The workplace mobility revolution has begun. Or perhaps, is in full-swing, depending on your company and your perspective.
Whatever your vantage point, the reality is that work today is being conducted everywhere – at the office, from home, while traveling.
And by 2020, mobile workers will account for a staggering 72% of the U.S. workforce, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). In other words, the number of mobile workers will surpass 105 million.
Importantly, one of the primary drivers behind this trend is the increasing affordability of smartphones and tablets. This fact, in conjunction with one of 2016’s other giant mobility trends – the growing acceptance of corporate bring your own device (BYOD) programs – is having a profound impact on the workplace. Mobile device split billing solutions will be a driving force behind the accelerated adoption of formal workplace BYOD programs, this year and for years to come.
Also coming into play in 2016 is the growing adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), beginning first in the health care, payments, automotive and energy sectors. This development will require embracing a more complete mobile integration platform, according to some experts.
The bottom line – we are in the age of technology and mobility. And this fact will become even more obvious and widespread as 2016 progresses and the various trends permeate all levels of culture and business. In such an environment, mobile apps become ever more relevant for both large and small businesses.
Here’s why it matters to your company:
- There are a variety of challenges associated with the needs of a mobile workforce, and those challenges require new solutions, according to Bryan Bassett, an IDC research analyst.
- Mobility has become synonymous with productivity.
- Mobile apps meanwhile have shown to lead to improved communications and streamlined operations, cost savings, and a competitive edge, among other things.
- The mass adoption of mobile technology in the United States has resulted in an environment where workers expect to leverage mobile technology at work. Millenials in particular, expect to have access to technology for their work lives, in the same manner as they do in their personal life.
- Employees say it’s easier to do their jobs when they can access work remotely from a mobile device, according to research from Bluewolf, a global cloud consulting agency
Nearly every department can benefit from the utilization of mobile devices and mobile apps – HR, finance, IT, field sales reps, management and service personnel.
Trending Apps in 2016
While many companies are only implementing mobile applications on a small scale, other organizations have adopted as many as 20 mobile apps, according to research from Frost & Sullivan.
The global research and consulting company found that 17% of companies self-identified as heavy users, with almost two dozen mobile apps already in place for workers to use on their smartphones, tablets, and feature phones.
And why not, some of the popular apps are truly changing the way work is done. There are a variety of workforce apps available today, and some companies are creating their own.
ClickMeeting, for instance, has created a platform for online meetings and webinars and allows for inviting colleagues to ClickMeetings via Gmail or Outlook and scheduling meetings directly from Google Calendar or iCal.
Another currently trending app, Toggle, allows for tracking billable hours. While still other apps are focused on such things as time sheets, project management, site check-in/check-out, and self-service HR portals.
In addition, countless companies are creating their own apps, custom designed to address their specific corporate needs. These tailored apps are focused on everything from facility issue reporting, to delivering information about what’s on the menu at the company cafeteria, to booking conference rooms and basic employee communication.
Questions to Consider
As your organization contemplates the implementation of mobile apps, it’s important to proceed thoughtfully, reviewing a variety of issues and questions, including:
- What resources are required to operate and support mobile technology?
- How can such technology be adopted without overwhelming IT?
- How do you prioritize mobile projects with regard to funding and resources?
- How do you get the highest business impact from your mobile applications?
When creating such apps, it’s important that they be easily updatable. In addition, their development shouldn’t impact your existing IT operations.
But the importance of having a mobile device-enabled workforce, and the benefit that it has on improving business productivity and processes, cannot be overlooked. Companies that underestimate the importance of mobile apps risk putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage. The mobile enabled workforce is the new normal.BACK TO BLOG