Digital technology has significantly transformed the way businesses operate. Mobility is now seen as a key aspect of the future workplace with regards to how companies deliver services and support their customers. According to Gartner, by 2018 more than 50 per cent of users will choose a mobile device in the workplace over a laptop or desktop.

Due to a fundamental shift in the way people work, the devices they use, and how they access and share information, constant digital connectivity, regardless of the geographical location, has become vital for the modern economy. Consequently, over the years, the popularity of mobile devices has gradually increased leading businesses to re-think their workplace strategy.

Smartphones, tablets and mobile devices are now seen as an integral part of the everyday work environment and have given rise to a new flexible worker and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), along with Corporate Owned Personally Enabled Device (COPE). These movements allow employees to access business data and documents from their own or company’s device, anytime and anywhere.Ofcom’s research revealed that 60 per cent of employees conduct work-related activities outside normal hours, whereas almost a third of people (32 per cent) have made work related calls, sent emails or texts while on holiday.

Key to flexible working are technologies such as mobile computing devices and cloud-based applications. A new study from Research and Markets predicts that the global mobile cloud market will grow from about £6bn last year to £30bn in 2019. Consequently, it’s vital for businesses to adopt a cloud strategy in order to remain flexible and offer customers superior service.

With the advent of BYOD and COPE in the workplace, vendors are now offering cloud-based mobile applications, such as CRM or accounting software, that improve both staff and business productivity. The ability to access data on the go has become crucial for businesses to maintaining a competitive advantage. Aberdeen survey of 240 enterprises suggests that overall, the use of mobile applications, designed to help employees complete their work, increased productivity by 45 per cent and raised operational efficiency by almost as much (44 per cent).

According to Gartner, in 2015 tablet sales are expected to reach a total of 320 million, in comparison with just 316 million PC sales, being a result of an increased popularity of flexible working. Nonetheless, desktops are still viewed as necessities by most businesses. Desktop computers usually last longer than other mobile devices, and companies don’t have to frequently replace vital hardware. Furthermore, dual monitors are still widely used as a tool to increase efficiency, especially if there is a need to keep multiple applications or browsers open. Added to this, businesses that do a lot of data entry, or work on spreadsheets and documents will always favour a full-size computer as a faster and a more convenient device to use.

Businesses face a dynamic landscape where both customer and employee demands are changing. The shift towards mobile and cloud has changed the way we connect making businesses to deliver applications and data across a raft of devices via a number of delivery models. The mobile versus desktop choice is more than a product comparison – it is a question of what a customer needs. By 2016, two-thirds of Internet traffic will be viewed on mobile devices, leaving businesses no option rather than to adapt to the modern business and customer environment.

You might also be interested in our blog post, The Growing Trend of Flexible Working.

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