Our culture is becoming so dependent on mobile devices that it’s not a surprise the amount of mobile traffic will outpace the PC this year. Your business needs to be found on mobile devices, especially if you’re a SMB, because local SEO is crucial for brand awareness purposes. The number of smartphone users is growing at an alarming rate. It took the PC four years to reach 50 million users, but the smartphone reached that number in just two years. As a business owner you need to make sure you’re positioned to take advantage of this growing number. Whilst it seems like plain sailing, not all businesses are being proactive, as only 55% of businesses have a responsive site that is mobile friendly.
Here are some stats showing the rising importance of mobile devices for SMBs:
1) The number of smartphones, tablets, laptops and internet-capable phones exceeded the number of humans in 2013, according to a Cisco report. A few years ago, it was rare to find someone with a phone that could access email; now it’s the norm.
2) 68% of UK smartphone owners used their device to check email in the past 30 days. Only text messaging was more popular (92%) Nielsen – “The Mobile Consumer” (Feb 2013)
3) There are 382.7 million mobile subscriptions in the UK, a 138% increase in mobile retail between 2012 and 2013 and 64% of UK population owns a smartphone.
According to Dave Sobel, Director of Partner Community at GFI Max, businesses have been increasingly adopting mobility schemes. There are different drivers for mobility adoption; the main one is the ability to allow employee flexibility, which leads to productivity gains and time management increase. Other reasons businesses are adopting mobile:
- Accommodate or manage the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend
- Attract top talent
- Optimize online offerings for mobile
- Keep up with the competition
- Create new revenue opportunities
- Stay aware of cutting-edge technology
- Cost savings
- Mobility is part of business continuity
- Higher need for employee availability
- Support telecommuting/remote work
Benefits of mobility
In a recent study for Digital Professionals, 58% of marketers indicated that smartphones and tablets will have the greatest impact on email over the next years, even more than social media. How will it affect their emails? Instead of designing emails for large screens, marketers will need to design emails for fingers and thumbs.
What does this mean for you?
The previous stats make it very clear that email is no longer limited to desktops or laptops. This means that you need to create emails that look great no matter where they will be read — on a desktop, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. If you want your message to reach a wider audience, you definitely need mobile-friendly emails. Apart from basic communication enhancement, some other benefits you can experience are:
- Keeping employees connected
- Higher productivity
- Opportunity to reach new market segments
- New capabilities for certain job roles
- Higher job satisfaction
- Improved ability to collaborate
- Improved ability to engage with customers
- Ability to reach employees at any time
Challenges in Adopting Mobility
Devices have become a very personal choice – they are extensions of the employee and office. There’s now a blurred line between work and personal lives during the workday and over the weekends. Employees want to use devices of their own choice and they want to have a consumer-like experience when using them for work. If companies provide devices to their employees, it’s also their responsibility to make them use the right way.
So which challenges can businesses face when implementing a mobile friendly environment?
- Finding mobile application developers
- Maintaining mobile & Internet offerings
- Users not familiar with company policy
- Determining cost/ROI of mobile solutions
- Optimizing business applications
- Mobility skill level of IT staff
- Making systems accessible securely
- Mobility skill level of general staff
It’s not. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think and you don’t even need any fancy tech skills. If you truly want to implement a savvy mobile scheme in your company, ask the IT experts so you can move on to what’s important: your business.
How can your IT team assists you towards integration? We have the answers:
- Devices configuration
- Move applications to cloud systems
- Implement/explore virtual desktops
- Build custom mobile applications
- Device usage information provided to users
- Move to applications with mobile apps
Given the business-critical role that mobile devices increasingly play in engagement, service delivery and business operations, today’s enterprises cannot afford to take chances with the availability and performance of their mobile device environment. Are you in or out?
This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Dave Sobel, Director of Partner Community at GFI Max. For the full report, please visit www.comptia.org