By Dennis Jones
By now, many of you have probably heard of the notion of mobile first, designing an online experience optimized for mobile devices. However, big tech players, like IBM, are broadening the scope of mobile first into a mantra for businesses, i.e. become a mobile enterprise and empower your people.
Why is mobile first hot now? Well, because mobility is hot. How hot? According to industry body, GSMA, there were 7.6 billion mobile connections worldwide in 2015, representing 4.7 billion unique subscribers. For context: there are around 7.5 billion people in the world. The global subscriber penetration rate now stands at 63%. And in places like Europe, that number stands at 85%.
Not only are more people than ever using mobile technology, but they also are using it for a greater range of applications. In 2015, 2.5 billion people were using mobile devices to access the Internet. And mobile money services were available to 1.9 billion users worldwide.
Even if you’re not a mobile money services vendor, those users are probably your customers and/or employees. Just look at the numbers. Mobile ownership and use are highest among affluent buyers, who spend on average 26 hours online per week and are the heaviest consumers of digital media. Demographically, those buyers could be your employees (existing and prospective). They’re used to interacting with brands via easy-to-use mobile apps, so it stands to reason that they will want to interact with your company just as easily.
If you don’t make it easy for them by adopting a sensible IT mobility strategy, they will go ahead and use their mobile devices anyway, interfering with your attempts to maintain compliant and secure operations. Take one common scenario: your employees will resort to free Wi-Fi services for transferring corporate material, compromising security and confidentiality, or use unsafe connections that can lead to malware being introduced onto your corporate network.
Moreover, your organization will miss out on an increasing number of mobile-led opportunities to increase efficiency, collaboration and innovation. A case in point is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device): by making it easy for employees to use their own devices on your network, you can greatly reduce your IT spend on corporate endpoints, such as laptops, phones and tablets.