The days of copper wiring, physical switches and deskphones are coming to an end. The rise of IP telephony, spurred by its many benefits such as increased flexibility and lower total cost of ownership, has ushered in a new era of corporate communications. With a business VoIP phone system, a company can see innumerable advantages that will make everyone and everything more productive and efficient.
And now, the world of business telephone service is changing even further. As work shifts away from desktops and central offices thanks to the rise of enterprise mobility, an organization’s communications and collaboration strategy needs to shift accordingly. To note just how disruptive mobile devices have become, consider these statistics:
- 90 percent of U.S. adults now own a cellphone, according to the Pew Research Center, and many of these mobile devices are entering the workforce thanks to the rise of the bring-your-own device trend. More and more businesses are embracing BYOD and its productivity benefits, which is why more than a billion devices are expected to be used for BYOD purposes by 2018.
- According to a 2013 study from Forrester Research, 48 percent of workers utilize their smartphones for work at least once a week, and 21 percent of respondents turn to tablets for similar reasons and at the same frequency. This has significantly boosted the percentage of employees the world over who now consider themselves anytime, anywhere workers – and that figure will only continue to rise in the following years.
- Organizations in just about every industry are increasingly embracing mobile, including those in compliance-heavy sectors like healthcare. For example, a recent 1105 Government Information Group study found that of the hundreds of employees at various government agencies polled, approximately 40 percent of respondent use mobile devices, with over 50 percent saying that smartphones and tablets make them more effective at their jobs.
“BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades,” said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs.”
Making the most of handheld devices with mobile business applications
While BYOD and enterprise mobility can make employees significantly more productive and change the face of business computing, such initiatives will all be for naught if workers lack high-quality mobile business applications. For example, what happens if a salesperson cannot field calls while on the road or stay in touch with co-workers while telecommuting? Companies with a legacy phone system need to keep these kinds of points in mind as the enterprise mobility era further comes to the forefront.
To address these sort of issues and ensure that smartphones and tablets are optimized effectively in workplace settings, companies should adopt enterprise mobile business applications and an IP phone system built with these devices in mind. By decoupling communications from infrastructure and embracing cloud unified communications, businesses can fully embrace mobile hardware and ensure that employees are effectively provisioned. VoIP and enterprise communications have matured, which is why the time is now to turn to mobile devices and related solutions.