Promoting mobile-first in the enterprise

  • Make a mobile-first strategy now and you will be ahead of your competition.

  • Best tools for the enterprise are workforce collaboration tools and apps that offer the full functionality of their desktop counterparts.

  • Smart devices rapid developments enable new ways to more easily handle workflows.

Companies want the productivity enhancements and 24-7 connectivity that mobile devices enable, but often deploy smartphones and tablets as secondary or tertiary devices that supplement existing workflows. In these environments, devices often aren’t utilized to their full potential. By promoting a mobile-first approach, which offers the best opportunities on mobile devices, companies can get ahead of the curve.

Any business, but especially enterprises, can get stuck in old ways of thinking and have a hard time transitioning to or adopting the latest in tech. Enterprises can get ahead by exploring more radical changes to adapt to the shifting working environment of their more nimble competitors and enabling a mobile-first outlook.

Why mobile first?

A mobile second strategy, which many businesses are adopting now, gives employees access to new devices like smartphones and tablets and the apps they need to get work done on these devices. This strategy generally revolves around the hope that by giving employees access to tools on these devices, they’ll feel enabled to take care of light office tasks when on-the-go or off-the-clock.

A more radical approach is to rethink this strategy by making these mobile devices the primary computing platform for more employees. With this mindset, instead of just looking for some tools that will work on mobile, companies will need to ensure that the best tools are available on these devices. Ideally, these will include workforce collaboration tools, Voice over IP (VoIP) or video-calling solutions, and applications that offer the full functionality of their desktop counterparts.

With a more robust toolset available for these mobile devices, employers can enable more productivity full-time, especially for employees who are often on-the-go or working outside traditional office hours on a variety of devices. Now, instead of feeling like they’re using second tier software and services, these employees will be enabled to be just as productive no matter where they’re working from.

Mobility offers flexibility and freedom

Two major ways employees are seeking job satisfaction in today’s increasingly virtual office environment is the ability to work from anywhere and on their own schedules. For some, this means working from home, coffee shops, and co-working spaces. For others still, this means being on-site at a variety of different job locations or feeling enabled to travel to client sites more often.

By offering employees more flexibility and freedom in how they work, you’ll be able to increase their satisfaction and retention with the work while simultaneously being able to offer them the most exciting new mobile devices to do that work from. From a cost perspective, these smart devices can often be cheaper than the more traditional desktops and laptops they’re replacing, while simultaneously enabling more of the kinds of flexible work environments modern employees are demanding.

A radical way to stay two steps ahead of the competition

As other companies are just coming to grips with smart devices and figuring out what kinds of hardware and software enable productivity, your company can differentiate itself by adopting a mobile-first solution.

For every potential problem with smart devices in the workplace (I hear the cries about the lack of a traditional keyboard!), there are tons of advantages. Smart devices have all kinds of new sensors built-in, from cameras to accelerometers, and gyroscopes that can enable all kinds of new workflows.

Your competition probably isn’t taking advantage of all these new technologies built-in to mobile devices. While they still think of these devices as secondary, you can forge ahead and find new ways to unlock productivity and collaboration in your own work force!

Read more about mobility services at AT&T.

Mario Armstrong, Digital Lifestyle Expert, is an Emmy Award winning tech commentator for the TODAY show, CNN, HLN, and Fuse. An entrepreneur by nature, Mario made his passion his career by quitting his day job and founding Mario Armstrong Media. Follow Mario @MarioArmstrong. All thoughts are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.

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