Mobile technology has reached a tipping point in business, and for good reason. Mobile adoption has reached a critical mass among employees. Not only that, but many businesses are finding that those employees are willing to leverage their own devices for business applications. While companies originally feared mobile would be more of a distraction than a benefit, today they are seeing the opposite.
Employees today are likely to be as well versed in mobile as they are on computers, if not better. And what’s more – they likely already have their own device.
The latest report from the Pew Research Center found that 92 percent of U.S. adults own a mobile phone. In fact, mobile phones have now surpassed desktop and laptop computers (which have plateaued out at 73 percent adoption) as the most commonly owned device.
The trend away from computers is particularly evident when looking at the next generation. Among adults under age 30, only 78 percent own a laptop or desktop computer. Compare that with the 88 percent who did so in 2010.
As mobile popularity has grown over the last decade or so, businesses have also begun adopting it in the workplace. And they’ve largely done this at little to no cost to the business thanks to bring your own device (BYOD) policies.
A recent Tech Pro Research report found that 72 percent of organizations are already permitting BYOD or planning to do so. Gartner has gone so far as to predict that half of employers around the world will actually require employees to bring their own device by the end of 2016, but at the same time it sees fewer and fewer companies reimbursing employees for using their personal devices for business.
Why is this happening? It comes down to simplicity and happiness. With so many employees owning their own device, carrying a separate one for work purposes seems like a burden. Still, using mobile devices to fill down time with work and personal activities is vital for on-the-go professionals. That could be waiting in line for coffee, or the moments before a meeting’s start. People on the go want to be connected, and are willing to leverage their own devices to ensure they’re using their time wisely.
Once upon a time, many businesses feared mobile devices. With all their games, social applications, sport updates and other distractions, companies feared they would steal time from real work. What we’ve found, however, is that mobile technology is a vital tool for effective employees.
In Wrike’s 2016 Mobile Productivity Report, 43 percent of professionals said their mobile device was “very critical” for work. 44 percent used their device for work-related business more than 20 times each day. Employees are taking advantage of their mobile devices to do better, more efficient work.
A TechValidate survey found similar results for mobile workers that use mileage reimbursement technology. With the time they saved throughout the day, employees were able to complete administrative tasks sooner (49 percent) and visit additional clients or stores (38 percent). It’s clear to see how using mobile technology could impact your business’ bottom line.
No matter how you look at it, mobile is the future. Every industry – from media to healthcare – has been disrupted by these devices.
Leveraging mobile technology is helping employees make better use of their time, and giving them access to rich features that haven’t been available before. It’s no longer just about on-the-go access to email and phone calls; a plethora of apps and cloud resources are already available via devices for business purposes, and more are coming.
While it’s often easier not to disrupt the status quo, businesses that aren’t leveraging mobile are sure to be left in the dust in the very foreseeable future. If your company isn’t leveraging mobile technology already, the time to make a change, embrace mobile and reap the business benefits, is now. If you don’t, you can be sure your competitors will do so in your place.