Corporations spend thousands of dollars and hours on building, securing, nurturing and organizing their IT. Then, the future comes along and asks us to evolve our thinking. It’s almost unbearable, until our eyes flip open. We can see the dramatic shape the future holds for corporations and our venture into the freedom of mobility.
As usage of mobile devices becomes more prevalent in our daily lives, it will become increasingly important to move your IT to the cloud. Cloud technologies are the primary shift that will support the future of business communication and team outputs.
Mobile devices are surging forward.
The world is full of mobile opportunities and it only shows signs of future growth. According to the International Telecommunications Union in 2009, 90% of the world’s population was covered by a mobile cellular signal as compared to only 61% in 2003. The ability to reach multiple people has increased and we will soon be fully connected through wireless signals.
It might be a little obvious to suggest that mobile cellular subscriptions have a direct impact on the global footprint of wireless signals, but looking at the growth of mobile subscriptions, the future suggests we will each have a personalized mobile service customized to our specifications.
The U.S. is leading the pack with 55% of people purchasing Smartphones over feature phones (Nielsen Wire, June 2011). This increase in Smartphone purchase will open the doors to an increased adoption rate and eventual cost reductions in data plans. With the current penetration rate of 38% (Nielsen Wire, June 2011), companies like Nokia are abandoning features phones and focusing their attention in the smartphone market (MediaPost – Nokia Won’t Sell Phones In U.S., Canada, 2011).
What’s incredible about this market is that despite the high cost early data shows that people are four times more likely to access their emails with a smartphone over a feature phone and typically have between 35 – 48 applications installed (Nielsen Wire – Smartphone Penetration, 2011).
The mobile cloud service landscape is expanding.
It’s not just cell phones that are getting attention. The sales of tablets have been surpassing expectations and sliding their way into the business landscape (WSJ, 2010) empowering the end user to choose from multiple devices, leaving IT executives to work out the difference between the end user needs, business decision makers and the typical standardized approach to IT.
Unfortunately for most IT executives, the cloud evolution has already hit its first stage – the availability of an application store with multiple business-focused productivity applications.
As applications grow and become more popular on a variety of devices, the second stage is an increased interest in mobile security and storage cloud services. Security services include locking, back up and restore, and data-wiping devices and storage services enable end users to share, synchronize, encrypt, and store files that are accessible from any web-based mobile device or laptop (Forrester, 2011). This will be demonstrated by an end user’s increased ability and comfort to engage in financial transactions over mobile devices.
In the third stage of mobile cloud evolution, companies will move beyond mobile cloud services and deploy mobile cloud solutions, which include collaboration capabilities and infrastructure-as-a-service (Forrester, 2011).
Mobile apps have transformed the way we view accessing the Internet.
Corporate app stores become the intranet of the future (Forrester, 2011). As the app-centric view of Internet matures, apps will take on the roles we typically associate with CMS platforms. Obtaining corporate apps will be the way that companies ensures employees have access to the most current versions of key policies and management practices.
We can already see this coming with current acquisitions, like the Microsoft’s purchase of Skype and its plans to integrate this popular communication medium into their office productivity line of business (10). Wearable technologies, like Microsoft’s Twitter Dress and advanced input methods will depend on cloud computing in order to support the lack of physical storage and mobility demands.
With the rise in mobile devices, it becomes important to make sure your business is preparing for an app-centric view and mobility demands of the evolving concept of the Internet. Moving your IT to the cloud will help ease your business into the new world of business communications and ensure your seat at the table during the next wave of technological advancements. Sure, your employees are downloading apps and look like they’re playing on their phones in the office, but one of those birds they fling might land in the hands of your next big client.