Monday, August 27, 2012

Is The Smart Phone Becoming A Business Necessity?

Here's some thoughts on smartphones (or mobile devices in general) for today's business world ...

Information workers today are increasingly tech-savvy and self-empowered. The typical employee owns an assortment of laptops, smartphones, tablets and PCs that are often more advanced than what most information technology departments can offer. Not surprisingly, many employees prefer to access corporate resources using their own technology because it is familiar, powerful and already an integral part of their everyday lives.

Mundane communications, like instant messaging, downloading and responding to business email and working on documents is actually considered to be confidential information.

Mobile devices are a convenient way to do business when employees are away from their desks, but employers need to understand the risks of using unsecured devices for conducting sensitive business communications.

In my opinion, smartphones will take-over the desktop/laptop user base in the next five years and smartphones will be the device of choice. The most important consideration every manufacturer should consider going forward is device security.

Many years ago I carried a Daytimer for notes and appointments, an address book for contact information and used a wired phone to make calls. I switched to a Palm Pilot for the notes, appointments, time keeping and address book and a cell phone plus a laptop. All a smart phone dose (or was ever intended to do) is to combine all those functions into one device, not two or three.

One thing that should not be overlooked is that smartphones are a convergent technology; they are not really phones, so much as mobile computers. The reason we call them "smartphones" is because we are in a transition phase and most people haven't accepted the ideas that (1) just because you can make calls on something doesn't make it a phone, and (2) you don't have to own a "phone".

I think this can best be seen with the Samsung Galaxy Note which was initially marketed as being both a tablet and a smartphone, while really being neither. In essence, it's a PalmPilot with a touchscreen that can make calls. But they had to market it as a phone because phones are seen as a necessity; people will buy a phone that acts like a tablet, but not a tablet that acts like a phone.

Also, I think another thing that is often overlooked is the reason that smartphones are sold on features such as processing or screen size. This is because of their true nature as mobile computers - that's really the only thing that sets different models apart. The reason they don't sell on things like call quality or rollover minutes is because those things are determined by the phone service provider and not the model of the phone itself. Typically, people choose the provider before they choose the phone, so once they've locked into that decision, the only thing smartphone manufacturers can compete on are their computing features. This is why you hear about how many apps you can buy on the iPhone, or the Galaxy SII having a huge screen, but nothing about their ability to make calls - they can't sell based on that point, because there's no difference.

In summary there's 2 important points to consider:

(1) "Smartphones" are technically mobile computers that can make calls; we only call them "phones" because society hasn't adjusted to the idea of not owning a "phone" yet.

(2) Smartphones are marketed based on processing power, screen size, etc. because things like call quality are tied to the phone service provider, which is picked (almost) independently from the phone itself.

So to answer the question, yes smartphones are becoming a necessity for business today. Their feature advantages a definitely a benefit to every business increasing both efficiency and effectiveness. They represent a trend of convergence of technology in society.

If you're looking for a smart phone I suggest using the search and compare feature here ....

Smart Phones

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Anonymous non geographic numbers said...

More and more services are being made available on smartphones, from access to maps, satnav and directions to television transmissions with news coverage or weather reports to traffic information and scheduling alerts, which means your business can always stay one step ahead of what's going on. Smartphones can do things much more quickly than their standard mobile phone and PDA precursors.

5:24 AM  

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