Ericsson ConsumerLab’s latest report, Business users go mobile, confirms that mobility has become a crucial component for most enterprises in the studied sample. Having the ability to work at different places within the office – or away from it – is regarded as key to improving business efficiency and productivity, as well as for better engagement with customers and partners.
Business users – equivalent to knowledge workers in this study – stated that the main benefits of mobility were that they can be more productive and work wherever they like.
To decision makers, the main benefits of mobility are better communication and cooperation, such as quicker response times to clients, higher employee satisfaction and that staff can be more productive.
Anders Erlandsson, Senior Advisor at Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: "There is a difference between decision makers and business users regarding their perceptions of the quality of the solutions at hand. Most decision makers are satisfied with the mobility solution in place, whereas business users see gaps in their companies’ ability to support their mobility needs."
The same goes for mobile network coverage at the office. The report shows that there is a significant difference in satisfaction with mobile network coverage: seven out of 10 decision makers are very or extremely satisfied with the coverage, compared with five out of 10 business users.
The report also highlights that companies are continuing to add new devices, rather than replacing one device with another. For example, over the past two years there has been a 60 percent increase in the number of companies that provide their employees with smartphones. However, these are not replacing any old devices, as there is no suitable all-in-one solution.
Erlandsson says: "With smartphones, employees become more easily available to customers and suppliers. Sixty percent of business users use their smartphones to call parties outside their company.
"We can also see that although there is a range of different devices at the companies, smartphones create a competitive advantage, meaning, for instance, being constantly available for customer calls or having instant access to company data to solve customer requests."
With the increasing usage of smartphones, business users expect to choose their own work device. Accordingly, the bring your own device (BYO) concept is now common, with almost 80 percent of companies in the study supporting some level of BYO.
The rise of mobility has also meant that the security aspect has grown in importance. For that reason, some companies have implemented mobile device management as a response to security concerns.
However, the Ericsson ConsumerLab report shows that despite security challenges, mobility is and will remain a key factor for companies to consider. This is crucial for attracting a talented younger generation of employees, as well as for increasing productivity and improving efficiency within a company to achieve a competitive advantage.
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