根据国际电信联盟（International Telecommunications Union）的统计，全世界共有10亿多位智能手机用户，移动电话用户总数近60亿人。（目前全球人口约70亿左右——看起来就连幼儿园的孩子都在拿手机发短信——译注）全球各地的老百姓、甚至连那些连自来水等基本生活设施都缺乏的人，都在使用无线网络聊天。无论身在喀布尔、卡拉马祖还是加德满都，移动业务都已经做得很大了。
We hear so much about the 'mobile enterprise' that it's difficult to really know what it all means, or why it matters. A future where employees work from the device of their choosing intimidates many business leaders, causing them to fret about complexity and the security and compliance implications of an increasingly mobile world.
It was all so much easier before.
But lamenting the challenges of mobile is shortsighted and ignores both its inevitability and its massive potential to bring real value to companies. If you're a leader of a company, you should start paying attention to the following trends to get your company's mobile pieces in place for the future.
There's An App for That...Now
It wasn't long ago that mobile devices were completely novel. I remember my first mobile phone: It looked like a brick, and beyond allowing me to make phone calls at $1.99 per minute, had about the same level of usefulness. We've certainly come a long way. Now, you can cash checks by just snapping a picture, book a town car with the press of a button and pay for your morning coffee by swiping your phone. Oh, you can make phone calls, text and check your email, too.
Think about it: Just 10 years ago, we had fax machines, PBX boxes (remember those?) and those clunky cell phones. Today, buoyed by the cloud, we're drowning in email, tablets and smartphones at every turn. Change happens fast, and in ten years, the technology we use at work and at home will look very different from how it looks today.
Sent From a Tiny Computer in My Back Pocket
According to the International Telecommunications Union, there are more than one billion smartphone users worldwide, and almost six billion mobile phone users total. (Note: The world's population is around seven billion right now – it seems that even toddlers are texting.) People all over the globe, even those who lack basic infrastructure such as running water, are chatting wirelessly. Mobile is already huge – whether you're in Kabul, Kalamazoo or Kathmandu.
The most exciting part is that is that we're just getting started.
Over the next several years, smartphones will increasingly replace unconnected mobile phones, which means that almost everyone on the planet will have a tiny computer in their back pocket. And they'll be doing more work on those computers, no matter their industry. Nearly every job in the world will become a 'computer job' — not just white-collar desk jobs. Oil rig workers miles out at sea, plumbers making house calls and, yes, office workers will all rely on smart mobile devices to do their jobs. Not only does this open up new ways for companies to connect with billions of employees, customers and partners, but it's also an opportunity for forward-thinking leaders to redefine how their companies communicate, collaborate and train employees in the "mobile-first" world we're quickly approaching.
This shift also spells the end for the multiplicity of specialized mobile devices in many industries. Standalone GPS receivers, building badges, television remote controls, MP3 players and those rugged mobile devices the UPS driver uses to scan packages and capture signatures will soon become obsolete. This consolidation into a single device – the smartphone – will also cause other products that we use in our daily lives to become more efficient and to work seamlessly with smartphones. We're already seeing this in vehicles that read drivers' Twitter and Facebook feeds and in smart appliances that allow homeowners to adjust the temperature or activate the alarm while on vacation.
And that innovation is not reserved for our personal lives – hardly. When CEOs think about computing and how employees will work in five years, they should envision one super powerful, personally owned device that's always on, supplemented by a network of peripheral devices at home and at work that are just as agile. That's the direction we're headed. Fast. And the implications will be as profound in business as they will be in our personal lives, a line that continues to blur as we all become more connected.