Recall the year 2007. Many companies were spending on unimportant things. They were spending on new cars, buying expensive office equipment and hiring top industry executives with enormous salaries. Year 2007 is gone and world recession has struck many companies nowadays. Companies suffer heavily from overspending and they struggle to maintain their profitability. A lot of them went bankrupt. Other are downsizing and selling its equipment. How can a company with less people produce more output? Managers and owners figured out that the only way to stay on the market is to increase their productivity. Do more with less resources is vital to any business that wants to survive this era. Mobility might be one of the answers to overcome the impact of the crisis.
There is a large boom of smartphones that are available today. I would split smartphones into 2 categories: phones and tablets. These differ according to their OS. The major players in the smartphones market are: Apple, Google, Microsoft and RIM. Apple with its iOS, Google with Android, Microsoft with Windows Phone and Windows Embedded and RIM with Blackberry.
What is the difference between smartphone and classic mobile device? Classic mobile device is suitable only for making calls and sending SMS. Simply because they are not capable for any other purpose. On the other hand, Smartphones evolved a lot over time. Here are some of the possibilities of smartphones – e-mails, maps, navigation, WiFi and mobile internet connection, calendars, weather, social applications, music, videos, brilliant cameras with video recording and most importantly – many apps that increase the overall productivity. The main advantage of smartphones for business use are:
1. Increase collaboration of team members
2. Rapid decision making based on real-time critical information
3. Producing value at the time which would have been normally unused, such as traveling or waiting for appointments
Mobility is especially crucial for sales people. The largest deals often require face-to-face meetings where sales people need to visit the customer. With mobile devices, they can produce price quotas on-the-go, process the orders, make PowerPoint presentations at customer’s site, download brochures and documents, deliver reports and easily collaborate with their colleagues. Mobile applications for smartphones make all of these possible. Moreover, the mobile apps can be integrated with internal IT system so employees can access same data and information as they would when sitting in their offices. For instance the Dynamics CRM data can be accessed with mobile CRM applications.
There are also some disadvantages that the decision-makers must consider before making the purchase decision. Hardware and software for smartphones cost some money. The software needs to be also implemented and business software often requires customizations to be made. This also cost additional time and money. And lastly, people must get used to them. There are people who use smartphones in their daily lives. Some however don’t and they are not friends with modern technologies. It takes some time and effort for them to get used to smartphones. Mobility can make your business more productive but you should take some time to think it over.