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Business on the go: Trends in mobile technology

Applications and programs that support the mobile lifestyle are growing by leaps and bounds. More and more often we reach for tools such as Evernote, Dropbox, SharePoint, and HootSuite to manage our workflow across several devices.

Mobile technology and the increasing use of handheld devices throughout the world has become a 21st-century phenomenon that is estimated by experts to continue to dominate. The use of mobile phones has reached unprecedented heights in the last decade and this mobility is dramatically changing the way we do business.

Enterprise mobility means different things to different companies. For some, the essence of mobility is the ability to work freely anywhere, on any device. Others define it more narrowly in terms of specific capabilities, such as remote access to the corporate network, desktops, apps and data, or the ability to use email and edit files on mobile devices. Regardless of how it’s defined, mobile technology has made its way into mainstream business practices.

Mobility is a top priority

In a remarkably short period of time, mobility has grown from an occasional use case—and perennial IT headache—to a top priority for businesses around the world. Companies have moved quickly to identify the business value of mobility, develop strategies and policies to harness it, and implement the technologies needed to support it. Mobile devices, apps, and data can help organizations operate more quickly and flexibly, and at a lower cost.

Employees have responded enthusiastically as well, embracing the freedom to work the way they want, from anywhere, on any device, to achieve better productivity, responsiveness, and job satisfaction. Peoples’ personal devices and third-party apps are now an important part of the environment at a growing number of companies, while IT leverages new tools to ensure security and manageability regardless of how or where people work.

The result: businesses can achieve greater flexibility, serve customers more responsively, recruit and retain the best talent more effectively, and compete more successfully—all while reducing cost.

Mobility is the top IT business 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 benefits of mobile

  • 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
  • Bring Your Own Device (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

New possibilities with mobility

Around the world, IT leaders recognize the power of mobility to drive their businesses forward. From leveraging specific features like GPS all the way down to the fact that people are walking around with Internet-connected computers in their pockets, smartphones open a whole new world of opportunities for marketers, such as geo-targeting push notifications, data gathering, narrowly targeting customers, and selling goods anytime and anywhere.

“2013 saw many brands really shift focus and place mobility at the heart of their web strategy for the first time – but this really is just the beginning. We are now starting to understand the reliance consumers have on the mobile web, and the importance of both the device and the context it is used in when delivering mobile experiences.” Daniel Weisbeck – COO & CMO, Netbiscuits

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. It will no doubt evolve over time, but one thing’s certain: mobility is here to stay.

What’s your company’s mobile business strategy, and how will your business benefit from the latest in mobile technology?