Right now, sitting on your desk, in your pocket, or in your hand—is your smartphone. There’s a good chance you’re reading this article on that device. Do we need anything else to manage our professional and personal lives?
Last year, there were roughly 1.9 billion smartphone users in the world, and the number is only expected to increase by the end this year. In fact, research done by eMarketer predicts that smartphone adaptation will continue its double-digit growth, and once we reach 2017, we’ll have around 2.1 billion smartphone users across the globe. This means that more than a quarter of the global population (around 28.5%) will have a smartphone in their pocket.
The first true smartphone actually made its debut almost a quarter of a century ago. IBM’s Simon was the first device that combined the functions of a cell phone and a PDA, and it was launched way back in 1992. Of course, the modern age of smartphones began around 15 years later, with the launch of the iPhone. Since then, technology has managed to completely change the way we conduct and manage business. Just think about it for a second – smartphones have managed to revolutionize the business world in less than a decade.
Smartphones and Decision Making
Clearly, a smartphone has become more than a simple tool in the last couple of years, it is now a portal to the entire world and something people believe they need to have in order to survive. As the capabilities of technology continue to soar, more and more leaders are starting to admit that they do the majority of their work from handheld, mobile devices. A recent Forbes Insights survey revealed that a staggering 90% of executives use smartphones for business – even while they are in the office. So, what does all of this mean for the future of business? Will managers say goodbye to regular desktop computers and just equip the members of their staff with new smartphones?
As we move towards a more tech-driven society, and as more executives start using smartphones in the office, it is vital to know how a smartphone can help you run your business operations more effectively.
- Increased Productivity – Productivity is a vital element to your business success, and staying organized is probably just as important. Applications like Pocket and Evernote can help with both, seeing how they help professionals save notes and important business documents and work across multiple devices and platforms.
- Better Collaboration – Business leaders often have to talk to large groups of people and keep track of everything that’s been said for future reference. Staying in touch with the rest of your team can be challenging to say the least, so that’s why most leaders use Slack to share files, have group and private chats with their employees, on the go.
- Handling Schedules – Things like business meetings, client appointments and product releases have to be handled on a regular basis if you’re running your own company. Your smartphone luckily eliminates the need to have any physical calendars, planners and notebooks, and certain scheduling system apps can also allow you to make schedules for your workers and help you avoid any scheduling conflicts.
- Time Management – Finally, if you’re not stuck in your office, you can literally work from anywhere. However, most telecommuters struggle with procrastination and various distractions around the house. Fortunately, time management apps like Eternity Time Log, can help professionals track three vital things—sleep, work and free time.
The Only Tool You’ll Ever Need?
We’ve established that a smartphone can fulfill most of your business needs (we haven’t even mentioned operations like marketing and bookkeeping), however, does this mean that a smartphone does everything better than any other traditional business tool? Not necessarily. Look at it like this: just because you can do something on the go, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best way. On the other hand, it also doesn’t mean it is a bad way, either.
Get Ready for another Revolution
According to GSMA Intelligence, by the end of this decade, we will definitely have 5G at our beck and call. What’s more, with the arrival of IoT controlled via smartphones, business processes will be revolutionized once again, in just a short few years. And this raises a number of questions, but the biggest one is – are business leaders ready for the changes in corporate culture? Once every worker in the company is operating via mobile device, they will no longer be tied to their seats and desks, and in fact, will be free to go wherever and whenever needed.
Nate Vickery is a business consultant and a blogger mostly engaged in finding and implementation of the latest technology trends into SMB and startup management processes. Nate is also the editor at a business oriented blog- Bizzmarkblog.com.