Ubiquitous connectivity is rapidly transforming the organisational landscape of today. Beyond laptops and handheld devices, a plethora of other handheld terminals and enterprise mobility enablers are creating avenues for business process improvement, greater efficiency and more intimate customer engagements for organisations.
Recognising these immense possibilities in a rapidly expanding global business environment, enterprises are now exploring new and innovative ways of improving productivity and gaining competitive advantage. Organisations also recognise the need of the new generation of employees, who have come to demand an extension of the consumer IT experience in an enterprise IT environment.
Mobility technologies are now being used by enterprises and their customers to tap into pervasive social networks to create and use new engagement models that bring together employees, partners and customers, in ways not experienced before. By the end of January 2012, the number of Android devices activated across the world stood at over 250 million. In the enterprise sphere, IDC predicts that the mobile worker population would grow to 1.19 billion by 2013, to 1.3 billion by 2015.
In sectors such as retail and healthcare, manufacturing and transportation, enterprise mobility is giving rise to new business capabilities and radical changes to facilitate faster collaboration, information-sharing and decision-making. As speculative fiction novelist William Gibson once said, "The future is already here - it is just not evenly distributed".
The perpetual "real-time"
Social media and mobile connectivity are forcing a re-write of rules which govern not only our personal lives but also the ways in which organisations engage their numerous stakeholders and solve problems. Other mega trends that are impacting business environments are globalisation and virtualisation. The latter is driving enterprise mobility, enabling organisations to rise to the challenge of communicating and operating in real-time, as their customers and clients expect queries to be addressed anywhere, anytime. For businesses, 'real-time' mobility is no longer a choice, but an intelligent way of doing business - whether it is responding to a customer's need, helping him to make a purchase decision, collaborating with new partners or empowering staff with the latest business-critical resources.
Empowering employees with new paradigms
As companies expand their operations across the global market, mobile work-styles are becoming the norm. There are many more employees working remotely in the field who will require better and secure connectivity to their enterprises, so as to access important information as seamlessly as possible, at the point of need. Reliable secure remote access to corporate applications and the ongoing ability to collaborate among team members virtually 24x7 have become critical business enablers. Organisations need to invest in infrastructure and tools to empower employees to respond to critical issues while on-the-go, and instantaneously. With employees using more than just the company sanctioned laptops for work, and the millennial generation increasingly seeking consumer-like IT experience from enterprise IT, companies must now prepare for the bring your own device (BYOD) trend both in the front and back-end operations of their enterprises.
Investing in personalised experiences
Industry-leading companies have evolved their thinking from bringing customers to a point of contact to creating flexible contact environments. Today, we see retailers deploying store-owned interactive platforms that share product and price information via mobile phones and tablets to personalise the in-store experience for their shoppers. Connecting directly with each shopper also means the ability to offer instant gratification, thus promoting new avenues to create greater customer loyalty. Enterprise mobility ultimately empowers service organisation, such as retailers, hospitals and educational institutions, with the ability to meet the unique needs of each customer and to be part of the customers' experience at every touch point.
The wireless workplace is the bold new face of future enterprises. A reliable and intelligent wireless network and enterprise mobility tools are the keys to competitiveness and success in this new era of hyper-connectivity.