For both users and businesses, digital innovation has unleashed incredible opportunities, ranging from individual productivity and brand value all the way to IT. While mobility technology remains front and center in many digital transformation initiatives, C-suites will no doubt continue to scrutinize the top mobility tools and the ROI they provide for years to come. After all, technologies that deliver significant ROI can, in turn, free up or generate resources that allow for the next innovation, creating a cycle of ongoing digital transformation that takes the business to greater heights.
Here are five trends in mobile technology that are worth the investment and why they merit serious consideration:
1. Mobile Video
Mobile video offers businesses a unique opportunity to inspire greater audience engagement, whether they're a real estate firm showcasing attractive properties to potential buyers or a dynamic educational institution in which professors can make themselves available to students for virtual office hours. Businesses that livestream exclusive events on Facebook, YouTube, or other similar channels also report impressive results. And video engagement is only going to increase in coming years: According to Statista, the number of mobile video viewers in the United States is expected to increase to nearly 180 million people. With AR and VR beginning to see early traction as well, we can expect mobile video to remain one of the most valuable mobility technology investments for some time to come.
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2. Contextual Communication
Mobility has already demonstrated clear business benefit when it comes to enhancing the customer experience, and with its ability to tailor communications with customers based on their interests or purchasing histories, contextual communications is a complementary trend that can help businesses take their customer service to the next level. Understanding customer needs is priority one when it comes to ensuring long-term loyalty in a competitive market, and the contextual information surrounding a customer interaction — their intent, geographic location, and social presence, for example — provides just the sort of insight that a company's contact center needs to deliver a frictionless, best-in-class customer experience.
3. Workplace Apps
Mobility technology also plays an important role in workforce transformation, as businesses see beyond the benefits of increased mobility for the customer experience and begin to recognize how it can also boost business productivity. Employees are increasingly relying on mobile apps to perform key aspects of their jobs while on the go, joining a quick video chat from their home office or messaging their colleagues regarding a project update from their doctor's office.
Having realized the value of mobility for workplace collaboration, many businesses are now investing in mobility solutions for other groups of employees, such as frontline workers and others that traditionally have not received such investments. With a role-based mobile app, for example, a cable technician can access scheduled jobs, customer histories, and map routing to perform their work more efficiently. Videos and training manuals can be included as well, making onboarding and professional development that much smoother. Workplace mobile apps improve employee engagement and retention in addition to providing impressive productivity benefits, presenting a compelling case for ROI.
The businesses that successfully capitalize on key trends like mobility and AI, mobile video, and mobile workplace apps will reap greater value from their digital transformation efforts and find themselves advantageously positioned in the market.
4. Mobility Technology and AI
Any business leader pursuing digital transformation no doubt has AI initiatives in their sights. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2022, funding for AI initiatives in business will double. We're already seeing AI converge with mobile in a variety of ways — virtual assistants available on mobile phones come to mind — but that's just the beginning.
AI is already being deployed in mobile chatbot form to enhance the customer experience, enabling businesses to staff up their customer service operations with lean resources, but it will also soon be a major factor in enhancing role-based mobile apps, as it can adaptively guide employees toward just the right data insights or courses of action they need to advance their work. In essence, AI is a foundational technology that offers businesses an opportunity to innovate a wide range of business processes and identify entirely new markets or revenue streams that might have otherwise remained obscured and untapped.
For this reason, businesses that invest in mobility technology and AI will reap compound benefits from the convergence of these two powerful technologies. Those that do, though, should keep in mind that employees may have concerns about AI negatively impacting their career prospects. As such, it's wise for companies to begin engaging their workforces in open, transparent dialogues about how AI can enhance a variety of job roles and even empower employees to focus on more rewarding projects.
5. Mobile Compliance
As businesses and consumers conduct more of their transactions on mobile devices, it's essential to ensure that those transactions are complying with data privacy regulations. In doing so, they can make all the mobile innovations listed above possible in a sustainable way. This means, among other things, that businesses will need to invest in mobility tools that encrypt sensitive data at the device level and in transit. Businesses are adopting two-factor authentication (2FA), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and even biometric forms of authentication, such as facial recognition, demonstrating the need for stronger mobile authentication overall.
Stringent regulations like GDPR will likely become more common, placing additional emphasis on the need for enhanced security and more sophisticated data governance. California recently passed a data privacy law known as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and there's talk of federal legislation akin to GDPR one day becoming a reality in the United States. Businesses that make investments in mobile compliance measures now, making the integrity and privacy of their customers' data a top priority, will benefit from increased consumer trust and brand loyalty.
As we can see, the future of mobility is incredibly bright. The businesses that successfully capitalize on key trends like mobility and AI, mobile video, and mobile workplace apps will reap greater value from their digital transformation efforts and find themselves advantageously positioned in the market — with even more exciting future possibilities waiting in the wings.