Agile data management for the corporate hive mind

by Mobility 08 Feb 2019

The corporate structure is moving towards a more liquid, flexible workforce, which presents unique challenges for data management. The goal is to develop a corporate hive mind that learns, shares, collaborates and innovates no matter where or when your workforce is working or whether they are in-house or freelance.

Adapting to fluid workforce demands

Work life today is fluid. Your team is likely to be working in many different locations at different times, using an array of devices. A flexible workforce requires a flexible work structure that bends to accommodate the lifestyle and particular needs of the workers. Companies must put adaptability, ease of use and automation at the centre of how they seek to collect, store, distribute and collaborate on information and data within the organisation.

In the recent Adapt 2018 Workplace Productivity Study, Australian CIO’s predicted that nearly a third of their workforce will be freelancers and contractors by 2025. This, coupled with the drive, in general, for workers to have more flexibility around when and where they work offers up some interesting perspectives. For freelancers and contractors alike, the nature of engagement with a company is that they are likely to come and go depending on demand. So according to the study, “for the flexible workforce to work effectively, workforce collaboration, connectivity and productivity tools need to be enmeshed in the business.” This also holds true for full time employees working more remotely, more often - be they on the road, at home or at the local cafe.

It’s likely, particularly in the case of the freelancer or contractor, that they may never set foot in their company’s workplace. So, for example, efficient digital onboarding to make sure they can be made productive, quickly is essential. Equally essential, digital off-boarding needs to be secure and effective to maximise ongoing security and knowledge capture and transfer for the business.

So where do you start the journey to make sure your business undertakes the required digital operational and organisational transformation?

Here are the three foundations to build on:

Digitisation & Automation

Workflow processes should be re-designed with the needs of the flexible workforce as their driving force. Digital onboarding processes and business continuity programs must account for a fluid, ever-changing workforce. This means removing manual processes as much as possible and digitising every document, form and piece of data so that it can be shared and worked on anywhere, anytime. It means making sure your security, governance & compliance processes are documented and automated to account for a flexible workforce that consumes and creates content in many different forms.

Communications & Collaboration

Unified Communication Technology that is secure, simple to use and connects anyone, anytime on any platform will be the lifeblood of your flexible, fluid corporate hive mind. When the norm for meeting or working on projects is no longer meeting together in the same location – or even at the same time – removing impediments to easy communication is critical. Here are a few must-haves for flexible and effective communications & collaboration:

  • Secure content sharing
  • Agile collaboration
  • Real time communication

These elements enable a blend of automated work processes that can gather, secure and share content in any format. Digitised presentation and visual aids also allow for collaborations to occur effortlessly and be captured and shared remotely. Underpinning these are workplace management systems, unified communication solutions and collaboration software that bring together content and data in real time to enable powerful, unlimited collaborations.


A liquid, flexible workforce demands mobility and it is essential to deliver on the other foundations of Digitisation and Automation and on Communications and Collaboration. In designing work process and workplaces for the future, allowing your team to be productive wherever they are is essential.

This can mean having smart print solutions (that manage who documents are printed for and where from – be it just on another floor or in another country) or providing multi-user access to content with end-point security and asset monitoring.

Guiding these technologies are smart workflow solutions and office software that allow you to work, collaborate and share information in the way that best suits your business, its unique needs and culture. The key is to customise it the way you want it to compliment your work – from your infrastructure to the tools you use and all the ways you communicate, capture, transform and manage your company’s information. The hive mind of your company will thrive depending on how well you feed and nurture it.

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