Mobile shapes business practices

Andy McFarlane
18 Jul 2012

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, once described the mobile phone as “the single most transformative tool for development” and it is not hard to see why.

Ten years ago there were 700 million mobile devices, most of which did not link to the web. Contrast this to today, where there are about 5.9 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, many of which are for smartphones.

In emerging economies, ‘connectivity’ today in reality means ‘mobile connectivity’. For instance, Africa has become a center for growth and innovation in mobile use. The world’s leading mobile money transfer payment service, M-PESA, developed by Vodafone, was first launched in Kenya in 2007.

By 2020, the majority of the world’s population is expected to have access to much of the world’s data, and most this will be via a mobile device, with the bulk of new users coming from countries such as China and India.

This connected world presents its own set of challenges, with issues of network management, privacy and abuse to address. Yet universal access to mobiles and the internet is truly beginning to reveal the transformative power of the technology.

The mobile revolution is well underway and changing the landscape of business communications. Today, companies big and small, across virtually every industry, are clamouring to unlock the potential of mobility in their business. The desire for greater productivity and the need for immediate access to business-critical information are driving companies to look at mobility devices and solutions as integral parts of their business and technology strategies.

Decision-makers can now source key data, from multiple points, in real time, to help them reach more informed conclusions. Businesses can engage with their customers in new ways that will continue to transform the way we live and work.

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