How Mobile Tech Will Transform Your Business
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the latest innovations. Things change so fast — every day it seems there’s a new app to download, gadget to buy, or upgrade to make. Especially in the field of tech, brands are always looking for the next big thing that will transform their relationships with customers and how their business runs. “Should my brand be on Snapchat? Do we need an app? And what’s the next ‘Uber’ that will disrupt my industry?” These are all-too-common questions that keep execs up at night. Often, staying abreast isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity.
The biggest trend on the horizon, of course, is the mobile takeover. Our devices are smarter and more interconnected than ever before, empowering offices to work more collaboratively — and from anywhere — and consumers to engage on a whole new level.
5 ways mobile will change your business — and your life.
Here are a few ways mobile tech will change the way companies run and connect with customers in 2016.
- Everything gets “smart.” First your phone. Then your watch. What’s next — your fridge? We’re already there. The Internet of Things (IoT) connects everything in our lives to the web. Consumers can access any electronic via mobile, and it will soon be true for business. This will help offices run more smoothly, as devices can automatically order more supplies when they’re running low or ping security if someone unauthorized is on the premises. Automating certain processes leave businesses time to concentrate on research, innovation, and new technical possibilities — all while increasing worker productivity. Many suggest the IoT will transform the workplace like the web did in the 1990s. IoT = more data and analytics, which translates to smarter, automated decision-making.
- Tech goes wireless. Especially for global organizations, interactivity can only grow between offices with virtual meetings and wireless conference rooms. Global offices are now able to collaborate across oceans and time zones. Employees are also liberated to work remotely if necessary and operate with the same efficiency and productivity they have in the office. Smart companies can use this to their advantage and let employees operate out of the location that most inspires them. Not all work must be done at your desk — or even in the workplace. Creativity may strike at the beach. Or the bar. We’re permanently attached to our mobile devices, which means (love it or not) we’re never alone.
- Messaging apps wise up. This is another big one. For individuals, messaging apps have grown by leaps and bounds since the humble days of texting. People are addicted to messaging and use it even more. Facebook is even testing a beta version of its Siri-esque M, which will book reservations for you or remind you of important events or occasions, — with Google nipping at its heels. And, in increasing numbers, brands are joining the messaging game to connect with their customers on the platforms they’re already using. Gone are the days when messaging apps were just for teens. Soon they’ll be infiltrating enterprise-level contact centers.
- Anything you need is on-demand. I’ve heard this called the “Uberization of everything.” Uber and Lyft (another car service app) were game-changers for the transportation industry over the past couple of years. The healthcare industry took note, and apps like Doctor On Demand, Pager, and more are letting patients order professionals to their door. If you’ve got a smartphone, you can get anything you want to come directly to you. Even puppies! And your phone automatically tells them where you are. Expect the trend to only accelerate and extend into the workplace with more and more businesses taking this route with their services. One day you’ll be ordering freelancers in with the tap of a button.
- Wearable technology is everywhere. That is, everything is going mobile. The current state of the market offers expensive, high-end smart clothing and accessories, like Google Glass or the Apple Watch — items out of reach for most consumers. But as their prices drop, adoption will rise. Businesses can use this to their advantage if they look out for how to potentially incorporate wearable tech trends into social feeds, industry engagement, and in-store offers.
Bonus: SMBs benefit, too. A boom in tech is a boon for small business. Advancements in technology level the playing field for SMBs and let them compete with the bigger brands. Messaging tools offer a direct line to the consumer 24/7, foregoing the alienating experience of a contact center and making the personal connection SMBs are known for. Plus, they give local and regional businesses global reach and access to billions of people. Mobile plays a huge role, of course. Apps afford small business owners the luxury of responding to web or mobile inquiries no matter where they are...which means they can be present and take care of business when they’re on the go, even after they’ve closed up shop.
Incorporating mobile technologies into the workplace this year will be crucial to the continued success of your business. It’s not just “keeping up with the Joneses”; it’s joining your employees and customers where they already are — and providing a more seamless, unified experience. What steps are you taking to make the transition? Leave your thoughts in the comments.