by Eric McCarty

The rise of the next mobile economy and what businesses need to know

Jun 25, 2018
MobileSmall and Medium BusinessTechnology Industry

The increase of millennials and mobile technology in the workplace demands enterprises to adopt a new set of tools in support of the future workforce.

It’s no secret that advances in mobile technology have changed how millennials engage, socialize and experience the world around them. With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2030, now more than ever enterprises must adapt to meet the needs of their employees and customers to drive new business models and revenue streams.

In this new era of the Next Mobile Economy, tech-savvy millennials expect access to innovative mobile technology as well as the flexibility and usability that comes along with it. Global Workplace Analytics’ research estimates that employees are only spending 40-50 percent of time at their desk. In order to avoid some of the challenges associated with this newfound flexibility, businesses are tasked with building new systems that encourage mobility while maintaining control over devices.

Along the same lines, this hyper-connected cohort relies on the ease of communicating with others and assumes a level of customization for solutions tailored to both their business and personal needs. However, the freedom of information sharing that mobile technologies provide also opens new channels for attacks on enterprise systems and data.

To meet the demands of the Next Mobile Economy, business leaders face a dual challenge – the need to adopt to trends (i.e. the mobile workforce, customization and open collaboration) while harnessing mobile technologies. As an initial step, companies will need support from mobile device manufacturers and solutions providers that deliver a range of offerings, including Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, Big Data and Cloud. Enterprises that adapt to this new business model and embrace the four key tools below will be more prepared to support the future workforce.

1. Collaboration: Create the best solutions for your workforce

In an age where 83% of business leaders agree their companies should focus on future-proofing operations by increasing openness and agility, collaboration needs to extend to partners and to the technological tools in future workplaces. By partnering with small and large suppliers and developers, businesses can harness the power of collaboration to create the best solutions across all sectors. And, with a steady stream of advancements in mobile technology, collaboration and partnerships keep businesses ahead of what’s new and encourages a more open mindset, both in approach and systems.

2.  Customization: Meet the unique challenges & opportunities of your enterprise

Mobile solutions across hardware and software can be tailored to meet specific business needs. For instance, healthcare providers using mobile technologies to improve care and outcomes for their patients need access a completely different set of solutions than what retail professionals require in order to provide the best customer experience. An enterprise in the Next Mobile Economy will look for partners that can help them bring together custom devices with customized software to create bespoke solutions for any industry.

3.  Control: Strike the right balance between security & flexibility

To continue giving employees the option to work in a flexible manner, enterprises need support in configuring, customizing and deploying devices to authorized individuals. When IT managers have flexible control, they can easily manage firmware updates, security and manage devices over-the-air.

4. Confidentiality: Embrace the speed of today’s global economy, while keeping data secure

In the era of connected things, and a growing millennial workforce that necessitates access to these devices, there are more operating systems to support and more risk –

which is complicated by often shrinking IT budgets. One common way companies are addressing this is by introducing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs that allow access to corporate data from personal devices. But, some businesses are still trying to figure out how to mitigate risk while enabling productivity and flexibility across their workforce.

For future deployment of a BYOD program, it’s crucial that businesses institute enterprise mobility management (EMM) tools to address security issues. These tools ensure that IT managers have the power to oversee workers’ devices and manage risk, while still meeting their needs. In the end, employers who find a balance between satisfying enterprise security management and fostering an environment that is both innovative and creative will boost workforce productivity and efficiency.

If we take a closer look at how mobile technologies are impacting businesses today, it’s encouraging to see that this shift is already underway. During a recent workshop at a TED Conference, Maribel Lopez, a technology industry analyst at Lopez Research, discussed the various ways mobile technology is being used to solve real-world problems. Whether it’s healthcare professionals using VR as an alternative approach to in-patient pain management or drones delivering supplies to communities hit by natural disasters, these technologies are already sparking ideas for new business solutions in the Next Mobile Economy.

The rapid pace of technological advances and the growing millennial workforce are driving this mobile transformation and businesses that don’t adapt will be left behind. Tools that are collaborative, customized, controlled and secure and address this shifting business landscape will give enterprises the potential to boost employee productivity and retention while leading in the Next Mobile Economy.