Four tips for training mobile information workers
By Horace Chow, Vice President & General Manager, North Asia region, Sybase | Aug 15, 2010
Deployments of smartphones and accompanying mobile applications are rapidly gaining ground in the enterprise. A successful deployment of enterprise-ready devices and mobile applications doesn't just happen though.
Experience tells us that IT departments have to stay one step ahead of any new technology introduced into the enterprise, and smartphones are no exception. To make a smartphone the tool of choice for workplace productivity, IT has to provide the training and support for the mobile worker in order to maximise their use of the device for business tasks.
Just as the devices are evolving, so are the methods of corporate training and support needed for the mobilised workforce.
Here's a look at four best practices for training mobile information workers.
Set up your own community
Employees already see themselves as adept users of both their smartphones and the applications on them. Unlike traditional business technology tools, mobile phones were born as consumer devices.
Consequently, IT isn't the only source of information on how to use a BlackBerry, Droid, iPhone or Nexus One smartphone. In fact, mobile users are accustomed to turning to community sites such as forums and blogs for smartphone training and usage tips.
While user reviews are helpful, they can be overwhelming (the iPhone App store houses 100,000-plus applications and millions of user reviews). To rise above the noise, set up your own user community page for mobile issues.
For example, one enterprise in the healthcare industry built a password-protected discussion site for its 300-plus independent physicians to share information about what they liked or disliked about health-related applications for iPhone.
That community feedback helped the IT department standardise on a few physician-favourite applications.
Build a one-stop mobile portal
Information workers frequently bring their personal smartphones into the office and utilise them for business tasks. Allowing personal smartphones in the enterprise has its benefits, but IT still needs to maintain control of the devices, especially if the enterprise is charged with supporting multiple device types and platforms.
One way to stay in control is to establish a self-service portal for mobile devices. For example, Baloise Insurance in Switzerland installed a self-service portal based on Sybase iAnywhere Mobile Office that allowed employees to synchronise their mobile device of choice.