Mobile Technology Helps Small Businesses Break Down Boundaries

By 2015, it is expected that there will be a mobile device for every person on the planet and most people will use mobile devices to access the internet. However, just having a mobile device does not mean you or your business are truly mobile or that you are getting the most out of your device(s).

Have you ever needed a file that was back at the office on your desktop? Couldn’t find a client’s phone number to return their call? Have a big project come up at the same time you have a family vacation planned? With a business strategy that includes mobile technologies, situations like these can be handled seamlessly regardless of location or timing.

Before developing a mobile strategy, assess your company’s current mobility needs. Here are a few questions to consider:

· Do you have the capability to access email, files, etc. while away from the office?

· What are your internal and remote technology capabilities?

· How easily can employees communicate and collaborate with one another both inside and outside of the office environment?

· How secure are your internal and remote systems?

While using the right hardware, such as smartphones and laptops, can have a significant impact on your small business’s efficiency and mobility, also consider how you plan to employ the cloud for software and services via the internet for maximized productivity.

Small businesses are considered to be the driving force of cloud adoption due to the secure accessibility of data and services as well as the cost savings compared to traditional infrastructure solutions. My last post focused on how cloud computing can help small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with productivity. You can also click here for the guide “Running Your Business in the Cloud” to help develop a small business mobile strategy.

Once your business has remotely accessible information and services, determine which mobile devices for small business will be the best fit. Think about what the needs are today, including:

· Any regulations the business needs to adhere to (such as HIPPA or Sarbanes-Oxley)

· Pain points you/your team is dealing with that a mobile application could help alleviate; and

· What your needs may be in the future

With a list of requirements, you can determine which mobile devices will best support your business and team.

Smartphones offer similar benefits to a laptop or tablet, while still offering the full capability to work securely with the same email, calendars, documents and programs you use on a desktop.

Mobile technologies allow you to transcend perceived barriers due to company size and empower you and your team to choose how, where and when you work.

For more tips and information on how technology can support you and your business, follow me on Twitter (@Cindy_Bates) or follow Microsoft SMB on Twitter (@MicrosoftSMB) and Facebook (Microsoft SMB).