud application you can share with yourself or with many fellow employees and with that you bring a social element into it as well. That would allow your employees to comment or rate the content, to share it and even to edit it.
Another good example of this is Google Drive, which is available in any browser or via a mobile app. You can access all of your documents regardless of where you are and you can read and even edit them on any device either alone or in a group.
The mobile-cloud connection gives employees constant access to content wherever they are so long as they have an internet connection and increasingly many apps are also providing offline access so if you are on a plane without a connection you can still access your content.
So while the global market reach you get with mobile and cloud are certainly worth exploring for any business, regardless of whether you intend to take advantage of global markets or not, you can gain value from the mobile-cloud connection, and in fact, you would be foolish not to.
Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I’ve been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions.