Strategies of Picking Mobile Virtual Tools

When choosing tools for mobile virtual workers, a lot of different factors must be taken into consideration. Companies must take into account not only the team using the technology but the cost, the problem it is solving and the technology’s fit into how the rest of the company works. According to Turban et. al in A framework for adopting collaboration 2.0 tools for virtual group decision making (2010), some of the factors include “the size of the company...the location of [the team] members, the nature of the decisions [the team] makes and the amount of money involved”.

One of the factors that needs to be taken into account is if the team will be working synchronously or not. With mobile virtual teams, you are likely to get a mixture of both asynchronous and synchronous work, so the technology chosen will need to support both types of collaboration. When teams are able to work at the same time, technology such as an instant messaging client and web conferencing solutions can be chosen. If the team is asynchronous then technology such as web forums and message boards become important. Where this can get tricky with mobile virtual teams is when some of the team can work synchronously while others, who may be on the other side of the world, cannot.

The type of collaboration is where other technology must be investigated to keep the mixed team all on the same page.  In a report written by Robin Hastings, Collaboration 2.0 (2009), the author discusses using Web 2.0 technology to help keep teams updated. While written for a library audience, many of the author’s points can be applied to all types of companies. The idea of Collaboration 2.0 takes into account both the idea of what collaboration means and the importance of the company to foster that type of environment and the use of both cloud computing and social networking technology. Hastings (2009) makes a good argument for what “collaboration in the cloud can do for an organization.”.  

With all of this information that a company must take into account, the major components of developing a strategy for choosing technology for a mobile virtual team must include: looking at distance of your workers, both synchronous and asynchronous communication, and the feasibility of cloud computing. Given these factors and the ones listed above, it is important that the deciding team research ideas such as Collaboration 2.0 as well as internally grown technology.


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