While vacationing in Western Wyoming this summer my wife and I drove through long stretches of highways with no Wi-Fi signals, and cell coverage wandered between zero and two bars. No Google to settle disagreements or restaurant guides for a great place to eat lunch in Jackson Hole. Fortunately the satellite radio and the car’s GPS were still working to keep us entertained and on track.
But we missed our connectedness. A 2014 study by a British company found the average user picks up their mobile phones over 200 times a day; one full day per week spent checking the news, texts, Facebook and emails. The study didn’t address the question of how this behavior might affect business.
But consider these activities:
- Personal mobile devices on the business networks;
- The blurring line between work and personal time;
- Voice-based operations;
- Collaboration and quickly finding the expert (inside or outside the organization);
- More business-related apps and more cloud services;
- More search engine marketing (SEM) aimed at the mobile user, including location-based ads; and
- More online purchases and in-store mobile use.
This is a short list of the many possibilities.
The first two items include significant risks. Companies should revise their policies to reflect the added security risks and how work is measured. But overall, these items represent anywhere/anytime opportunities to drive down costs, increase quality and attract new sources of revenue.
But if you’re looking for a spot away from the millions of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers, they’re still around. You just need to know where to find them.
Written By: Les Johnson, SVP IT/CIO, North Coast Electric Company. Les Johnson has worked in the computer technology field for over 30 years, working as developer and database design consultant prior to joining North Coast Electric Company in 1996. He is an author and the winner of the Society for Information Management’s Leader of the Year award in 2008. Currently he is serving as a member of NAED’s Strategic Technology Task Force and the IDEA Innovation Advisory Council.