[IMGCAP(1)]Mobile technology continues to increase its importance in modern business, and successful companies are finding ways to leverage it as a competitive advantage.

A recent Sage survey found that 68 percent of businesses report that mobile technology has a positive effect on employee productivity. In addition, 70 percent report that mobile devices are elevating their level of customer service to new heights.

Mobile technology is integral to the success of small and medium-sized businesses, but many are not planning for the use of mobile devices and services in their company budget.

Enabling everyone to perform basic and more advanced tasks that are integral to both personal and professional lives, mobile technology allows employees to answer calls, quickly respond to important emails, and efficiently perform their functions regardless of their physical location. More and more companies see the benefits of employees who have access to applications that extend their capabilities beyond the office, so they can conduct business anywhere and anytime.

When employees get what they need to do their job – no more no less – from remote offices, at home, or on the road, companies deliver better customer service and are more productive. Mobile technology provides these businesses with a competitive advantage, increasing referrals and elevating their brand.

When it comes to budgeting for mobility, the Sage survey found that 75 percent of these businesses are not budgeting for the expense of mobile devices and services; rather, they are addressing the need as it arises. Because mobile technology can play an instrumental role in productivity and customer service, shouldn’t every business owner consider including it in their budget plans? Sage has the following tips on approaching mobility:

1. According to the survey, mobile technology had a 70 percent positive effect on customer service. Incorporate mobile devices and services that empower your customer-facing employees with what they need to do their job, from in the office, on the road, or in remote locations. Add more mobile technology to other areas of your company as your success builds, and your business grows.

2. Track equipment expenses. You probably have out-of-date computers that could be sold or donated. Older technology may be negatively impacting employee productivity more than you know. Evaluate replacing these older, slower, less mobile desktops with laptops, tablets and smartphones. Create a plan, and a budget, to bring in mobile devices and services to maximize productivity.

3. Sage also found that mobile technology had a positive effect on 32 percent of businesses by helping employees stay productive during inclement weather. Add mobile to your annual budget so employees are prepared to keep your business productivity high every day, regardless of what is happening outside.

4. Consider a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program for your office. A BYOD policy can lower costs for companies while increasing employee productivity and efficiency. Understand all the pros and cons of a BYOD policy to determine if this is financially and culturally best for your company.

5. In our recent survey, businesses reported that mobile technology has brought 21 percent more work into their company. Consider mobile technology as an investment in growth, instead of an expense, when you develop your budget. Add mobile in several budget categories where it can help fuel new business outreach and drive growth.

Joe Langner is executive vice president of mid-market solutions for Sage North America.

 

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