Mobile devices may have started as gadgets for personal use but their benefits for business use are so widely recognized and accepted that they are now the norm in the workplace. Which mobile devices are leading the pack for business use? Answering this question shows how rapidly the mobile technology landscape changes. The answers today could be very different from the answers tomorrow.
Take the smartphone. Until last year, RIM’s BlackBerry was the most favored device for corporate users and college students. However, Android devices and Apple’s iPhone have since taken over BlackBerry’s position in the marketplace. There was a time when the BlackBerry was the “in” thing for a business person. Part of its appeal to the business user included superior email, build quality, physical keyboards and security. The iPhone was formerly viewed as a high-tech toy but has since made progress to cater to more business customers.
Another popular mobile device is the tablet, with Apple’s iPad being the unquestioned market leader today. Tablets are highly portable and the easy-to-use touch interface offers easier, more flexible ways to surf the Internet, play games, read books, and perform other functions that are part and parcel of people’s mobile digital lifestyles. At this stage tablets for business use are still in their infancy but they offer an acceptable middle ground between smartphones and laptops.
Before Apple’s iPad hit the market, netbooks were the rage. Netbooks were considered mini-laptops, smaller and less powerful than laptops but more portable. They were intended to complement a main computer, whether that was a desktop or a laptop, but not to be laptop replacement. When the business power user is not in travel mode he still relied on the power and capability of a fully-configured desktop or laptop for his business needs.
What value does IT support add to the use of mobile devices for business? While your choice of a mobile device for personal use may be determined by individual preferences such as style and brand, when it comes to business use IT support provides a more functional perspective. Aside from meeting your needs as the end-user IT support companies consider the needs of the organization. Among these needs are implementation, security, work-group collaboration and integration into the company infrastructure. IT support can help you exercise due diligence in selecting the best mobile device for your business needs