By 2020, mobile devices will be so pervasive that the number of devices in the U.S. market will outnumber the population of the United States by 4 to 1. While that ratio seems to be almost real, the reality is that today most of the United States population uses at least one mobile device on a daily basis. Businesses have taken notice that along with more mobile devices comes the demand from employees to use these devices both for personal and work-related communications. As a result, more and more businesses are being forced to take a second look at their telephony and communication systems in order to accommodate the changing expectations of an increasingly mobile workforce.
The Mobile Workforce of Today
According to a recent IDC forecast, the mobile worker population in the US is expected to increase steadily over the next five years, projected to hit 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020, compared to just 96.2 million in 2015. This research anticipates that mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters (72.3%) of the total US workforce by the end of 2020. As more workers leave the corporate office to seek alternative workspaces, either at home or on the road, businesses are searching for technology that will help them shift into the ever-increasing mobile world. Many are looking to unified communications and other cloud-based solutions to assist in not only managing the mobile workers they now have in the workplace, but also to minimize the risks associated with this new mobile device environment.
Leveraging Unified Communications for Mobility
Rather than viewing mobility as an obstacle of growth, UC&C adopters are capitalizing on these communication solutions to answer the mobility challenge and are reaping the benefits of this cloud-based technology. For the most part, the features and tools that fall under the UC umbrella seem as if they were built with the mobile worker in mind. From hosted phone system features like simultaneous ring and voicemail to email to the extensive list of mobile apps that UC providers are bringing to the market, there’s little doubt that unified communications offers the technology solution that businesses need to manage the mobile workforce. Add in mobile video conferencing solutions, IM&P for mobile devices and SMS texting apps, and businesses are now fully equipped to provide mobile workers with a seamless communications platform across all mobile devices – whether they are in or out of the office.
Business Benefits of Mobile Unified Communications
Although each business will institute a variety of features, apps and mobile devices, the results are typically the same across the board. First, productivity of mobile workers is no longer limited to disparate systems and mobile devices. Instead, employees can function almost as if they were in the office directly from their mobile devices, including directory dialing, IM and presence, document sharing and even video conferencing. In addition, UC solutions are easily scalable, allowing businesses to ebb and flow as they continuously add and remove remote employees and devices to the mix. Both the increase in remote worker productivity and the ease of scalability offer businesses the unified communications benefits they need to stay competitive as the mobile world continues to expand.
As mobile workers become the norm, businesses need to be prepared to deal with their expectations. Today, more and more individuals are looking toward businesses to grow with the times and adopt the technologies that benefit both them and the business at large. As the economy asks businesses to be even more agile and flexible due to rapidly evolving markets, businesses will need the technology that will allow employees to communicate at moment’s notice – allowing remote workers to prosper without having to wait on the telephony systems of yesteryear.