First Issue

Competing in the Mobile Economy

Stuart Brown, Telecommunications consultant

The evolving dynamics of the last decade has presented businesses with both challenges and opportunities in equal measure. And at the heart of this is a technological revolution.

For many, increased oil prices and a downturn in the economy have resulted in more employees working from home.

And where companies have reduced their workforces this has meant remaining employees have a wider area of responsibility that requires them to work from a variety of remote locations whilst still being accessible, engaged and productive. Equally, our increasingly global economy and use of the internet means that consumers are getting used to buying goods and services outside traditional trading hours and the accompanying 24 hour customer experience that has brought.

Women are traditionally the segment of society hit hardest by any economic recession – especially in terms of diminished employment prospects. Technology presents an opportunity for those usually restricted by their childcare commitments or remote location, enabling them to benefit from flexible work arrangements and info on the move. In East Africa, for example, access to market data via mobile phone has enabled farmers (especially those selling niche crops) to obtain daily prices and therefore achieve optimum profit.

For many organisations, technology is changing the way they do business. Stockbrokers are conducting trades 24/7 from every corner of the globe … surgeons are guiding medical procedures via mobile video … and there has been an explosion in businesses optimising retail offers for iPhone, tablet and Android accessibility.

For business however, merely having mobile devices is just the start. Those companies who are really getting the most benefit from the technology, are those who activate the communication potential it brings.

These businesses recognise that just having mobile access to e-mail is inadequate for increasing productivity and producing better-informed employees. This has led to the integration of the whole spectrum of devices such as laptops, tablets, iPads and smartphones, along with their various applications and software, making it easier than ever for workers to collaborate and businesses to communicate with staff, customers, and supply partners.

By allowing their people to use company data and resources without being tied to a single location, these organisations are able to deploy their employees where they are most effective – whilst travelling, working from a client’s site or from home, anywhere on the globe. Their mobile devices can help them keep in touch, be productive, and make use of company resources. And many say it makes their teams more efficient, more creative, and more valuable to their customers.

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