Smartphones in Business

Over the last decade, smartphones have evolved from relatively simple mobile communications devices to robust palm-sized computing platforms that have transformed travel time from a loathsome efficiency drag to a productive part of any workday. Workers can now go more places with less downtime. A recent RingCentral survey illustrates just how attached business professionals have become to their smartphones. An overwhelming 83 percent of those surveyed would give up their morning cup of coffee before parting with their smartphone. Nearly 80 percent cite their smartphone as the phone they use most to conduct business. So it’s clear that businesses need to work fast to get control of this essential communications channel.

Smartphones have altered mobile productivity for both consumers and business professionals, but the needs of any given business can raise unique issues for any smartphone deployment strategy. In many companies–especially smaller ones–employees show up with their own smartphones in hand, and it is the job of the IT department to determine how to effectively integrate this hodgepodge of BlackBerrys, Android devices, iPhones, and Windows Mobile handsets into the company’s infrastructure.

Failure to do so means lost opportunity in streamlining important daily business functions such as scheduling and collaboration. It could also mean severe liability if sensitive customer or proprietary data escapes your control via a lost handset at the airport. But accounting for and delivering centralized services to all these phones is a very real challenge. After everything is dealt with and all is said and done, the company their employees will thank their smartphone for making their business, productivity, and life a litter easier.

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