Your Mobile Strategy: It’s Not the Phone, it’s the Software

For today’s small and midsize businesses, the question is not whether you will take advantage of mobility. It’s a question of when…and how.

Up until now, you may have been focused on what kind of smartphone to choose. But as more and more mobile apps become available, software increasingly leads the way. Here are some recent findings:

Healthcare and Finance Lead the Way: Last year, it’s estimated that some 25-30 billion apps were downloaded to mobile devices.  If you are in healthcare or finance, you probably already know this. Even though they are among the most highly regulated of all industries, with strict privacy and compliance standards, they were also among the heaviest users of mobile apps. This is in part because the apps available for these industries have addressed strict privacy and compliance standards, according to a study undertaken by Good Technology, makers of enterprise mobile security software. (See the report at http://www.good.com/resources/Good_Data_BYOD_2011.pdf ) Creating strong separation between business data and what’s happening on the personal side of the device makes it possible to comply with standards like HIPAA, PCI data security and more. The bottom line: expect to see more apps that are business ready.

Business Benefits: What benefits will you really see in your business if you embrace mobility? A survey of several hundred enterprises by Aberdeen Consulting (http://tinyurl.com/87pc39s) identified three:

  • Improving communication and collaboration
  • Rapidly deliver actionable information to the point of decision
  • Increasing customer intimacy

A recent Yankee Group survey got even more granular (http://www.yankeegroup.com/ResearchDocument.do?id=41225) and identified the following advantages from mobile business apps:

  • Increased field selling time
  • Elimination of redundant activities
  • Increased win rates
  • Reduced sales calls costs
  • Increased forecast accuracy
  • Decreased administrative time
  • Decreased sales cycle

Who Pays: When it comes to mobility, many businesses have chosen BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategies that require employees to pick up all the costs. Companies save money by not having company-issued devices and employees do not object. As the Good Technology report notes “users are willing to pay for having a choice, and an “expense‐back” option is not their most important consideration.”  Of those organizations that offer a mobility stipend, Good Technology found that the average is $61 or more per month. And some are varying stipend levels by role of the employee.

Opportunity:  Mobile apps are not just good for business, they are also a good business. Many enterprises have discovered that they can leverage their specific expertise and turn it into an app. TechNet, a bipartisan group of technology CEOs, released a study showing that there are now roughly 466,000 jobs in the “App Economy” in the United States, up from zero in 2007. http://bit.ly/AlGe4l

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About Vic Levinson
Telecommunications and IT professional with over 20 years experience in Business Telecommunications. Specializing in voice over IP (VoIP) for business: hosted VoIP, business VoIP phone systems, SIP providers, carriers, T1's - the works. Founded Prime Telecommunications in 1993 and providing business communications solutions. Cloud Applications- everything from hosted network security, hosted Disaster Recovery, hosted printer management, data centers and colocation solutions for businesses.

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