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Mobile Solutions for Businesses in 2014

Mobile Solutions for Businesses in 2014

As 2013 comes to an end; Mobile Internet usage is at an all-time high, with almost 63% of all cell phone owners using mobile devices to go online. While desktops and laptops will remain the primary method of internet usage; mobile usage will become bigger and bigger for Internet access.
This would mean a significant impact for business owners as more workers would be inclined to a shift from workstations and desktops and laptops to having all they need to carry out their work on mobile phones. This was already evident with the growing use of email solutions, real time communication systems, collaboration tools, which enable users to do their presentations, access documents and conduct meetings from anywhere. While all these throw open a world of possibilities but the concerns for security and data protection are real and will be the biggest focus in the year to come. 2014 will also usher in a widespread adoption of mobile for the consumer market; thereby bringing in a phase of significant rethinking of corporate marketing strategies. As we step into 2014 business owners and mobility solution providers would be well served by focusing their attention on the following aspects:

Mobile Based Marketing will be the game changer Google’s new hummingbird algorithm for mobile searches is proof to the importance a company like Google is placing on the growing impact of mobile marketing. Today users are more likely to search for addresses, places, businesses and any information under the roof on their mobile devices than on their laptops or desktops. Thus, it would become very important for business to understand how to lead consumers to their website, evaluating if they are mobile ready, can a consumer find them using their search criteria on a mobile device. With almost 6.8 billion mobile subscribers today and 40% of them connected to the internet, the role of Mobile based Marketing will be huge and a game changer for businesses. Apps like FBAdAssassin and other social media marketing apps would continue bringing the market close to the seller.

Competitive Edge to Small Businesses Everything from billing and scheduling to project management may be moved to Cloud-based apps, allowing small businesses with small budgets to compete against much larger companies. Businesses now have at their disposal access to an infinite number of software necessary to run their operations and compete, at a far lower price than traditional software like email solutions, real time communication systems, collaboration tools; there are competitive applications for everything.

Focus on BYOD Security
Putting in place a BYOD policy should be a priority in every workplace and business. Research has shown that less than 20% of employees worldwide have signed a BYOD policy. A challenging but important task for companies who utilize BYOD would be to develop a policy that defines exactly what sensitive company information needs to be protected and which employees should have access to this information, and then to educate all employees on this policy. Businesses must focus on putting remote wipe and encryption software on personal devices, as well as mobile virtual workspaces that separates work data in a separate, encrypted area on a user’s personal device.

Mobility Solutions for Bricks-And-Mortar stores
The benefits of equipping the staff in bricks-and-mortar stores with tablets and mobile devices are immense. Using these technology workers can reduce lines by checking people out during busy times or to locate items at other locations. Small businesses can also set up inexpensive state-of-the art cashiering technology to reach out to customers as they enter a store by using Mobile POS.

In 2014, consumers will see more of this in-store use, as well as inventive technology to reach out to customers as they enter a store. Customers who opt in may begin to see special offers pushed to their smartphones as they near a favorite store, enticing them to stop by.

More Cloud Solutions for Mobile Preferred workplace
The cloud is the preferred destination as more businesses and employers are working on redefining how their workforce and the devices stay connected to their servers. This trend will continue to grow as solutions like Office 365 have become the norm offering huge cost savings and flexibility at very affordable monthly fee. In 2014 we will continue to see businesses investing on cloud solutions for a mobile-preferred workplace. This also reduces the uncertainty and expense associated with funding a software development team to build solutions or applications when needed, as typically they would be able to find and download a solution that fits their need. Additionally, this will eliminate or significantly reduce support costs of installation and maintenance of these applications as the App provider usually offers support as well.

Mobile Wallet
The benefits of taking the rewards program to a consumer’s mobile devices are evident to businesses today. Businesses can now provide the customers the same rewards through simply representing a smartphone app, who earlier had to carry an additional card either in their wallet or keychain. As 2014 approaches us, the consumers and business alike are moving closer to being able to pay with mobile devices, with the likes of PayPal enabling mobile payments.
With the continual and gradual shift from PC to mobile, businesses need to adjust their thinking and strategies. While changes had already been occurring inside the workplace, the significant shift will be in the way businesses reach out to consumers.

-Sumit Debnath