Sponsored Post – Mobile Productivity and the Future

Can you be productive while on the road? I say yes. In fact, I’m writing this from a hotel room before heading off to a meeting with a client. Toronto at Night

The following is sponsored by Cloud Powered Work, which is a project with IDG, LinkedIn, and Microsoft’s Office365. Everything in this post is mine, and my opinions are my own.

I just produced an episode of my radio show from my hotel room, because I realized that an episode was due and I hadn’t done the work before I took off for the day. Last night, while I waited for my slightly delayed airplane, I cracked open SkyDrive pulled down three writing projects I had due. One I had started from my desk at work. The other I actually started in the airport parking lot a week before. The third I started in another hotel room from another business trip.

Mobile productivity isn’t a “can it work” kind of question any longer. It’s a “how can I equip my team to be productive no matter where they’re sitting” kind of question.

The Old Days of the Future

A bazillion years ago, I remember listening to then-chairman of Sun, Scott McNealy talk about this future with dumb terminals, where we’d be able to walk up to any computer in an office, slot in a special card, and the computer would create our work environment and make available our information. I remember thinking, “Whoa! This is amazing!” But then, that never quite happened the way it was expressed back then.

And now? With cloud powered work helping to make mobile productivity a reality, it not only works, it’s becoming more expected. Can you imagine telling the boss, “Oh, I’m traveling for work for a few days. I’ll get that to you when I can spend some time at my office desk in about a week. Okay?”

This Requires Discipline

The IT part of putting together mobile productivity isn’t exactly hard, though there are new challenges. People tend to lose things and break things when they take them on the road. It happens. I lost a laptop in the back of a taxi in San Francisco, and fearing it was gone forever (because seriously?), I went out and bought a new laptop. And then, a week later, the cab driver mailed me the old one with only a broken trackpad to show for it.

But what made that experience okay (besides blowing some money I didn’t need to spend) was that all my data was in the cloud. I didn’t lose anything when I lost the device, and more importantly, no one would be able to use my data for their nefarious causes.

Years ago, I used to work with this guy who was head of product development for our corporation. He lost not one but two laptops full of company data. Two laptops full of our secrets and plans and financials and whatever. And people could just take them because they were on the laptops. Oh, and nearly none of that was backed up anywhere.

So what’s the difference? If we store our work in the cloud, then it’s easy to switch between machines. If we store our work in the cloud, it’s secure. Yes, it’s important to keep a personal backup somewhere and never put our eggs in that one basket. But with the sync capabilities and all the other ways we can harness mobile-minded tech like Office365 and other products, there’s a lot of benefit to how we do what we do.

I’ve gotta jump off this laptop and onto my nifty little Dell XPS tablet. But that’s okay. All my stuff’s there, too. It’s wherever I need it to be, and that’s what matters.

Swing by Cloud Powered Work for some resources.

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  • http://twitter.com/maelenalopezmx elena lopez garcia

    Bonjour, comment ca va..You have reason. We lost many time in travels, airports, cab or simply out of our office and we must more efective our working time. Those years until meet in the office with the client, cant talk about bussiness, no more.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Agreed, amiga. That’s the way of it. Too much travel and we have to work where we can. I’m working in the airport gate area now. : )

  • http://twitter.com/kirstenasimmons Kirsten Simmons

    I love the idea of this, but my experience has been that the reality is a bit less shiny. Yesterday I pulled the draft of my book out of Microsoft Web Apps and into an old fashioned doc file after a week of hassle and tooth grinding over the most basic of functions – save. Web apps promised collaborative editing with track changes, but two out of my three editors couldn’t save their work. Now I’ve got them all in their own documents and I’ll merge them together at the end. Way more difficult than it should be, but it accomplishes the key objective – finishing the damn thing!

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      And this is the NEW office? Not the old? The new has worked amazingly for me.

  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    Great breakdown!
    Chris loosing laptops iPads and tabs has been a terrorizing thought as we tend
    to lose a lot of data. But this information regarding cloud is really helpful
    to all. Thanks.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      Thank you! : )

  • Dave Crenshaw

    I definitely agree with you,
    Chris. This is why I put all my critical files in Dropbox. Recently I
    had to replace my laptop and I was back up and running in about a hour.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      That’s the best feeling, isn’t it? I’m always happy for that. : )

  • http://twitter.com/archaznable Arbolado Arsenio

    Thanks to the clouds now I can work elsewhere but the problem there would be the security on the clouds but how can you be so sure if your work saves on the cloud is secure. What if there are server that is down or the service is no longer available depends on the one that you are using.

  • http://twitter.com/mitchjackson Mitch Jackson

    Enjoyed your post. I decided to kick the tires on Office 365. As a test, I did all my trial related documents using Office 365. I like the ability to access my documents from anywhere and from device without having to worry about syncing. Very cool indeed.

  • http://LeadershipDoneRight.com/ Brandon Jones


    It is amazing where we have come from in such a short time. I remember a lot of the times past that you described. It is amazing that we can just put our data in the cloud and have everything available in so many different places.

    With all the advances, I still find that whether or not companies accept the technology and use it, greatly depends on the industry they work in. I am in the utility industry and have seen that many utility companies are very slow to acquire new technologies. The reasons are mainly due to the cost of upgrading to the new equipment compared to the comparative advantage it gives them.

  • Denise Butchko

    I started working in a total mobile environment two years ago. I house sit and travel for business so it’s all a crap shoot all the time – but it works. I even host webinars from “where ever” – as long as I have a wi-fi connection – it has worked. Tries my patience when uploading videos but that’s a small price to pay for the flexibility of the life I’m living.

  • Nina Saymeh

    Working for a major telecommunication company, it has been one of our imperatives to go mobile first. By mobilizing our customer base we obviously become more sticky but its really more than that, its about allowing folks to do what they want when they want from a technology standpoint. This piece really touched on the continuing evolution of mobilization and cloud technology. Much Appreciated.

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  • http://www.assetpoint.com/ Asset Point

    You can be productive while on the go, in fact most professional do that to keep up with their work routine, take example of Dropbox, how great this thing is, you can store your files and can access them from anywhere.