Mobile vs. Mobility: Understanding the Business Difference

In Mobility by Daniel Newman1 Comment

This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In a global marketplace where the pace of business is 24/7/365, work busted out of its 9-to-5 structure a long time ago. Smartphones, tablets, even watches connect us to work whether we’re in the boardroom or on the sidelines of our kids’ soccer game.

Businesses often turn to IT for a mobile strategy that will account for the unpredictable mix of apps and devices—with all the tech and security implications that that mix entails. To thrive in such a competitive environment, however, businesses need to think beyond the basics of mobile. What you’re really looking for is mobility: Unlimited accessibility anywhere with an Internet connection, with the ability to work seamlessly across any device, application, or tool.

As David Armano summed up in HBR: “Mobile itself is the nuts, bolts, and infrastructure, while mobility is the context which determines if it all works together or doesn’t.”

How Tablet Technology Is Transforming The Enterprise [INFOGRAPHIC]

Nowadays employees are demanding to use their own devices on the job, commonly smartphones and tablets. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some interesting statistics from the Samsung business blog. According to Frost & Sullivan, just 45 percent of employees work regularly in a traditional office. Many workers cite productivity improvements as a result of increased mobility and connectivity, since they still have access to network resources any where there is a suitable connection.

Thinking Beyond Mobile

If your discussions around mobile have focused on devices, don’t worry—you aren’t alone. Most businesses have a device-focused perspective. Marketers build business cases using stats that talk about the growing smartphone market, the increasing number of mobile users, the growth of mobile apps, and so on.

But it’s the other half of the equation that holds the real value.

An effective mobility strategy should consider:

  • How it fits your existing business—if it does at all. It may make more sense to be innovative, making slower, smaller changes leading to the big change, rather than force a modern solution around an antiquated business structure.
  • What success looks like. Mobility isn’t just defined by whether staff can relocate to their favorite co-working space; ROI can be defined by metrics like cost savings, increased revenue, employee retention, or brand loyalty.
  • The technological implications. The context of your strategy is important, but keeping up with the volatility of mobile infrastructure has to be considered.

Doing business in one place is no longer viable or sensible. Employees place a high value on the ability to work anywhere and anytime—and customers expect that same degree of flexibility, too.

True Mobility is a Cultural Shift

To deliver the experience and benefits your users are looking for, it’s important to recognize that mobility hasn’t just changed how we work or our expectations as consumers. It has cultural implications that require a whole different mindset.

These shifts in lifestyle and behavior show why changing the overall business mindset is imperative to win at mobility. Organizations need to move beyond mobile in pursuit of mobility that’s tied to overall business goals and metrics. To succeed, it needs to be reflected across all business strategies and marketing efforts in one smooth omni-channel experience, complete and uninterrupted, wherever users happen to be.

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photo credit: 7 via photopin (license)

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.