Mobile Internet usage has surpassed desktop usage in China, but will the mobile trend really be able to kick laptops and PCs into the dustbin of history?
For many users, mobile will indeed become the norm for millions of people, especially outside of work. We now live in a multi-screen society, and in the immediate future, most of us will continuously shift back and forth between whichever device is the most convenient for a given task.
Some tasks however, will no doubtedly continue to require a work terminal, laptop or desktop machine. For everything else, it won't be long before it's all mobile devices. Renowned research group Gartner estimates tablet and smartphone sales will reach 1 billion in 2013.
Mobile Workforce Needs Access
So, companies will not be using mobile devices to run mission critical applications behind the firewall -- but pretty much every other function inside many companies will need to be able to be run via mobile. Nearly one-third of Americans now have mobile access to the internet and companies need to accept workers accessing business apps on the go.
How to prepare for this? Businesses need to do a bit of digital inventory here. What processes are already mobile enabled? What can be done through the website or portal and are there mobile versions of them available? What if the answer is no? How to build a workaround to act as a bridge to the time when such processes are made ready for mobile access?
It's quite a bit to unpack there, but a good place to start, and it gets the conversation going about what things are mobile enabled. For the companies who have a long way to go, look at what things are already in place and look at those successes as inspiration to do more and do better. Think of it this way -- even if your company has a long way to go in this regard, remember that the whole mobile industry is still very young -- it's just changing so fast that it seems to have been going strong for much longer.
Too basic of a solution? How about smartphones for everybody?! That's what new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has proposed at her company. Dive right into a new mobile strategy, and get employees excited at the same time.
Fragmented Platforms in the Enterprise
Smartphones for everyone brings the platform fragmentation issue front and center. What devices should everyone get? iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry? People bringing their own devices to work is already a problem for many companies -- so the fact there are four major operating systems to choose from is less than helpful.