Whether at the office, out and about, or on a plane headed to a business conference, today’s workforce is tethered to mobile devices more than ever. With more businesses leaning toward a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, the trend toward mobile working options is continually expanding with new, thinner, sleeker options and more apps to make life easier as desktop PCs become less of an imperative. In fact, Gartner reports that 821 million smartphones and tablets will be purchased worldwide in 2012, with that number rising past the one billion mark in 2013.
“For most businesses, smartphones and tablets will not entirely replace PCs, but the ubiquity of smartphones and the increasing popularity of tablets are changing the way businesses look at their device strategies and the way consumers embrace devices,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner. “In 2016, two-thirds of the mobile workforce will own a smartphone, and 40 percent of the workforce will be mobile.”
With the move toward a BYOD work culture, companies have to consider new security measures, the repercussions of lost and stolen devices, and a comprehensive usage policy. The change would also likely impact purchasing decisions for software applications, as more employees require access to work-related apps outside of the office on a much more frequent basis.
Now more than ever, people need to stay linked with the office and their job responsibilities, which is why more cloud services and software applications are being created every day to fill the gap. Whether it’s just the option of keeping tabs on office e-mails while out at lunch, monitoring the movement of products through inventory management software, or using expense management software to file expense reports from a continent away, technology is creating an increasingly mobile world that is forcing businesses to redefine the way their employees use mobile devices.