As the new generation of mobile devices, tablets, smartphones, and netbooks begin to take root in everyday life, their usefulness in the workplace is growing exponentially. Today I want to explore some of the innovative ways to put this technology to work for you, and also, maybe get a glimpse beyond the horizon at what’s coming along this path.
Tablets like Apple’s iPad are the hottest thing from the high school classroom to the Fortune 500 boardroom. Sleek and fast, these stripped down computers offer swift and easy access to the web, email, and a plethora of custom applications. Retail operations are adding credit card readers, bar code scanners, and turning these devices into portable registers for a better shopping experience. Restaurants are making pay-at-the-table use of these same innovations. Field service work has never been more efficient. Completing work order forms while on the job, inserting pictures, video, and customer signatures into your system in real time has been clunky in the past waiting for laptops to boot and find networks. Now the process is streamlined, and because there are fewer moving parts, the tablets can live longer in harsh environments. Whether taking notes or making a presentation, checking email at the airport or writing a novel from the beach, tablets are here to change where we can work.
Smartphones have been evolving as well. Finding a niche between the laptops and tablets has been a trying job for the designers. Reading email, SMS messaging, GPS mapping, and time management applications are the true wheelhouse of these devices. Communication, direction, and accountability all in your shirt or purse pocket drive this trend. Companies are looking more often at SMS messaging being the replacement of the old pager. Phone calls are often inappropriate, and emails can be sluggish to receive and read through in some business situations. But a quick text can be just the solution to get the latest sales figures to the salesperson making the presentation to a client. GPS tracking is becoming a tool with incredible potential. Tracking employees, getting driving directions, even verifying the safe speed of company vehicles can all be managed by a smartphone with GPS. If the smartphone has a true Achilles heel, it is input. Nobody has small enough fingers to efficiently utilize a smartphone keyboard. Software like Dragon Speak, and others in the voice to text arena are making huge inroads in making input to your phone easier and more accurate. Look to the near future for the Star Trek like verbal interfaces to your mobile devices, especially our cell phones.
Netbooks are replacing laptops in both the classroom and the workforce. With a true keyboard, quicker boot times, and long lived batteries, these Lillyputian laptops have the power to do almost anything your desktop can in the office. The benefit of being able to use standard PC applications, as well as the freedom of movement make this a great choice for travelers and students.
Choosing the technology milestones to mark the path of your organization can be a daunting task. Simpletech’s leading IT Support for Small Business can help you make these choices, implement them, and keep them up and operational working toward your benefit. Call us today for our expert advice on mobile devices.