ATAWAD – a new type of wireless tablet? No, it it stands for Any-Time, Any-Where, Any-Device. It’s a trend that’s enabled by technology, but also describes the mindset of the modern-day connected worker who regards work as something they do rather than a place they go. ATAWAD promises us greater flexability and productivity, giving more choice over when, where and how we work.
From our perspective, as an IT support company, we’ve had to up our game to meet the demands of our ATAWAD customers. System downtime needs to be close to zero, systems need to be up and available 24×7. Security is also paramount, information and communications systems need to be accessible from anywhere, but access to those systems must be ironclad. Nine-to-five tech support doesn’t really cut it anymore. Any-time means just that, and IT service providers need to offer extended hours coverage. 6:00am or 8:00pm is still very much working hours.
Equally, IT support that only covers company-owned assets – desktop, work-laptop, etc – doesn’t really fit the bill. ATAWADers are more likely to use their own devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops – to access the company’s systems. They don’t want to hear “sorry, that’s not covered under the support contract” (think AA or RAC, they cover the driver, not the car).
And lastly, ATAWADers can pop up anywhere. They’re frequent users of public WiFi, mobile data, and often need to connect their devices to a variety of other technologies – printers, storage & cloud services – they’re sophisticated users of technology. Your tech support needs to be on-the-ball to keep up with them!
Of course, not everyone needs or wants to follow this trend, it’s different strokes for different folks, but if ATAPAD describes a current or growing cohort within your company, there’s a few things that might be worth considering if you’re looking for a new IT support partner:

• User-Centred Support – Find an IT support contract that covers the user, regardless of the device or technology they are using. No one wants to hear “Sorry, that’s not covered”.

• Flexible Hours of Cover – A contract that provides extended hours of coverage, at a cost that is business-justifiable.

• Broad technical knowledge – Your tech support partner will need have in-depth knowledge of mobile security issues, high-availability architectures, and be able to assist with a broad variety of technologies. They’ll need to have the abilty to support mobile and well as desktop users.