Mobility is playing an ever-increasing role in the life of contemporary business, providing the mobile workforce with a new level of communications freedom. The commercial benefits associated with greater mobility have been recognized as a great stimulus for businesses looking to transform to new business strategies that capitalize on a company’s core strength.
Most of us have a positive experience of smartphones and apps in private and expect the same productive user experience in a business application. The mobile revolution happening right now affects almost every employee within a company. It is seen as a business game changer for some user categories, such as business people on the move who use a smartphone as a complementary service to their laptops. For other user categories, such as mobile field engineers, it is more of an evolution, shifting to new technologies to utilize smartphones and services. In both cases, the main driver behind the enterprise mobility trend is the employees—not the company—who want to use their private modern devices to access company resources. This has resulted in a new business policy called “bring our own device” (BYOD).
The mobility trend is now entering a second phase where companies are formulating mobile strategies to benefit from the new mobile technologies. They are now busy replacing old mobile devices with smartphones and tablets, and are equipping their staff with business apps as a new and productive user interface to their business applications.
The business mobility community is diversified and covers a broad range of users. It can be separated into three distinct groups.
- Casual users: who use business apps on smartphones while on the move
- Professional users: for whom mobile devices are business critical
- Transactional users: who need to access the entire ERP suit from their tablet
Each group has its own dynamics and is defined by the extent to which mobility plays an active role in their working lives. Each user groups’ boundaries of use are determined by its user behavior and device of choice. However, it is not uncommon to find that two or three co-exist for the same individual or within the same organization.
The diversity of choice among devices is huge and each group has its own preferences. Some users want a large screen, whereas others prefer a compact screen. Some favor touch screens; others are more at home using keypads. And it is the same with businesses, too. Some companies want to operate on their premises, whereas others want to operate out of a cloud. Some want full-time connection; others need off-line capability.