One of our clients in the technology solutions industry just hosted a roundtable discussion with some diverse businesses about technology, the uses of it, the changes coming and how businesses are adapting. Amazing and overwhelming at the same time. I couldn’t help but sit there and think about the fact that a few years ago, we didn’t have “smart” phones. Apps have become a universally accepted household term in almost zero time. Never in the history of our world are we getting so much information and technology at one time. One of the guests sitting next to me commented that he was too old to embrace all of it and someone quickly pulled up some stats from his “smart” phone to combat this citing statistics that older people are–in fact–using mobile technology. So there’s a ton of information out there about the increasing use of mobile (and now some are saying the “web” is dead–I think the way we use the web is changing certainly). So the burning question for most businesses: How do we grasp all of it and what do we do? Here’s what I think:
–Stay focused on strategy and what you do best: technology is a tool. The key is finding out what tools help you perform better for your customers.
–What are your customers doing and what do they expect? Do they want to purchase your goods and services from a mobile device? Would they want to find you by searching on a phone?
–Evaluate if your business can benefit from mobile and look at some of your competitors to see what they are doing. 1st TN Bank here in Memphis recently launched their mobile banking strategy allowing customers to do certain tasks from their phones. Never thought we’d see the day when we could transfer money from accounts through our phones. Portable convenience is powerful.
–Read as much as you can. Information is power and there is a ton of good information out there if you want it.
–Talk to as many people as you can about it. It’s almost impossible to attend any business forum and NOT talk about the increasing use of mobile. I think the discussion organizations are having about whether or not to allow employees access to the internet at work is interesting. From the I.T. perspective, such access opens a company up to viruses, hackers and more. What employers need to know is that their employees are accessing the internet anyway at their desks with their mobile phones. Maybe that’s the best way for companies to reduce risk by allowing that access through mobile vs. allowing it through their servers.
–It’s challenging to understand and that’s true for most businesses: It’s important for us all to not yield to the pressure to know it all, do it all. You can’t! It’s too much and too fast. The standards and fundamentals are changing everyday. The important thing businesses can do is to start small, listen, try a few things and see what works.
What are your mobile stories? How is your business using mobile technology to be more competitive or efficient?