No matter how much a company may want to deny it, mobile computing is here to stay and is only growing stronger. A recent statistic I read from Forrester Research, Inc. stated that “25% of computers used for work globally are tablets and smart-phones, not PCs.” Consumer’s demand for convenience and real-time access to information is growing at an accelerated rate.
Nearly two decades have passed since the Internet’s introduction, and the generation that grew up during this period is now entering the workforce. Most companies, small and large, have realized the value and have a presence on the Internet through the establishment of a website; however, a website alone is no longer enough. Companies who expect continued growth must appeal to this “Internet Generation” by developing a solid mobile computing strategy to ensure continued success. The practical question each business needs to ask is, “How friendly is my business to mobile computing?”
There are some simple steps a business can take to test their mobile computing readiness:
1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
How simple is it to do business with you on a mobile device? If you are not mobile-savvy, solicit the assistance of employees, or trusted individuals you know, who are avid mobile users. Ask them for input and thoughts on how simple it is to do business with you. In short, a good rule-of-thumb to consider is to conduct a side-by-side comparison of your current website on a computer as you navigate on a mobile device. A few areas to focus on include:
a. Is your website(s) viewable on a mobile device, or is it difficult to navigate? b. Does your site take long to view or download onto a mobile device? c. If you are offering eCommerce functionality or subscriptions via your website, does this functionality work on a mobile device? d. Is there key functionality on your website that is equally working on a mobile device? e. Is your website secure and encrypted in areas that would require that level of security, like credit cards or ID’s and passwords
2. Ask your customers.
The age-old methodology of asking your customers for input is still the best way to get feedback. Ask your customers the same question on how easy it is to do business with you on a mobile device. Go a step further and ask what kind of functionality they would like to see implemented.
3. Research your competitors.
Test your competition’s use of mobile technology. So, how does it compare to what you have in place? They may already have a jump on you in your market space, which only accelerates the need to adopt a mobile strategy.
Even if you have already taken steps to “mobilize” your business, there is always room for improvement. Take the feedback and begin to formulate a prioritized strategy to implement the various ideas and feedback. If you do not have the internal resources and skill set to mobilize your company, locate a firm or consultant who can assist you with the process.
Whether you are in the business of providing information or selling over the Internet, doing business via mobile devices is now critical to ongoing business survival. The companies that make doing business convenient and simple will be those who survive in this demanding consumer market.
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