Mobility defines us. Just look at the rise of Uber, new innovative products such as device-charging suitcases, and the prominence of social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. We even have payment apps such as Apple Pay to serve those who don’t have time to swipe a credit card. 

Digital transformation is changing how the world thinks about work, play, and personal connection. And, as quickly as the hardware has evolved in the form of mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, digital transformation is catapulting us into the fourth industrial revolution with AR/VR, mixed reality, AI, and IoT. Building a transformed competitive business will come down to instilling a culture that embraces mobility.

There’s a lot to talk about, but here’s the gist of mobility 4.0.

Mobile is Agile

It was the “mobile first” movement, where companies designed products for mobile devices before they designed products for desktop, that confirmed mobility was a defining cultural factor. The statistics then all but confirmed our evolutionary trajectory into a mobile epicenter.

From 2010 to 2015, mobile usage increased by 600 percent. Now, six of the seven billion people on earth have mobile phones, and close to 90 percent of Millennials are never an arm’s length away from their trusted gadgets. Where tradition meets innovation, almost 70 percent of business emails are now read on phones.

To achieve a “mobile culture,” a mapped-out company strategy needs to start with mobile and go from there. Instead of taking old legacy or static strategies and forcing them into a mobile world. Companies need to create strategies around where their employees are – on mobile devices.

Mobility is Entrepreneurial 

But the one thing that mobile culture will not change is the value of employees. The traditional 9-to-5 work model may have changed, but the significance of worker input remains.

Thirty-seven percent of workers telecommute regularly, but those workers have better access to information and communication than their traditional, cubicle-dependent predecessors. Now, digital transformation and unified communication channels give employees 24/7 access to files, people, and real-time data.

And that’s good because what Millennials and Gen-Xers want most from employers are flexible working conditions. Savvy employers will empower them for success with agile solutions that allow them to work from home, Starbucks, or the beach. Why? Because doing so improves happiness, reduces stress, and boosts entrepreneurial thinking and productivity.

Mobile is Transformative

The theory sounds great, but the problems may appear insurmountable. For example, a mobile culture often calls for a “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) policy, which can quickly become a “bring-your-own-disaster” debacle for the poorly prepared.

But by making mobility a priority and enforcing strict policies, the transition can be less risky than many think. For example, tracking and accountability can be achieved using protocols that require all business calls to be made through an app.

To avoid the blurring of work and personal lives, softphone applications allow both the use of a standard business number for customers or business associates and a personal mobile phone number from the same device, preserving privacy.

Mobile can be Secure

As companies become more mobile, however, and more and more data are stored in the cloud, security is a growing concern, particularly where BYOD management is concerned. Sixty percent of IT decision makers listed network security vulnerability as one of their top concerns when it comes to BYOD security.

Because it is a resource-heavy endeavor to install and apply the latest cyber-combat arsenals, a managed provider can be beneficial in making sure your systems are protected from data leakage, data vulnerabilities, insecure access, and reliability issues.

Mobile is the Future

Infusing a culture of mobility into the workplace is a necessity for any company wanting visibility in the future. But doing so exemplifies a future-oriented strategy, the empowerment of employees for better innovation, and agile response to consumer demand for happier clients and customers.

What will mobility look like in the next five years? With cloud, wearables, big data, and the internet of things, new use cases are emerging by the day. Eventually, the goal is for everything in our lives – computers, cars, home appliances, shopping, deliveries, payments – to be controlled from one central place, be it a phone or other device. Meanwhile, we, ironically, will be anywhere but in one central place.

Photo Credit: Vormingplus Oost-Brabant Flickr via Compfight cc

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