It’d be an understatement to say that the internet changed the world, but now the explosion of mobile is set to mix up the status quo again. Most of us carry computers in our pockets many times more powerful than our first PC, providing a nearly uninterrupted connection to the rest of the world.
We’ve identified five top trends in business mobile usage which may soon have a significant impact on business - if they haven’t already.
1. More small tasks done on the go
With better coverage and speed of public Wi-Fi, it’s common now to get small tasks done on the go. Where you used to wait to get in front of a keyboard to perform just about any task which might challenge your mobile devices, you now have enough power and memory in your phone to carry out all but the most demanding jobs when you’re out on company business. Centralised cloud-storage means that you have access to all those critical business documents, even when you’re miles from the office.
2. Businesses expect mobility as standard
You need mobile functionality for all your key software to be effective. Carrying many of your core business tools in your pocket, you can work within the framework of your adopted software without the need for third-party apps to cover missing functionality. This leads to more cost effective and productive usage, easing expense, finance and customer relations management.
3. Mobile keeps software costs down
The UK economy is slowly starting to tick up as recovery spreads through the Eurozone with stops and starts along the way. Yet, the lessons of the recession and the accompanying belt-tightening haven’t been forgotten, and businesses look to mobile solutions to reduce their software spend. Mobile solutions are designed to be relatively inexpensive (compared with often-overloaded desktop solutions) and flexible in both usage and pricing. Mobile services often represent the most efficient solution, as they can allow you to pay for what you need, as you need it and avoid more substantial upfront costs.
4. ‘Bring your own device’ complicating expense calculations
BYOD isn’t the same as DIY, and it brings its implementation challenges when it comes to expense management. These include plans and usages costs and helpdesk call volume for both primary and peripheral devices, among other factors. The difficulty of administrating highly varied and specific payment and reimbursement plans will be problematic without the right software solution.
5. New mobile-based services are helping to cut business expenses
Formally launched in 2011, tech unicorn Uber was valued at nearly $20bn within three years. While the service took a little while to see widespread uptake and the crowdsourced and largely unregulated UberX remains problematic, Uber is now everywhere, even competing with London’s black cabs. Towards the end of 2015, the company launched Uber for Business in the UK to provide more professional, low-cost transport for business accounts.
While some big mobile trends may be leading to increased complexity in administration, the mobile software solutions now available represent a stronger resource for expense, financial and customer relations reporting and management than we’ve ever had access to before.