Is mobile the new black? My Windows Phone is bright yellow rather than black but now everything is going mobile and everyone wants to be in on it.
If your website is not mobile friendly its missing out.
Recent studies have shown that websites now get more hits from mobile browsers than from PCs.
What I want to address here is whether your business network and application platforms are also mobile ready?
With Australian SMEs lagging in updating technologies many companies still need to be in-house to make use of the company software systems for accounting, CRM, logistics, ERP, design systems and so forth.
For many years there have been remote applications platforms offered through Remote Desktop Services, Virtual Desktops and Citirx platforms to name a few.
Today there are also cloud solutions in the form of Software as a Service (SaaS) such as Office 365, Xero, Saasu, CRM online and many more.
Then there are also apps for mobile devices that can solve real business communication issues.
Let’s not forget the liberation of the Skype for Business platform either which makes your office phone and collaboration tools mobile as well.
If your business is not making use of a mix of these solutions to get your staff out of the office and working from wherever they need to be chances are it is already costing you.
They will instead be spending their transit time on Facebook and online shopping or reading the news just because more useful online tools are not available to them.
Mobility can also drive better accountability of staff with time on tasks being tracked live in the field rather than being based on estimates completed later in the day or week.
Cash flow can be enhanced with on the spot billing and instant processing of credit card payments.
Mobility is not just one thing or one idea, it is the concept of having the information you need in your hands any time, any place. It is about making better decisions on the spot to meet client demands faster or cutting the cost out of a transaction by removing steps from the process.
Mobility is about finding new, better faster ways to do old and new things. Today with ruggedized tablets and phones connected to 4G networks it is amazing what can be done in the field that removes the need for lengthy reporting sessions back in the office.
The cost of the solutions is very quickly justified if it reduces travel time of a staff member by an hour a day or if it allows a significant increase in productive activity each day.
A great example is a mobile device with access to inventory in a warehouse and the ability to place an order against that inventory, arrange delivery and invoice a client on the spot.
Transcrete offers this service from mobile tool trucks that travel around building sites selling tools and reinforcing-steel to tradies.
Items can be taken from stock in the truck or delivered direct from the central warehouse if required. This service saves the tradies leaving the site to go shopping and is greatly appreciated on a busy day when a tool is required.
The hardware vendors such as Microsoft, HP and others have been busy developing better phones and tablets to meet the growing demand for these technologies and software vendors and app developers are constantly releasing new and improved tools.
The challenge for you and your business is to figure out what is out there that will give you rapid improvements in productivity, customer satisfaction or open new markets to you.
There is no doubt that the digitally savvy businesses that make use of mobility solutions will be ahead of their competitors in a very short space of time.
You do not need to be or become tech savvy to modernize the technology in your business. What you need to know is where your bottlenecks are and then work with technology experts to find the right solutions.
Getting your internal business analysis right to match the applications to your business processes will be the key to brining in benefits that meet timelines and budgets.
If your business advisors are not tech savvy it may be time you found some additional advisors who can help with this part of your business.
In the SME business arena this is a new breed of advisor who understands your business and technology for your industry, not just accounting software.