Smartphone and tablet usage is on an ever-increasing high, and there is no stopping it. According to the 2015 Mobility Report published by Ericsson, there are now 2.6 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide, and a projection of 6.1 billion users by 2020. Tablet users, according to eMarketer, will reach 1.43 billion by 2018. With these figures, it is not surprising how these consumer devices have made their way into the workplace, prompting companies to adopt BYOD policies and implementing mobile computing solutions. While many businesses have embraced mobile computing as part of their daily operations, there are still some organizations that are hesitant to consider mobile computing.
Are you still sitting on the fence about this trend? We list the following advantages and disadvantages that could help you decide whether or not mobile computing is for you.
Mobile computing has dramatically changed the landscape of the workplace, bringing many advantages, such as the following:
- Location flexibility. The use of portable devices in the workplace has allowed many employees to continue doing their tasks regardless of their location, as long as they are connected to the network. Some companies even allow employees to work outside the workplace, giving them the flexibility they need.
- Increased productivity. Because mobile computing allows employees to work where they are most comfortable, there are higher rates of engagement and productivity. According to this infographic by Bolt Insurance, there are about 30 million Americans who work from home, while 79 percent of the workers they surveyed wish to work at home at last once a week.
- Cost effective. Having people work at remote locations can save a company overhead cost. No more need for setting up work stations or additional equipment. In the same way, employees can save on traveling expenses while saving time.
While mobile computing clearly has advantages, it also has some drawbacks, some of which are:
- Connectivity issues. To complete their tasks, employees need network connectivity. Unless the workers have a reliable connection, they will not be able to access the information they need to effectively function in their respective roles.
- Power consumption. Mobile devices, especially the commercial ones do not have enough power to last an entire day. Unless there are chargers and power sources, an employee might not be able to complete his tasks.
- Security concerns. This is the biggest concern most people have over adopting mobile solutions. Because employees would have to connect over a wireless network in order to access company data, it leaves the network prone to hackers who might steal sensitive company information.
Technology is changing the face of business; in order to gain a competitive edge in the market, your company needs to adapt to the changes technology brings. Sure there are disadvantages to mobile technology, but letting these disadvantages hinder you from keeping up with the trends will prove to be counterproductive in the long run.