Tackling the world of mobile in a single blog post is next to impossible. This is a topic we are going to expand over the next several months in conjunction with our other areas of expertise like hosting solutions, scanning, security, on site vs. offsite storage, importance of GAAP in your organizational structure, environmental impact of a paper based office, and more. What we want to do in this post is review how much of an impact mobile devices and tablet computers (iphone, ipad, droid, etc.) are having in the business world. We stress that if you are not using these tools for business yet, you’re already a step behind the competition.
We recently posted on our facebook page an image of all the devices needing to be purchased in 1993 to equal something of a Band-Aid version of a modern iphone in 2013. The list includes things like a video and still camera, voice recorder, watch, lap top computer, a walkman… Just as the convenience of having all those tools in one device has made every day life easier for the consumer, your tablet or smart phone is a steroidal rhino of enterprise technology causally laying in your pocket, yearning to help your business. It is loaded with often drastically unrealized potential.
To give you an idea of how important these tools are to use, Gartner estimated that sometime in June or July 2013 was the point at which over 50% of internet access globally is being consumed via mobile device vs. traditional computing station. Cisco is predicting that by 2016 there will be 10 billion mobile connected devices worldwide, or 1.4 devices per person on the planet. If you look at Apple’s product statistics alone- in just the first 8 quarters of the ipod, iphone, and ipad being released over 110 MILLION units were sold. This means that whether you are selling your product or service directly to the consumer or engaged in a B2B transaction, you should be making sure your target is directly “wired” to you.
There are a lot of repercussions, both positive and negative, that come with the mobile connected workplace. They generally range from easily and efficiently working remotely, to spending money on a product that doesn’t fit any need. It is not easy to navigate the near 1,000,000 apps in the app store. All those options lead to the most common challenge we see facing the small business owner- apathy. Given that mobile technology changes so fast, and there is such an inundation of applications, the small business owner or department head thinks, ‘I’ve been successful 15 years without an ipad, why waste time turning my process upside down?’
A simple and scary answer is that adhering to this thought process means you are actively phasing yourself out of existence. It is probably already happening, and maybe that is why you are reading our blog or considering a solution like Snap-File. A softer answer is that technology wouldn’t exist without a need, most often the transition is not painful and the end result is almost always a better, more efficient work environment.
We are not saying a business cannot exist or even thrive today with legacy operations in place. We are saying if you want your legacy to live beyond your retirement, to a next generation of worker, owner, or family member; that the sooner the transition to mobile occurs, the better off you will be in the long term. If longevity is a goal for your business, embracing the ecosystem of mobile applications and cloud-based services is a requirement.