by Granville Triumph
Do an Internet search for “mobility” and you get a surprisingly wide range of results. Some sites are dedicated to equipment for those with disabilities, as well as transit services that assist the disabled. You will find sites for relocation services and physical therapy programs. Only toward the bottom of the results page do you begin seeing sites related to smartphones and other mobile devices and their use in business.
That’s intriguing given that mobility is one of the biggest trends in IT. Everyone in our industry is talking about how best to incorporate mobile devices into the technology mix, and capitalize on the benefits these tools bring to business. A recent survey by Accenture revealed that mobility is a top priority in 2013 for 34 percent of IT executives, and 42 percent ranked mobility as one of their top five priorities.
These executives plan to allocate 31 percent to 40 percent of their discretionary budgets toward incorporating mobility into the enterprise. Accenture reports that anecdotal data suggests that many are also approaching new IT projects with a “mobile first” way of thinking.
Why? Seventy-nine percent of IT executives believe mobility will generate significant sources of new revenue for their businesses and 84 percent say it will significantly improve customer interactions. Seventy-three percent believe mobility will impact their businesses as much or more than the web revolution of the late 1990s.
That’s powerful. But it’s not simply a matter of introducing mobile devices into the business. They’re already there. Most of your employees already have them. And many of them are using those tools for business whether you support them or not.
The Accenture survey offers a clue as to how to take full advantage of mobile computing. Forty-six percent of IT executives said they plan to make workflow changes to better incorporate mobility into the business over the next year. Improving field and customer service with instant data access, capture and processing topped the list of needs (43 percent), followed by engaging customers via mobile devices (36 percent), especially with transactions on mobile devices (34 percent).