Unlocking your organization’s full potential requires a healthy balance of knowledge in regards to the workspace, workforce, and industry. It requires the drive to learn about the latest in business trends and the courage and confidence to implement them.
For those who are committed to delivering innovative workplace tools for their staff, 2016 promises to bring new opportunities and improved efficiencies. Through mobile and wireless tech business tools, organizations have the opportunity to learn more about consumers and employees alike, leading to a more well-rounded enterprise and unlocking new business opportunities. And with 3/4 (72.3%) of workforce predicted to be mobile by 2020, it is clear that those who fail to embrace these trends will find themselves at the back of the pack.
In our profession, it is critical that we maintain a healthy knowledge of technological innovations as they emerge in the marketplace. We wanted to share with you some of the top mobile trends that should be on every enterprise’s radar in 2016. While this is not a complete list, we believe these to be of value to virtually every organization.
Let’s get down to business, here are the top six on our list.
1) “BYOD” is a common business policy.
Technological advances have brought about a new breed of worker. We are now able to stay connected at all times, free of the boundaries of time and space. With that, organizations are seeing a rise in employee productivity, as workers take the time to update information, schedule appointments, and return emails when they have a break in their day. Consequently, many employees have expressed the need to use their own mobile devices to access corporate information. Many businesses are responding by implementing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, encouraging the use of personal mobile devices to complete business tasks. The result: increased productivity and a reduction in costs.
When implementing a BYOD policy in your organization, be sure to educate your workforce regarding what practices are not safe for devices and offering them information on best practices. This protects both organizational and individual data.
2) Mobile app developers are shifting focus to a more advanced UX design.
With 89% of consumer media time spent in mobile applications, it is clear that this is no longer a trend, but a necessary tool in both our personal and professional lives. Users utilize these tools to improve efficiencies and reduce overall time spent on a project, and they will abandon those that cannot deliver an exceptional user experience (UX). As a result, many leading apps are being developed not by IT staff, but by digital marketing agencies who specialize in psychology and design. Mobile app users have spoken; the bar has been set. As a result, we can expect apps to become more and more intuitive and interactive in the years to come.
3) Businesses invest in native app solutions.
As developers shift their focus to more instinctive applications, businesses are looking to invest in native, intuitive mobile apps to meet the needs of employees and consumers. Facilities management teams are seeking out workplace management solutions that satisfy both their fixed and mobile needs. Software modules complemented with native mobile apps ensure delivery of real-time information from wherever they are, further improving organizational efficiencies.
4) Tablets are replacing laptops.
When the iPhone 6 was introduced last year, one of the most common attractions was the size. It seems that each new model boasts to be bigger and better than the last, almost like a mini-tablet (now nicknamed the phablet). This tech trend isn’t limited to smart phones; tablet developers are rolling out smarter, faster, and larger tablets with each new model. The screens are large enough to work as a computer, yet small enough to fit in a bag, causing many to rethink their need for a computer at all.
5) High-precision location sensors & wearable devices have become the norm.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed the way we view business opportunities, both from an employer and employee standpoint. When the technology train first started rolling, many feared they were sacrificing privacy for convenience. As our security concerns are addressed and we as consumers realize the boundless benefits to having such information at our fingertips, the vast majority have embraced the new tools available to us.
Through a combination of location-aware technologies and wayfinding tracking, businesses are better able to meet the needs of both clients and employees. These tools are being used to implement location and proximity-based scheduling, improving the workforce’s opportunities for chance encounters. Customers never have to get lost again. Wayfinding, coupled with interactive indoor maps, provide users with step-by-step navigational directions, offering a more satisfying overall experience. Lights activate as we approach a room, turning off as we exit. The possibilities are endless; the future is only limited by us.
6) Work-life balance is being replaced by work-life integration.
Entrenched in an era where we are seemingly attached to our mobile devices, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our personal lives have now blended with our professional. The workforce isn’t just asking for mobile technology in the workplace, they expect it. And anything less results in a less productive and engaged workforce.
“Two big trends will be mobility as a primary compute platform and devices fading to the background. It's the whole notion of work-life integration, rather than work-life balance. That's what I mean by devices fading into the background; they just become so integrated with what you do. You're in the car and you start something, and you go into the office and you start another task, and you move into a conference room and you just keep right on going. Maybe another way to say that would be comfortable computing: There's just a comfort and familiarity with mobile working that it's no longer a big deal.” -Benjamin Robbins, Principal, Palador
The mobile workforce, and the expanded businesses opportunities they facilitate, represent an intelligible shift in how organizations develop their business strategies. Investment in mobile technologies is a critical component to this strategy and must address the needs of both the customer and workforce. Those who refuse to embrace these innovations will find themselves put out to pasture before their time.
What technological investments are on deck for your enterprise this year?