How Mobile Has Taken Over Almost Every Business
Think about how different your computing practices are today compared with the way you did things 20 years ago. If you’ve been around that long, there is a good chance that the way you go about things is much, much different than it was at the turn of the century. The biggest difference today is how most people use mobile devices to do a large percentage of their computing, as compared with past generations. Today, we will take a look at some of the innovations that mobile devices have made to be able to stand alone at the top of the computing food chain.
Why People Prefer Mobile
This is pretty simple. You can take them anywhere. Today, with content delivery being such a huge issue, the mobile device—and by mobile device, we mean the smartphone—has become the go-to method to get that content anywhere they have a connection.
This isn’t the only reason, of course. Mobile devices today are typically attached to massive stores filled with apps. Most businesses, in some fashion or another, develop apps that facilitate interaction with their customers. In banking, there are mobile banking apps and other fintech-sponsored apps. In media, there are streaming media apps. There are mobile browsers that make surfing the web easy from smartphones, and of course, there are apps where mobile browsers lack. Businesses today know that if they don’t invest in mobile-facing content, they will be left behind.
The massive amount of applications geared towards providing users outlets to complete tasks that they used to be only able to do on a PC or Mac fuels a multibillion-dollar a year mobile economy and delivers users more streamlined interfaces to do most things. In fact, in 2020, more actual computing was done using mobile devices than was accomplished using more traditional methods of computing. Overall, it’s been a massive shift in the way people do things.
What Fueled this Change?
Mobile computing has been “cool” for a long time, but the advent of the smartphone in the mid-2000s really changed the way people handle their computing. The development of apps that were specifically designed for mobile devices expanded business’ reach and gave consumers a new way to interface with their companies.
Then social media.
Social media might just be the biggest driving force in mobile. People of all ages use social media proficiently, nowadays. In fact, in the workplace this has been seen as both a major distraction and a massive benefit. There are many different facets to social media, but ultimately the massive popularity of social media has resulted in the acceptance that mobile devices are here to stay and that fighting back about mobile device use is a futile experience. This is one reason why businesses have chosen to utilize mobile rather than stymie the use of it.
Another factor in the growth of mobile for business is the development of applications that work both on PC and on mobile. These applications make it possible to do a lot of things that simply weren’t possible only a few short years ago. Even the most anti-mobile business owner can’t deny that it is arguably the best platform for communications. Not only is it a phone, there are literally thousands of productivity and communication apps to choose from. In fact, some applications that are designed for use on mobile devices have factored this in and allow for interesting integrations that can streamline a lot of business processes.
Email, conferencing, messaging, collaboration apps, analytics, authentication, even productivity apps are optimized for mobile devices and can bring a lot of value to businesses. What’s more, mobile marketing is one of the fastest-growing forms of advertising out there. Taking advantage of that is in the best interest of most small and medium-sized businesses.
What You Need to Know About Going Mobile
If you haven’t seen the demand yet, you aren’t alone. Many smaller organizations have reported that their customers haven’t shown a demand for mobile communications or payment options. Until they see customer demand increase, using mobile for the business may not seem like a priority. It absolutely should be. If you are looking to leverage mobile technology to improve your business, you need to start by understanding the risks first. Just like any other computing platform, there are security risks that come from utilizing mobile solutions and you should address them before you go any further.
Most businesses, especially in the SMB sector, aren’t going to have the capital to just hand out mobile devices and data plans to their staff. If your company is that fortunate, you probably already have a mobile device management platform in place. For the average company that is looking to utilize mobile for productivity, they need to utilize the resources that are available to them.
Guess what? Most of your staff have smartphones.
By setting up a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that uses mobile device management, security software, and solid procedure to allow your employees to use their own personal devices to access work-related applications and data, you are effectively getting the benefits of having a mobile workforce, without the huge expense that goes along with it. Some tips you should consider for a solid BYOD policy include:
- Devices should be protected by some type of screen lock, preferably biometric.
- Users allow IT access so that their work software is always patched and up to date.
- Separate personal and work applications and data.
- No Jailbroken devices should be allowed.
These are only a few considerations in a larger issue. The BYOD policy is designed to protect your company’s digital resources AND provide your employees access to them on their own phones. You may get some push-back from your staff at first, but ultimately by explaining that it is the best way for them to gain the flexibility of using their own device for work, most employees will come around pretty quickly.
If you would like more information about implementing BYOD policies, feel free to give us a call at 847-697-3282.