The first thing I do every morning is check my phone.
Usually I read through my emails and check my personal social pages, all before I get out of bed. Throughout the day, while in meetings and on the go, I’ll look at my phone nearly as many times as I look at my PC, and I’m not alone! In today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world, mobile and remote workers want to be able to access their latest files, connect, and collaborate with team members from anywhere—at any time.
Increasing this demand even further, the number of mobile workers worldwide is expected to increase from 1.32 billion in 2014 (about 37 percent of the global workforce) to 1.75 billion in 2020 (about 42 percent of the global workforce), according to mobile research firm Strategy Analytics.
To put it simply, the need for best-in-class mobile productivity solutions, combined with protection and control, is booming. But, before you can use your existing solutions or create new tools to address customer needs, you need to know what customers are looking for and how to address their concerns.
And so you can do just that, we’ve created ModernBiz.
Based on research with industry experts, top Microsoft partners, and Microsoft customers, ModernBiz is here to provide the insight, resources, and tips you need to enable your customers to effectively conduct business anywhere and achieve their goals.
And to help you get started and better understand the state of mobility in today’s market, we’ve identified the market’s new and evolving mobile business trends:
1. BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs are on the rise in enterprise and SMB groups.
Most of us want to be able to access our company from the same device we check our personal email from. That presents a massive problem for IT departments worldwide, who face the challenge of managing, and even more importantly, securing the growing number of BYOD and corporate-owned devices being used across their organizations.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been at the forefront of the BYOD trend, with almost 62 percent of U.S. SMBs having an official BYOD policy since 2013, according to research conducted by iGR, a wireless and mobile communications consulting firm.
Microsoft partners can use Microsoft solutions to help minimize this complexity by offering mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) both on-premises and in the cloud, all from a single console.
2. Mobile malware creates deep security concerns for customers.
As I mentioned in my recent blog on cyber security trends to look out for this year, 2016 is the year when cybercriminals will double down on their efforts to target mobile devices. A lot of these attacks will be carried out through malware-infected apps. For example, the annual Mobile Virusology report, prepared by the Kaspersky Lab Antimalware Research group, found that the volume of malware targeting users of mobile devices increased by 3x in 2015. According to the report, “the most dangerous threats in 2015 were ransomware, malware capable of obtaining unlimited rights on an infected device, and data stealers, including financial malware.”
Additionally, as my cyber security blog points out, China leads the world in the number of mobile users, and malware on these devices will surface as a huge problem. A study by Tsinghua University, Microsoft Research, and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology found that only one quarter of apps on the country’s local app stores are safe.
Take advantage of this opportunity and ensure that sensitive data on your customers’ mobile devices are always protected with built-in encryption capabilities like Enterprise Data Protection and BitLocker. Find more information in the Safeguard Your Business resources available as part of the ModernBiz campaign.
3. Sales and marketing automation solutions are going mobile, too.
Users of sales and marketing automation tools will expect mobile apps for these solutions. These apps need to provide contextual news, social data, and task flows for quickly completing frequent business activities. Apps that use intuitive natural language voice commands to create new records, schedule meetings, set reminders, and find information, will see major growth.
Mobile CRM is a great example of a solution that offers these capabilities. Check out this infographic by Microsoft partner Able Bridge to understand the strategic advantages of mobile CRM, and how it helps to increase sales values, shorten sales cycles, collect information at the source, and much more.
4. Customers want a familiar experience from desktop to mobile.
Technology purchasing continues to shift from being done solely by the IT department, to being handled by the business decision makers (BDMs) whose groups rely on the technology. BDMs will expect applications to provide a consistent experience across phones, tablets, and PCs. How users interact with their device shouldn’t change—a user’s settings, data, access rights, etc. should follow them from device to device.
A seamless experience is not complete unless the solutions feature superior collaboration and communication capabilities, enterprise-grade security, and uncompromising management of both corporate and personal devices. An easy opportunity here is to show customers the familiar Office experience across mobile platforms and devices—Windows, iOS, or Android—with Office 365 and Office Online. If you develop your own packaged IP, market the ways in which it integrates with processes or technologies your customers are already using.
5. Mobile IoT = big data, bigger opportunities.
You will continue to hear more about the Internet of Things, or IoT, in 2016 as more physical devices are networked together to collect and exchange data. In fact, according to Gartner, there will be 6.4 billion (IoT) connected objects in use by the end of 2016. That number is expected to expand exponentially to a massive 20.8 billion connected things by 2020. This provides a double-edged sword for businesses who will now have more customer data than ever before, and, at the same time, might potentially become overwhelmed with all of that information.
McKinsey believes that the Internet of Things (IoT) could create as much as $11.1 trillion per year globally in economic value. That new value will come from reduced costs of production, improved efficiencies in areas like service, and the creation of entirely new business opportunities previously unthinkable. Tap into this massive mobile IoT opportunity with the Azure IoT Suite, a cloud-based offering with preconfigured solutions that address common Internet of Things scenarios, so you can capture and analyze untapped data to transform your customers’ businesses.
So, now that you know the mobile business trends, spread the word—market your solutions and enable your customers to effectively do business anywhere!
Make sure new and existing customers know about your expertise in these areas by using Microsoft’s ModernBiz resources, like email templates, copy blocks, and sales decks, to market these solutions to your customers and drive business forward, together.