Are You Ready for an All-Mobile World?

Sometime in 2017, there will be more mobile devices than people on this planet. That might sound surprising, but it’s merely the tipping point in an accelerating trend. Smart CIOs and IT departments are working hard to stay ahead of the curve. 

What will an all-mobile world look like? 

More people in more places will be connected.

Many of these mobile users will be making their first-ever connections to the mobile world from developing countries in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa. In fact, by 2018, mobile users in Asia will grow to 2.6 billion—more than half the world’s total.

That’s good news for any business seeking to expand its reach to potential customers, suppliers, or employees around the globe. And it’s good news for the developing regions as well. Research shows that increasing mobile access, especially in a developing nation, has a direct and positive effect on its GDP. 

Would access to new markets in newly mobile parts of the world help your company expand its reach and increase its revenues? Look here to see where you might find newly connected customers. 

They’ll have multiple devices.

Even though there will be more devices than people by 2018, that doesn’t mean that every newborn and octogenarian will have one. In fact, less than two thirds of the world population will be mobile users. 

Put those two facts together and a little grade-school math will tell you that a large number of mobile users, maybe more than half, will be connecting to the Web from more than one device. Maybe quite a few of them. Right now, a typical user in the developed world might have a smartphone, laptop, tablet, and perhaps a personal fitness tracker. But as the wearables market comes into its own in the next couple of years, the types, purposes, and forms of mobile devices will be unimaginably varied. Employees may arrive at the workplace carrying a tablet, with smartphones in their pockets, fitness trackers and authentication jewelry on their wrists and hands, augmented reality in their glasses and sensors in their clothing. 

Now’s the time to prepare for all these devices, both with updated policies and a secure infrastructure. 

They’ll abandon their laptops.

We’ve all been talking about it for a while, but in 2014, we officially enter the post-pc era, as smartphones are overtaking personal computers right about now. That seems to be just fine with consumers: Half of mobile phone users say their phones are either their primary way of going online or their only way of doing so. 

Then there are tablets, which have seen rapid adoption and are set to overtake personal computers next year. Even before that happens, traffic from tablets will outpace traffic from laptops as consumers eagerly transition to devices they can carry and use wherever they are. 

Needless to say, it’s time to start retiring some laptops, if you haven’t already. And consider creating applications, network, and even workstations that make sense for non-PC users. 

They’ll be watching more video.

Last year, video accounted for 53 percent of mobile traffic. By 2018, it will reach 69 percent, and continue growing. People clearly love watching, shooting, uploading, and sharing video, and mobile devices make it that much easier. Video is a great way to communicate with and engage employees wherever they may be. 

You’ll need more bandwidth.

The confluence of the Internet of Everything, big data, 3D designs, online collaboration and employees’ desire for more mobile devices means you’ll need a stronger, more robust, faster, and more responsive infrastructure than ever before. 

Is your network prepared to handle it? Our Fast IT and Faster Connections playlists can help you get up to speed. 

Follow @InnovateThink on Twitter.

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