In an increasingly proactive business environment instant access to information can mean the difference between the success and failure of your business. Until recently, managing mobile connectivity used to be a simple operation – it meant simply providing your employees with a corporate cell phone or a BlackBerry. Those days are long gone. As we move closer to real-time business activity, the use of mobile computing in business goes far beyond e-mail access, messaging services and the like.
The critical importance of 24/7 workplace connectivity and ability to respond to information regardless of time or location has become broadly recognized. While addressing that need, enterprise mobility allows employees to instantly capture, share and deliver corporate data even when they are off-premises, dramatically accelerating the decision-making process.
While nobody puts into questions the benefits of enterprise mobility, high costs of acquisition and deployment of enterprise apps raise concerns in the minds of decision-makers, who are not always sure how mobility translates into profit.
So, how can enterprise mobility benefit your company?
As the trend of rapid workforce mobilization is gathering momentum, mobile-equipped workers with secure access to real-time information and processes anytime, anywhere and on any device, can considerably enhance operational efficiency and employee productivity.
A somewhat abstract link between mobility and efficiency can be easily established if you imagine your sales professionals using an iPad to present a complex machine design to a client or letting a customer browse through a digital catalog with the latest inventory.
The same applies to productivity - releasing workers from constraints of office hours will result in an increased personal productivity, as well as in ability to achieve a better work-life balance, ultimately benefiting the company.
Another key function in an organization that requires instant access to corporate data is post-sales services, where enterprise mobility creates increased responsiveness to customers by providing easy access to your clients and enabling a prompter trouble-shooting response.
Considered from a different perspective, mobility can help enterprises increase their brand recognition and consumer awareness through presence on various application stores. Companies deploying consumer-oriented mobile apps, (such as event apps, brand or product-related apps, catalog apps, etc.), increase the number of customer channels, enhance their opportunity to reach prospective clients and provide better customer experience.
From the end-user’s perspective, it is a means of staying connected and communicating quickly and effectively with your business.
Finally, it is not only customers who benefit from faster interaction – colleagues also take advantage of increased connectivity of their mobile co-workers, as enterprise mobility enables faster internal communication.
Mobility and Workforce
The link between enterprise mobility and workforce productivity has never been more apparent. According to a survey by Forrester Research, 75 percent of companies reported increased worker productivity from mobile applications. Another study conducted by Telework Exchange, focusing on impact of mobile devices on federal employees, has revealed that employees using mobile devices for work increase their productivity by an estimated nine hours per week—the equivalent of one extra day of work for every employee, 50 times per year.
Employees are perfectly aware of the connection between mobility and productivity. Nearly two-thirds of mobile employees report that their productivity is reduced by 50 percent or more when they lack wireless access, while 95% of the respondents claim that their work has improved as a result of use of mobile devices.
Such is the intensity of the connection between productivity and mobility that it recently led Forrester Research to acknowledge the emergence of a new class of worker: the anytime, anywhere employee. Forrester identifies this type of employee with the segment of the workforce that uses three or more devices, works from multiple locations and uses a broad set of applications. As it represents 29 percent of the global workforce, this class of worker is becoming the new norm.
The Mobile Future
Most companies now understand that enterprise mobility will be one of the major drivers of innovation in the next years. Although security issues represent the largest constraint for the mobile development, these concerns will not reverse the mobility trend; at most they can slow the adoption down. The potential for enterprise mobile applications lies everywhere, regardless of the type of industry or organization. A new-age enterprise, with its workforce geographically dispersed and working in different time zones, consumers demanding ubiquitous access to information, and employees asking for flexibility and empowerment, has no alternative but to embrace mobility.