Here are the influential voices leading the conversations where nonprofits and technology overlap.
With smartphone and tablet adoption what they are, no organization can afford to ignore the opportunity that mobile apps present.
The current generation of mobile devices, combined with 3G and 4G wireless networks, has made onthe-go, high-speed Internet communications viable, giving individuals and organizations alike true anytime, anywhere access to data, entertainment, applications and more.
Mobility completely changes the way organizations interact with their constituents, users and customers — and with one another — because it creates untethered consumers, clients, colleagues and partners. Personal computers and the Internet may have promised 24x7 commerce or service, but only when organizations can reach people when they are away from their PCs — in coffee shops, at airports, at sporting events, in public parks, on the sidewalk — can there be true 24x7 interactions.
And mobile apps are the portals to enabling productivity on the go.
Using smartphones and mobile apps:
Users are free of the constraints of traditional broadcast or online communication.
Users, customers, prospects and partners can search for information anytime, anywhere.
Users, customers, prospects and partners can share information in real time.
Users, customers, prospects and partners can make purchases whenever and wherever the mood strikes.
Employees can access an organization’s apps and resources anywhere, boosting productivity.
For instance, imagine a mobile sales force that doesn’t require a wired network connection to access interactive catalogs, billing systems and customer relationship management (CRM) databases. Not hard, right? Now imagine a mobile sales force that doesn’t even need a Wi-Fi connection to access those resources.
Mobile apps, running on today’s generation of wireless devices, enable unprecedented access to the tools that allow salespeople to sell more, consumers to buy more, and everyone to enjoy the possibilities of the Internet – wherever they happen to be.
In a recent survey of organizations exploring greater mobility for their employees, Yankee Group found that the top reason for investing in mobility solutions was to improve responsiveness to customers.
Other reasons include giving people access to existing applications to improve productivity, transforming work processes to improve efficiency, enhancing employees’ work–life balance and fostering better collaboration — among customers,constituents and partners, as well as among coworkers.
And for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), which often rely on remote workers, mobile apps can be a critical competitive advantage. In a 2011 survey, AT&T found that 72 percent of small businesses were using mobile apps. Nearly 40 percent said they couldn’t operate without mobile apps.
(Interestingly, it’s estimated that an overwhelming majority — 78 percent — of the U.S. companies that actually develop and sell mobile apps are small businesses, according to the Association for Competitive Technology.)
For more information on mobile apps, download CDW's white paper, "The Case for Mobile Apps."