4G: The fuel (not the tool) for mobility

by James Eadon: Client Manager, Telefónica UK

Putting petrol in your car will help it go…unless it takes diesel. If you never topped up your tank your car would soon grind to a halt. But, although the fuel is important, it’s actually the car itself that gets you from A to B. It’s the car that determines whether your journey will be enjoyable, efficient and ultimately successful. If you’re sticking to your F Reg Volvo, as my Dad did for 18 years, then there’s only so much mobility fuel can give you (I’m going somewhere with this I promise).

I think of 4G as the fuel for technology. And it’s essential in my personal life. I can download music, stream videos and keep in touch with friends and family quickly and seamlessly thanks to 4G connectivity. But I don’t think about it very often because it’s very much in the background. What I think about are the apps and devices (the cars if you like) that I can enjoy thanks to better connectivity.

It’s a similar story in business – 4G will underpin your mobility strategy, but it can’t transform it.

So, the first thing you might want to do is make sure the engine isn’t leaking. Data can be expensive if it’s not controlled. Mobile device management (MDM), and Mobile Data Optimisation, are helping businesses control how connectivity is used in the workplace. For instance, one of my customers lets their employees use Facebook when they’re in the UK, but when they’re in Spain they can only use business critical apps. This is an example of compromise between employee engagement and business costs.

To continue the metaphor (why not?), you can turbo charge your mobility strategy by asking your employees what they want to use. According to CCS Insights, 41% of employees say mobile business apps are already changing the way they work, but 81% of employees haven’t asked IT to give them apps for work.

But there’s so many apps that can support business mobility. For example, to guarantee a seamless ride between laptop, tablet and smartphone, there’s Box. Storing files securely in the cloud helps employees work better together. You can open almost any file, anywhere, at any time, without the need for the native app. Create, share, update, review, repeat. And I’ve seen it in action – an architect in London can share a drawing with a project manager onsite in Manchester, who can then feedback instantaneously.

4G should be seen as the fuel, not the tool, for business mobility. And now I’ve run out of metaphors…

So, to make the most of your 4G investment, visit our website to learn more about Managed Mobility and smarter working.