Feature Article

March 19, 2015

Mobile Devices: Unleash the Power

By TMCnet Special Guest
Himanshu Palsule, Chief Technology Officer, Sage North America

I’m fascinated with how technology trends can divide opinion. Everyone seems to have a view on mobile technology—whether it’s the sustainability of wearables, the impact of radiation, the ability to pinpoint your physical location, the battle of devices, or the blurring of the office and home space.

Countless articles have been written on the social dangers of mobility. (And, ironically, a good number of those articles are being read on iPhones, iPads, and Kindles.) According to an October 2014 article on news research site Journalist’s Resource, smartphones can increase efficiencies and connections, while also “potentially leading to a culture of distraction” and “[impacting] numerous cognitive abilities and tasks, including driving ability, memory, and academic performance.”

Nevertheless, mobility is an obsession that’s revolutionizing the way we communicate with each other. There’s a great chance you’ll sign your next sales deal, pay for your chai latte, respond to your kid’s WhatsApp message, learn about an emerging trend or respond to an urgent email using a smart phone or other mobile device of some kind.

The adoption of smartphones and tablets is now more requirement than luxury, because a growing majority of consumers—your customers—are using them. An estimated 4.5 billion people worldwide are using a mobile phone, and about two billion smartphones are in use across the world.

For small businesses, mobility can be a game-changer, if appropriately leveraged. Business leaders are using mobile technology to stay connected with customers, run smoother operations, drive innovation, reach new markets, and instantly access information.

New productivity applications are transforming how businesses do what they do, and the speed with which they do it. The rise of ecommerce is being accelerated by people shopping on the move, and represents a huge opportunity for small businesses to sell to customers wherever and whenever they want to buy.

All that said, it’s important to keep a healthy balance when it comes to mobility. Your smartphone should enable your business, not disable your life. Used appropriately, your device(s) should help you get more done, so you’re free to enjoy more personal time.

In my eyes, applications make the device, while content makes the application. The holy grail of devices is the content, not the device. And you get to define the type, amount, and frequency of content on your device, as well as the amount of time you spend WITH your device.

Here are a few ways to put more distance between your work life and personal life, even if you can’t “power off” completely.

  • Turn off the audio and vibrating notifications for everything except phone calls. Many smartphones enable you to go a step further, only notifying you if specific people call.
  • During your personal time, turn off notifications and turn on “out of office” automatic email replies and voicemail greetings, indicating you’re unavailable.
  • Try to break the habit of keeping your phone in your bedroom. Charge it overnight in a different room, instead.

Mobile has come of age, and business leaders who’ve embraced it in a healthy way are enjoying the rewards of happier families, more loyal customers, and stronger businesses.

Make sure you—not your smartphone—are the boss. Just because it’s possible to work from anywhere, doesn’t mean you have to. Get the balance right and unleash the power for your business.

About the Author: Himanshu Palsule, chief technology officer for Sage North America, has a strong background in business software, research and development, and technology. In 1985, he started his career in IT. Since then, he’s worked for companies that specialize in business software and has been leading research and development efforts that grew sales at those companies.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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