SMBs can typically leverage mobility better than larger organizations. Their employees are often scattered throughout the country, working from hotels, client offices, and coffee shops. This provides the SMB with a strategic advantage. They can align—and realign—their resources to best meet the objectives of the business.
Mobility typically means the ability to leverage smart phones, tablet computers, and laptop computers that are either connected back to the on-premise systems housed within the SMB or hosted within cloud computing providers such as Amazon, AWS, or Salesforce.com. Thus these mobile devices work as terminals of sorts to the larger systems, but they can also maintain off-line content and synchronize that content when attached to the network. Cloud computing providers such as DropBox, Box.Net, and others cater to the world of mobility, providing access to enterprise data from any mobile device.
There are a few advantages of SMB mobility, including:
- Increased employee satisfaction and retention because employees are not tied to an office and can work from any location.
- The ability to leverage real-time business information at the point it’s going to be most impactful.
- The ability to run the business even if the enterprise IT systems are disrupted or even eliminated.
The movement to mobility for SMBs is a rather straightforward process that includes creation of a mobility strategy that takes into account the needs of the business, clients, and employees. Select an effective wireless network that’s high performing in the areas the employees operate. Select supported devices--including smartphones, tablet computers, and laptop computers--that are remotely supportable. Finally, define the migration to and function of critical applications and data analysis tools on the target mobile devices.
Mobility in the SMB space is more than an option; it’s a clear necessity. Those SMBs that step up and take advantage of this technology will have a huge strategic advantage going forward.