Waiting on information is a thing of the past. In this age of instant knowledge, real-time data grants immediate information, whenever and wherever you want it. In today’s agile markets, problems are solved faster, questions are answered more quickly, and data can be accessed at the click of a button using rapidly expanding connectivity options. Unlimited access to mobile networks and the proliferation of emerging technology allow end users to be productive on an expansive and evolving number of platforms. While convenience, portability and user interface have always been the drivers of mobile technology, lack of applications, power and connectivity have slowed the adoption of cutting-edge technologies within businesses. However, industry trends indicate that change is on the horizon, and these limitations may finally be behind us.
Increasing the computing power of tablets and smartphones, the stabilization of two-in-one and transformational hybrid devices, and the emergence of wearable technology have driven adoption and growth of applications within these on-demand platforms. Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the dominant computing platform and go-to device for end users, while desktops and laptops are becoming obsolete, due to their limitations in terms of load times, connectivity and stability. Gartner recently predicted that by 2018, more than 50 percent of users will use a tablet or smartphone first for all online activities. The growing availability of connections and mobility of devices are leading many organizations to redefine and reimagine how they work and market.
How Are Businesses Tackling Innovation?
Many organizations are refocusing, both internally and externally, to adjust their points of interaction with customers. Some have gone as far as redefining the way their organizations work to accommodate the market demand. Companies are optimizing websites for mobility, developing apps on codeless platforms, and designing internal websites to mimic the familiar Google Play and the Apple stores. These innovations can increase data availability and better meet the needs of their redefined, mobile customer.
Recently, ESPN implemented Apple’s single sign-on feature – users have to sign on to only one device to enable all of the features available on its app. When an organization understands the pain points of its customer, it is better enabled to provide for their needs and ultimately, drive brand loyalty.
Four Ways an Organization Can Prepare for a User-Driven Market Shift
1. Define and monitor group culture. End-user device use should be determined by the way teams work and interact. Depending on factors such as team structure and communication needs, mobile devices, tablets, two-in-one devices, and even wearable technology may have a place in your business.
2. Road map internal app development with mobility and accessibility in mind. SharePoint sites, application stores and collaborative tools can mimic the look and feel of the universally familiar App Store, which allows for ease of operation and improved employee engagement.
3. Reimagine the way business opportunities are defined. Sales forces, field technicians, security teams, engineers, human resources and many other groups can benefit from live data, instant analytics and even wearable technology. Define new business opportunities based on the potential application of these innovations.
4. Optimize websites for multiple devices. Many websites still aren’t optimized for mobile users. An organization’s website should be designed to account for different screen sizes and load times of different technologies. Review the site design, structure and page speed to ensure the site enhances internal productivity and provides a user-friendly portal to your business. In an age when information is endless and instantly available, organizations would be remiss not to explore the possibilities of an end-user device strategy. As end-user device limitations become a thing of the past, organizations must prepare for the shift.
About the author: Warren Edwards is a Senior Technical Manager and Enterprise Architect with over 16 years of experience in all phases of an IT infrastructure. He has consulted with clients on strategic planning and process improvements in server, storage and network infrastructur; data center and cloud service migrations; mobility; IT service delivery; security; governance; and networking.
Photo Source: LDProd/istock photo