Hurricane Sandy points to importance of mobile, cloud work strategies

Hurricane Sandy is sweeping through much of the East Coast, creating major power outages and leaving many regions facing business disruption. The storm poses a unique threat because it has combined with other weather systems to extend its range much farther inland than a typical hurricane, and will likely stick around for longer. Companies hoping to maintain operations, at least to some degree, during the natural disaster, are in a challenging place. However, cloud computing, mobile solutions and social software strategies can pay dividends when it comes to enabling business continuity.

However, deploying cloud, mobile and social systems at a large enough scale to support ongoing operations through disaster can present major challenges. Business process management software provides the automation and integration foundation needed to support sophisticated strategies that overcome these difficulties.

Using technology to enable remote work
Cloud computing, social software and mobile devices make it easier for businesses to enable remote work processes because the data and applications are delivered to end users through the web. As long as there is internet access, employees can get the job done from everywhere. However, relying heavily enough on such systems that they enable telework involves depending on a diverse range of complex technologies that can be difficult to support.

These technologies that enable remote work take control away from IT. Technology leaders lose some control over exactly how data is accessed, what devices end users deploy and how information is managed. Because of this, a user running a mobile application can change data and have that shift recorded in the appropriate server. But if a cloud version of that application has its database in a separate server, the system may not update the cloud database, leading to confusion between the two solutions. In such a situation, users would have to manually adjust the data in both software setups.

Careful planning and effective supporting solutions are vital to ensure that cloud, social and mobile efforts are integrated effectively.

BPM connects diverse systems
In the sample scenario already described, BPM software can be implemented to automatically synchronize data between social, mobile and cloud systems. This not only streamlines processes for end users, it also adds a layer of intelligence to the IT system. This can be used to provide context for data, allowing users to analyze and manage it more effectively.

Cindy Cheng

Director of Product Marketing