Business executives the world over are embracing mobile technology. Capabilities once reserved for the rich elite are now accessible by even the most cash-strapped start up or sole trader.
When you look at the vast pool of data available on mobile technology and mobile marketing, the appeal is obvious. An AT&T survey from last year suggested that mobile devices collectively save business owners around 2 billion hours per year. Individually, small businesses were reckoned to have saved an average of $6,000 per year through the use of smartphone apps.
The main reason for this dramatic upsurge in productivity is the sheer scale and variety of functions facilitated by mobile technology. Social media marketing, email marketing, advertising, sales, accounting, talent management - you name a function of running a business and it can probably be performed using mobile.
When smartphones first emerged, entrepreneurs were freed up to work wherever and whenever. They were no longer tied to their offices, and could conduct business not only from wherever they were, but whilst on the move between places. It’s easy to forget how, just a few years ago, large desk-bound machines represented the outer limits of business technology. Now, everyone carries a powerful computer in the palm of their hands.
2) The Cloud
Cloud technology is still in the midst of realizing its full potential. Small business owners remain wary of unknown quantities, but anyone who has begun harnessing the awesome power of the cloud is an instant convert. The benefits are manifold: data backup, easy file sharing, mobile computing, at-home call center agents - the advantages of switching from vast, unwieldy physical servers to the cloud are huge. In terms of slashing overheads, the cloud is incredibly powerful, and it’s SMBs who stand to benefit the most. As more businesses jump into the cloud, we are witnessing yet another mobile revolution!
The perfect device for business execs on-the-move, tablets are intuitive, powerful and, perhaps most importantly, portable. Plus, they’re improving all the time, as is the range and function of apps.
4) Mobile Payments
Mobile payment capabilities have made life easier for SMBs operating from brick and mortar locations and entrepreneurs showing off their wares at trade shows and other mobile events. Card readers and mobile point-of-sale (POS) enable business to quickly and securely process credit cards directly from smartphone or tablet. Again, these technologies are constantly improving, and will undoubtedly continue extending their reach over the next few years.
Native to most tablets and smartphones, GPS technology is helping businesses work more efficiently. Delivery and shipment routes can be easily tracked, freeing up valuable resources and instilling confidence in business owners. At the other end of the transaction, customers can easily find what they’re looking for. Then there are the growth opportunities provided by geo-location, which is helping businesses target customers in their area, instead of wasting marketing dollars talking to audiences that can’t become customers. GPS has had a transformative effect on consumers and businesses alike, and, like everything else on our list, it’s improving at an exponential rate.
The mass migration to mobile technology is about more than sophisticated hardware. Mobile has rung in a new era of corporate agility, putting the heavy administrative lifting on the shoulders of technology and freeing up human resources to be more creative and flexible. As seamless as mobile technology appears right now, the best is yet to come…