Agility vs. Mobility - What Does It Mean For My Business?
It was early March when the COVID-19 pandemic truly showed up on stateside business’ radar — and in three short (and simultaneously very long) months, many businesses have created environments that allow them to work remotely.
But these cloud storage and collaboration tools were often put in place in a rush — and in the haste of getting up and running, long term solutions that could create more efficient workflows and processes may have been missed.
The Band-Aids have stopped the bleeding — but now is the perfect time to begin considering long-term, efficiency-driving solutions.
MOBILITY VS. AGILITY
“Mobile” is perhaps the buzz-word of last decade — mobile devices, mobile printing, mobile games — many businesses have been focused on finding solutions for the “mobile worker.” And there are plenty of options for businesses that want to be mobile.
Often, however, these mobile solutions are different tools that the ones used in the office itself — forcing employees to make use of two separate environments, reducing efficiency, decreasing security, and increasing the chance to lost documents and processes.
Agility takes mobility one step further; whether you’re at the office, or on the go, an agile solution gives your employees an experience that doesn’t change, no matter where they are. In short, where the employee is has zero determination on how they work.
Using the same process in all situations creates a much more robust environment, because employees don’t need to constantly be thinking about how to complete a simple process. Through a single solution, management becomes a much simpler task — both in terms of updating systems, and managing employee tasks.
When employees are forced to find their own solutions, they will never be as secure as a singular, centralized solution. The hallmarks of a singular solution are:
- - Security
- - Efficiency
- - Profitability
- - Mobility
The difference between a mobility and agility is the difference between a program and a culture — a program is temporary, or changes one aspect of your business. A culture has lasting impact throughout your organization.
In the same way, an agile solution will have tremendous impact on all factors that determine efficiency and profitability.
Some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not your business is mobile or agile are:
- - Do the majority of your documents get shared via email?
- - Do our employees have separate repositories for working on documents?
- - Do we look for signatures in ink and digital?
- - Do we have multiple sources for keeping track of information?
- - Do you lack confidence that the document you’re working on is the most up-to-date version?
- - Do you have to ask yourself where a document may be located?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your business isn’t truly agile.
MOBILE SOLUTIONS VS. AGILE SOLUTIONS
There are many mobile solutions out there on the market, ranging from specialized collaboration tools like Dropbox or Evernote, to project management tools like Asana or monday.com. And while many of these are very good at what they do, they don’t provide holistic solutions — and most importantly, lack the capability to integrate with, and manage the entirety of your business’ operations.
This is why it is important to find an integration-friendly, adaptable, and secure content management system.
Popular content management solutions are:
- - Therefore
- - Docuware
- - IBM Content Manager
- - Laserfiche
- - Net Documents
- - Nuxeo
- - M-Files
All of these software solutions have the capability to manage and automate workflows, as well as store and secure documents.
THINK ABOUT THE NEEDS OF YOUR BUSINESS
These solutions, however, aren’t one-size-fits-all. For many small-to-medium-sized business, content management systems can be cumbersome to implement, and a burden on your budget, in which case, M-Files is usually your best choice. Ranging from a cost of $39 to $55 per user, M-Files is capable of integrating with multiple specialized solutions, and most importantly, uses file metadata to automate processes, rather than folders — this creates an easily-automated environment.
If a business is larger, and has more time and money available to put towards implementation and user adoption, a solution such as IBM Content Manager will provide a more robust environment through which to work — but enterprise-level services such as this can come with extremely high overhead. For a small or medium sized business, M-Files will give you the most bang for your buck.