Our mobile clinic returns today, this time looking to get some clarity on whether or not we really have become more efficient since the advent of the mobile phone, and if we have, by how much, and why. As before our panel of experts provide their opinion, something which you can do to via the comment forms at the bottom of the …
"How do you put a financial value on being able to get to a ‘Yes' more quickly?"
Simple: the cost to you of not getting that decision :)
If you are taking hypothetical situations, the cost multiplied by the probability.
Mobile e-mail is pants. I receive 300 legitimate e-mails a day, of various natures. How can a phone deal with that load? It can't, because the network speeds are still pants virtually everywhere.
If you're able to use mobile e-mail then you don't need it, because what you're receiving is frivolous tosh.
Retention and Productivity
A few years back we removed all desktops and gave everyone laptops. This was to allow for greater mobility and agility of our workforce and to increase their quality of life. Our workers can go home and have dinner with their families, then continue to burn the midnight oil.d
Our group travels constantly. Having the 3G and EDGE cards has eliminated shoddy hotel ethernet service problems, inaccessible hotspots, etc. Our people can get mail and grab files from our servers from anywhere: in the cab on the way to a meeting, waiting for the gate at the plane, etc.
We deployed Berrys to the company about 5 years ago. It was a phenominal investment. Some use it as their primary email device: depricating their mail client, while others use it as a touchstone: they need to get to a computer. Add to this the convenience of having their calendar and contacts realtime synchronized, they can accomplish CRM anywhere, anytime.
We've been living with this tech for years now. It has never been a question of ROI as much as SOP. This is the landscape in which we work. This isn't a competative edge, it is the cost of doing business -- as much so as having an office space and computers.
What I would like to know...
Is how people are thinking / can justify their behavior when they're talking to people while checking (and reading?) their emails, which are supposedly much more important. Will they have a clear recollection of what a. was said during that conversation and b. what the content of the email is?
Personally I think it's almost insulting when a colleague is sitting in a meeting, no matter how short (or long ;-) and starts answering emails or sending out SMS messages.
So yes, I would agree that it _could_ increase productivity, if somehow can be managed that all emails are work-related / important enough to be answered immediately. Maybe we should introduce the tagging of emails, maybe like The Register suggested a couple of years ago?
What Happens if you don't Implement....
I think its also worth considering what employees will do and how they will respond if they aren't given access to mobile and productivity tools.
I reckon ....
A large proportion of employees would like mobile email but don't have it for one reason or another.
A good proportion of those employees already forward email to web accounts to access email.
Most of those workers have phones which have an email client allowing push or pull email.
Employees are becoming increasing IT smart and will find out how to make things work if its in their interest.
Mobile operators are offering some incredibly low cost data bundles in the consumer space.
Corporate IT can't do much to stop any of this - it needs to move with it.
...by some of the luddites posting here! I mean...are people really still debating whether to have mobile email or not? Reminds me of similar conversations about mobile phones in the early 90s...
The technology has been around for long enough now to be....well...not really that exciting any more. Time saver...of course! As a director for a small software company in the UK we don't have the luxury of having dozens of people who can fill in when one of us is on annual leave. And being located in GMT means have to be flexible when dealing with customers from other time-zones.
A couple of years ago I swapped emails with a company interested in buying our software using my trusty old Windows Mobile device whilst on holiday in Spain, using a roaming network and whilst sat waiting for a take-away pizza. By the time my wife and I had finished off the pizza along with a bottle of Rioja the customer had stated how impressed they were by our responsiveness and had purchased the software.