Change on the Horizon: The Impact of Smart Devices on the Business World

As smartphones and tablets have become increasingly popular tools for web access, they undoubtedly have exerted influence on the business landscape.

As smartphones and tablets have become increasingly popular tools for web access, they undoubtedly have exerted influence on the business landscape. They have not only changed how businesses utilize their mobile devices but also how consumers perceive these devices.

According to a recent report by Gartner, Inc., an information technology research and advisory firm, 821 million smart devices will be purchased worldwide in 2012 and pass the billion mark next year.

Gartner’s report suggests that the number of tablets purchased by businesses will reach 13 million and will triple by 2016. It also estimates that about 56 percent of smartphones purchased by businesses in North America and Europe will be Android devices in 2016, indicating that the Android OS will still be the leader of smartphones in the business market.

With smart devices having such a huge impact in the business world, how will businesses be affected by trends and innovations in the mobile industry?

Drew Howard, strategist at Fueled, predicts the full death of Blackberry in 2013. “I think once its new iOS comes out, it’s going to completely collapse,” he says. “That’s also going to be a big implication for mobile and enterprise because a lot of enterprises who are still using Blackberry will probably shift to windows phones.”

Speaking from the app standpoint, Howard thinks the majority of app revenue will still come from iOS users. “People are still going to download a lot of Android apps, but as far as actually generating revenue, I think iOS is still where the money is.”

Howard believes that businesses, especially startups, should try to increase their mobile presence. He says startups can benefit from using mobile tools for pipe management, contact management, recruiting, and time tracking. “It’s really flexible if you are a startup because you don’t have to make big IT investments. Instead, you can just pay as you go.” He also predicts that more businesses will adopt social media and use it to promote sales, services, and brand image.

While tablets will help accelerate mobility significantly, they’ve also raised a new challenge: how will businesses react to mobile enterprise security?

As BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) has become a trend, Howard says that companies should keep up with mobile enterprise security in 2013. “More and more employees bring in their personal devices to work and it causes a big security problem because they are not secured devices and are not under the jurisdiction of their companies,” he says. “Businesses will have to look into security-enhancing access tools.”

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to smart devices’ presence in the business world, whether it’s the system being used, the ways in which it is used to create a mobile presence, or the security challenges that’s arisen...The mobile world is ever changing.

Let me end it with a short freestyle rap by Howard himself.

“Blackberry is out; Windows phones in; Apple is still the top dog; Android is in the backseat.”

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