Mobility has never been more important than it is right now. With social distancing and stay-at-home orders in effect across the globe, companies have been forced to adapt their business to a new remote reality. This has changed the way we work, shop, and socialize. Fortunately, mobility solutions are keeping businesses moving forward.
The top mobility tools offer incredible value for relatively little investment and can generate financial returns and free up resources for the next innovation. With businesses increasingly capitalizing on trends like AI, mobile video, and contextual communication, mobility technology is poised to enhance digital transformation and give businesses the confidence to navigate these challenging times.
Here are five mobility technology trends that are worth the investment and why they merit serious consideration now, and in the future.
1. Workplace Apps
This is the most obvious example of mobile technology that has been well worth its weight in gold (or toilet paper, by today’s standards). Mobile apps allow employees to perform key aspects of their jobs while working remote, joining a quick video chat from their home office or messaging their colleagues about a project from their kitchen table.
Workers who traditionally haven't received investments in mobility are now getting these upgrades as well. A technician with a suitable app can access scheduled jobs, customer histories, and map routing to perform their work more efficiently. Videos and training manuals can make onboarding and professional development smoother. And service reps can use presence, quick collaboration, and other unified communications features via a dedicated app to help guide customer decisions. Apps like these can boost employee engagement and retention in addition to improving productivity, presenting a compelling case for ROI.
2. Mobile Video
As social distancing becomes the new normal, mobile video has offered businesses a unique opportunity to continue to engage with their audience. It’s become essential for healthcare workers by helping doctors converse with patients at the most critical times. But it’s also being leveraged by many other industries. Whether it’s a real estate firm showcasing properties to potential buyers or virtual events, the use of video has exploded. In fact, according to usage statistics on our platform, video has skyrocketed across multiple industries.
With AR and VR beginning to see early traction as well, we can expect mobile video to remain one of the most valuable mobility technology investments for some time to come.
3. Contextual Communication
Mobility has already demonstrated clear business benefits when it comes to enhancing customer experiences and improving business outcomes via tailored communication. Knowing about one's customers — and, more importantly, what to do with that information— can yield dramatic results.
Take the home speaker company Marantz that noted many of its current customers named their devices "Bathroom," as Edelman Digital reported. After noticing this trend, the company quickly advertised its line of waterproof speakers to these customers via email and saw an immediate uptick in sales. The combination of contextual information and personalized communication was a success.
These kinds of stories demonstrate the value of mobility, and they're happening every day. The lesson for businesses? You have the tools that can provide insight into customers' purchasing intent, geographic location, and social presence — don't be afraid to take a creative approach when interpreting that data.
4. Mobility Technology and AI
Gartner predicted that AI projects will be twice as likely to secure funding by 2022, a sign that the combination of AI and mobility technology we see today — virtual assistants on mobile devices, for example — is just the beginning.
AI is already being deployed in mobile chatbot form to enhance the customer experience. It also will soon enhance role-based mobile apps, as it can adaptively guide employees toward just the right data insights or courses of action they need to advance their work. In essence, AI offers businesses an opportunity to innovate a wide range of processes and identify entirely new markets or revenue streams that might have otherwise remained untapped.
5. Mobile Compliance
As businesses and consumers conduct more of their transactions on mobile devices, it's essential to ensure that those transactions comply with data privacy regulations. Businesses will need to invest in mobility tools that encrypt sensitive data at the device level and in transit. This is why innovations such as two-factor authentication (2FA), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and even biometric forms of authentication (think facial recognition) have effectively become household technologies over the past several years.
Considering the consequences a business can face if it ignores privacy and compliance regulations — especially in the GDPR era — the value of mobility technology is obvious. A tool primarily used by the end user, carried in their pocket or handbag at all times, and protected by lock patterns and keys is an invaluable aid in ensuring things are as they should be. Everything from confirming user identity to documenting correct procedure becomes easier.
The future of mobility is bright. Mobility solutions have a positive financial impact everywhere in business — even when they don't directly touch customers. Ultimately, the businesses that successfully capitalize on key trends and embrace the benefits of increased mobility will find themselves advantageously positioned now, and when we return to whatever normal may look like.