Whether we like it or not, we are now squarely in the "post-PC" era of computing. For the first time, PC sales have declined and tablet and smartphone shipments are soaring. While people still use PCs at their desks, more and more people prefer to use mobile technology when they are on the road, which is – frankly – good for the bottom line.
Mobility helps businesses reduce waste and drive operational cost savings. Apps like Concur for mobile help eliminate paper-based processes, manual receipt capture via ancient fax or scans and better visibility into travel spend. And mobility can help drive revenue growth by more effectively marketing and selling products and services to customers.
So just how much has mobile technology changed the business of doing business in recent years?
#1 Consumerization of the enterprise
The success of iPhone and Android have resulted in the decline of traditional managed device platforms such as BlackBerry and Windows Mobile. Employees have more choice and enterprises are now accepting BYOD as a fact of life. Of course, IT departments are now faced with the challenge of managing these devices.
In an interesting and ironic development, Apple has now become the leader in Enterprise Mobility. A lesser-known fact about the upcoming iOS 7 release is the number of Enterprise-friendly features that Apple is adding to the new operating system.
#2 Improved productivity and efficiency
Employees are now connected and easily reachable via multiple communication mechanisms (voice, messaging, video chat and social networks). Employees can get work done via their smartphones and tablets, even when they are away from their offices. Managers can stay on top of employee spend and productivity right from their mobile device. Through business apps and third party cloud based applications, businesses are able to drive efficiencies in all aspects of their business, thanks to mobility.
#3 Efficiently marketing to customers
Through Geofencing and Notifications, businesses can alert potential customers and make offers that drive purchasing. They can provide optimal shopping experiences to consumers based on their interests and location. The use of Big Data has helped businesses embed intelligence into their applications and improve customer experiences, reaching consumers more efficiently and more persuasively.
Mobile technology is a competitive advantage for businesses that gain the ability to market and sell products to their customers more efficiently than their peers. Companies that give freedom and choice to their employees – and promote progressive policies around travel and spend management – find that they have high employee satisfaction, less cases of fraud and higher productivity. In the end, embracing mobility is simply good for business.