Mobility is the next technology force that is redefining how businesses operate. Going forward, the winners will be ‘anywhere enterprises’ that learn how to combine the Power of Mobility with broadband connectivity to create competitive advantage.
Mobility continues to change the way we do business at a dramatic rate. Ten years ago, no one was talking about bring-your-own-device (BYOD). Five years ago, smartphones represented just 22 percent of new U.S. handset sales—a share projected to reach 63 percent in 2014 (Statista.com). A strong consensus has emerged: mobility is now a top priority for business. Mobile devices, apps and data can help organizations operate more quickly and flexibly at a lower cost. Not just this, apps can unshackle any operation and innovations like mobile video coming on the scene, mobility is becoming the entrepreneur’s most critical tech tool. Small-business owners were the earliest of early adopters for mobile service. From the outset of mobile technology, the entrepreneurial-minded were savvy enough (and busy enough) to see the benefit of a phone without a wire–even the original, expensive, bulky ones that cost thousands of dollars. Those who got it understood from the beginning that mobility made small business bigger.
What can businesses do via mobile technology? The easier question to answer is “What they can’t do? Isn’t it”.
The mobile industry geek brigade will want to corner you and try to explain the differences between 4G LTE and 4G WiMAX, two technologies beings used in network upgrades. But the important thing for businesses is that they will be able to enjoy bandwidth bursts up to 12 Mbps–which is why everyone is suddenly talking about video apps.
No more dropped calls inside your office when you have a femtocell. It’s like having a cell tower next to your desk–but without the broken ceiling, the noise or the giant concrete base to trip over. A rapidly dropping price tag (now between $50 and $100) makes femtocells ideal for small business.
Everyone knows about Wi-Fi, but one of the most interesting trends for the rest of 2010 and beyond is the phone as Wi-Fi hot spot. The Novatel Wireless MiFi unit–in use by Sprint and Verizon Wireless, among others–started the trend. But smartphones integrated with the capability, such as the HTC Evo and Palm Pre Plus, are making it more attractive and efficient.
Voice over IP is another not-exactly-new technology that’s new to mobile. Alternative voice apps, such as Skype Mobile and Google Voice, might be close to finding a place in everyday mobile communications. For business users, it’s all about cheaper calling, but these apps wouldn’t be ready for prime time if mobile devices and mobile networks weren’t ready to fully leverage the Internet.
One thing is clear—mobility will continue to be a powerful business trend and a key driver of IT change in the coming years, changing the way people work and organizations succeed. Mobility is a Top Priority for companies and its perceived impact for improving flexibility, productivity and agility.
Key findings include:
- Mobility is the top business or IT priority for nearly two-thirds of companies; even those with higher priorities recognize it as a key objective to drive business transformation, competitive differentiation and IT value
- Key business benefits of mobility include the ability to execute tasks more quickly, increase flexibility, improve employee motivation and reduce costs
- Key employee benefits of mobility include increased productivity and flexibility, better responsiveness to customers and improved job satisfaction
- Having a mobility strategy is considered highly important or of the utmost importance by 71 percent of businesses, and nearly half have already implemented a formal mobility strategy
- BYOD is quickly becoming the norm, with the business use of personally owned devices allowed, accommodated and encouraged by 74 percent of companies
- Technologies to enable mobility are now in wide implementation, including mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), desktop and app virtualization, file sharing and sync, web-based remote support and collaboration, and enterprise app store solutions.