Sometime in the near future, 2015 may go down as the year that Black Friday changed forever. And not just because of efforts like #OptOutside from outdoor retailer REI, which announced that it would close all of its stores on the busiest shopping day of the year so that employees and customers could instead spend the day outside.
In addition, 2015 marked the first year that more online Black Friday shopping traffic came from mobile devices than from desktops: 57.2% according to IBM’s annual Black Friday benchmark report, compared to 49.6% in 2014. Customers using mobile devices accounted for 36.2% of all Black Friday online sales, up from 27.9% in 2014. On Cyber Monday, when many more shoppers were back at work, mobile devices still accounted for 47.9% of all online traffic, with mobile sales clocking in at 27.6%.
But what do these numbers mean for the average small to medium-sized business and its employees? An April 2015 Pew Research Internet Project study found that 64% of North American adults own a smartphone, up from 59% just a few months earlier. Even more interesting is that 10% of North Americans rely on their smartphone for all Internet access — meaning they don’t have any other options for getting online. Meanwhile, 88% of surveyed smartphone users accessed email on their phone at least once a week, making it more popular than social media, video, and maps apps.
As the way we use our phones changes, so does the way that businesses address mobility issues. CompTIA’s 2014 Trends in Enterprise Mobility study discovered that 70% of companies surveyed had invested some resources in mobility solutions, 76% of those organizations handed out smartphones, and 61% handed out tablets. Such saturation makes smart management of mobile devices a necessary part of any company’s IT strategy, especially as employees demand access to all of their data right now.
Of course, balancing mobility management and security isn’t easy — especially with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) still popular (55% of companies employ this approach, according to CompTIA). Only 30% of those companies had any kind of formal mobility use policy in place, though — and barely 8% could report significant workflow changes as a result of mobile device use.
At CMIT Solutions, we specialize in understanding new mobility advances so that we can put them into action for your company. Whether it’s a Dropbox-like solution that allows for 24/7 file access, managed email services that keep your employees safe, secure, and connected, or Mobile Device Acceptable Use Policies that set a high standard in regards to data security settings, usage boundaries, and privacy requirements we can help. We’ve even begun shifting our focus so that we cover all of the devices used by a business’ employees, not just the computers in an office.
Mobility is far more than just a flashy trend. If you want to avoid the inherent difficulties of mobile device use while deploying its cost benefits and productivity enhancements to your advantage, contact us today. We’re here to understand your needs and help keep your business technology running smoothly.