Importance of mobile highlighted in IBM study

Staying ahead of the curve is becoming increasingly important for organisations across the globe, and technology can be a key driver.

Few other technologies are as important to businesses as mobile, whether for staff or customer use. Smartphones and tablets offer unparalleled productivity and communication benefits, and new ways for companies to stay interconnected.

Companies will now have to begin turning attention to mobile, but it's going to be essential to stay focused on security.

Thanksgiving drives mobile momentum

For the first time ever, mobile device traffic climbed above traditional PCs on the American holiday of Thanksgiving, reaching 52.1 per cent of total online traffic.

In fact, the mobile use continued on Black Friday, which saw online sales rise 9.5 per cent and mobile devices account for one out of every four purchases.

"Mobile has become the new Thanksgiving tradition as consumers find the best deals with their fingers as well as their feet," said Director of IBM Smarter Commerce Jay Henderson.

This is a significant figure, as PCs were traditionally the go-to devices for web services such as shopping. Such a shift means businesses need to take note – as consumers accessing business services on mobile require a different approach.

For example, if customers are purchasing products on mobile devices, they'll need to either optimise their website for mobile or build a version of their site that is solely for handheld devices.

Business should look to the examples set by American companies, which IBM notes have found success.

"We saw retailers harness the power of data to engage shoppers, identifying the unique preferences of their customers while quickly capitalising on online, mobile or in-store trends as they emerge," Mr Henderson said.

Of course, mobile strategies cannot exist without security. Failure to put any protective measures in place while pushing ahead with the trend could result in harm to the company.

Productivity over security

Staff using mobile devices for work stated that security efforts are now being sacrificed for productivity, in a new poll by Raytheon.

A substantial 52 per cent of the survey respondents noted that security is now being "compromised and circumvented" in order to drive further productivity benefits. This sets a dangerous precedent, especially with customers increasingly moving into mobile.

Businesses need to keep mobile security at the top of the priority list, even if it means sacrifices in other areas. While customers may find the service not as capable, the security assurances are invaluable.

Focused mobile strategies are certainly the answer, as they provide a central framework for the business. 

Ashok Sankar, the vice president of Cyber Strategies at Raytheon explained that what's needed are strategies designed to both preserve the mobile user experience while simultaneously keeping security at the top of the priority list.

While these may seem difficult to implement, they're going to prove essential as customer use of mobile devices continues to grow.

A shift to mobile can be made easier, however, if businesses adopt a capable framework.

Deploying a framework

Keeping a handle on mobile operations is certainly no easy task for businesses – regardless of size. Whether a small company or massive enterprise, mobile represents a shift in workflow that requires careful management.

IT and business leaders may want to consider training staff in a best-practice IT management framework such as ITIL. This has been designed specifically to guide IT operations, ensuring they proceed smoothly from the outset.

To learn more about ITIL and how it can be applied to the mobile IT operations of a business, get in touch with the capable team at ALC Training. ALC can deliver courses throughout the Asia Pacific and to countries across the globe.