Emerging technologies such as big data and Internet of Things (IoT) and new lifestyle trends like workplace flexibility are drastically changing the way we work, and companies are now waking up to the fact that it’s no longer “business-as-usual.”
One such disruptive trend is enterprise mobility: an approach to work where employees can perform their jobs from anywhere using a variety of devices and applications, be it a notebook, smartphone, laptop or a tablet.
According to GSMA, the number of unique mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion by 2025, equivalent to 71% of the world’s population. The need, therefore, for companies to increase its connectivity and reach has never been greater.
Key to the rise in usage and efficiency of enterprise mobility will be the integration of proximity technology.
Proximity is a technology that connects workplace objects and processes to the systems used on a daily basis. Multibase claims that, “It’s the Internet of Things, adding new possibilities for mobility in the workplace and it's all about adding context to the way we interact with IT systems.” In this instance, “context” refers to the inter-connected information all around us that we can use to improve the awareness of current status, location and other relevant data that help us create more informed decision-making.
Proximity devices called beacons are used to bridge the gap between the physical world and the systems used to process and transmit information in the workplace.
Beacons are tiny, low-cost (on average €20) and low-powered transmitters that can interact with nearby smart devices: phones, tablets and other mobile devices that form part of our daily working lives. Because of their versatility (as they can be used in fixed locations or on moving devices), beacons have been heralded as the perfect partner for existing mobile technologies in an enterprise.
According to Statista, the beacon technology market is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 59.8% to reach over €51 billion in size in 2026.
The unique selling point (USP) of proximity technology is the location-based information it offers users.
Multibase delves deeper to outline the ways which mobility and proximity can combine to bring a company closer to its customers by:
At the core of enterprise mobility is agility and the availability of relevant, personalised data is a huge asset for enterprises looking to go “lean,” especially at a time when consumers are becoming much more demanding and savvier to marketing campaigns.
Considering this, it is little surprise that in 2020, the number of beacon deployments is expected to reach 400 million globally (GeoMarketing).
PwC’s Experience is everything report shows that 73% of all consumers point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
Data drives personalisation, helping you track what your individual customers like and dislike. At a time when giants such as Amazon and Google continue to strengthen their dominance through data, enterprise mobility and proximity technology represents a golden opportunity for smaller companies to follow suit while becoming leaner and more agile in the process. Building smarter apps and richer interactions has never been easier and it’s time for enterprises to put the theory into practice before the competition is out of sight.
According to Clearbridge Mobile’s 2020 Enterprise Mobility Trends Report, the mobile workforce is projected to reach 1.87 billion people, comprising 42 percent of the global workforce, in 2020. Enterprise mobility continues to unlock endless opportunities for companies to connect with their customers. It also invariably leads to increased job satisfaction, which tends to result in higher productivity and better service, which can only be a good thing for all parties.
As our lives continue to become increasingly intertwined with technology, the ability to gather and use relevant, up-to-date information will gain even greater importance for companies.
Proximity technology will continue to be a major protagonist in this movement.
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Organisations stand to make significant gains from making mobile working an opportunity for their professionals.