Mobile has come to play a significant role in the business world, with smartphones, tablets and other ultra-portable computers used in every niche and for nearly every purpose.
There’s a good case to be made for mobile technologies in the workplace: They make great tools for staying in touch, sharing information regardless of location and enabling collaboration between staff. Many businesses would appear to be recognising these benefits, as Gartner predicts a substantial rise in mobile data growth this year.
For companies thinking that now is the time to take the ball and run with it in regards to mobile initiatives, there needs to be a degree of planning.
Cloudy with a high chance of mobile
Mobile data growth is primed to grow by a total of 59 per cent this year, according to information from the research firm. In fact, it will hit 52 million terabytes across the globe. It’s set to continue through to 2018, as consumers and businesses alike jump on board.
“Mobile data traffic is soaring worldwide, more than tripling by 2018,” explained Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner. “New, fast mobile data connections (3G and 4G) will grow more slowly, from 3.8 billion in 2015 to 5.1 billion in 2018, as users switch from slower 2G connections and consume more mobile data.”
It’s substantial growth, but not entirely unexpected. Mobile is basically a quantum leap from more traditional forms of computing, allowing staff to work from wherever they need to and from increasingly powerful devices. With mobile data networks becoming even more capable and reliable, continuous growth is a certainty.
Businesses need to be thinking about more than just adopting mobile, however, as there’s another area that’s of the utmost importance. What’s more, it could prove essential to the success of mobile initiatives.
Shoving an array of mobile devices into the hands of staff members usually isn’t the best course of action. They’ll firstly need to understand how to use the technologies and, most importantly, need to have access to their information and applications on the devices. This is where digitisation comes into play.
Digitisation is essentially the process of taking hard-copy data (the information that’s locked in file cabinets) and moving it across to a digital system. Aside from the benefits of having this data accessible for staff working on mobile devices, meaning they can view historical documents out on the road, there are a host of other advantages.
With all hard-copy information in a digital system, there’s greater security as it’s easy to track who views information. There’s also improved staff productivity, as there’s no wasted time when looking for older files. Digitisation could soon become even more of a priority.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicted that, by 2020, an entirely new generation will have entered the workforce who are capable of using the bevvy of new digital (and mobile) technologies. Businesses that are already taking advantage of these technologies will be in the best possible position to excel above competitors.
“The phenomenon of digitisation is reaching an inflection point. The effects of an increasingly digitised world are now reaching into every corner of our lives, the PwC report explained.
There’s no skirting the fact that the world of business is now extremely dependent on and driven by technology. Mobile is just one facet of this larger trend and businesses need to think about utilising trends like digitisation to fully take advantage of it.
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