With 80 new tablets announced at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and industry projections predicting as many as 64 million units to be in use by 2013, I don’t think there’s any doubt that tablet computers are here to stay.
Couple that with the 45.5 million smartphones already in use (those are 2010 figures), and you’ve got a whole lotta people walking around with the Internet in their pockets.
All these users aren’t going to be satisfied using these devices for mainly for playing Angry Birds or reading news articles.
Business users want to use their tablets and smartphones to increase their productivity.
Thanks to the incredibly rapid development in hardware and applications, you as a trusted IT technology adviser can help introduce your clients to new levels of mobile productivity.
Here are 3 simple ways you can show your clients how be more productive using their mobile devices right now.
- File Access and Sharing:The number one request made by almost all mobile users it to have easy access to their data. There are many ways to achieve this today at a price point within reach of even the smallest of small businesses.Online Syncing Services will allow your clients to save a file to a cloud-based folder, much like they might currently do on a mapped network drive. However, this folder can be instantly available from just about any computer or web-connected device in use. So, your client can be working on a Word document in the office and when they get called away unexpectedly, they save the document to the online folder and then reopen and continue working on the file from their tablet, laptop or even smartphone.Several of the current leading providers of these services are Dropbox, Live Mesh, SpiderOak, SugarSync, Wuala and Wyse. All of these providers offer a limited amount of storage for free (between 1 and 5GB) and can be upgraded to up to 250GB for a modest fee. Check with the individual providers for OS compatibility and supported devices.
- Remote Desktop Connectivity: Sometimes, having access to files isn’t enough and your users need actual access to their desktop computer while away from the office – for example, they need to access a CAD drawing, but the CAD software doesn’t run on their phone or tablet. In such an instance, having remote access to the desktop can be invaluable. And it’s now easily achievable by using applications such as LogMeIn Ignition, Mocha VNC and Splashtop Remote Desktop.
- Note Taking:This is one of those areas where I never knew what I was missing until I began using it. Evernote (my note-taking application of choice) as well as, Clipmarks, Springpad, Simplenote, Microsoft OneNote and Zoho Notebook will allow you to take quick notes, clip full webpages or just excerpts of ones, snap photos or record voice memos and then synchronize these “notes” across all of your devices and computers.These apps are great for taking all those little bits of information that flash through my brain all day – calls I need to return, websites I want to remember, products I want to remember to research when I get back to my pc, etc. - and collecting them into a central, organized location, easily accessible from anywhere.One of my favorite uses is tracking business expenses, something I’ve always been terrible at. Now using Evernote, I take a quick photo snapshot (using my phone) of all my business expense related receipts as I get them, I jot a quick note about what it’s for and it’s instantly uploaded ready for me to forward to my accountant. No more saving envelopes stuffed with little slips of paper.
Applications are the driving force of the mobile market. According to market-research firm Gartner, more than 17 billion applications will be downloaded in 2011 alone. By 2015 it’s estimated that that the mobile application market will generate $25 billion in sales.
With this kind of demand driving the market, new developments will continue to emerge at a blistering pace, giving the mobile workforce new and innovative ways to stay productive and competitive from anywhere they may be.
Stay abreast of these new developments and your clients will continue to rely on you as their trusted advisor to show them how to stay ahead of the curve… and their competition.