Smartphones becoming pervasive

The rise of the smartphone has taken place much more quickly than most experts initially expected. This has led to an influx of intelligent mobile phones within the enterprise, as more employees now want to bring their personally owned gadgets into the workplace. The percentage of individuals clamoring to use their smartphones at work is increasing steadily, and the devices are becoming more and more pervasive. According to a recent IHS iSuppli study, smartphones will make up approximately 54 percent of the mobile market by 2013.

IHS iSuppli’s research found that smartphones have gained share of the mobile sector at an incredibly rapid pace. As of 2011, they took up approximately 35 percent of all mobile phone shipments. That figure climbed to 46 percent in 2012, and is expected to exceed 50 percent in 2013.

Businesses working to respond to this trend face major challenges on technological and operational levels, as the introduction of employee-owned or corporate-liable smartphones into mainstream enterprise functions creates complexity. At the IT level, networking, security and back-office adjustments need to be made to support widespread smartphone deployment. From an operational level, smartphones offer major benefits, but aligning data from social media, mobile devices and cloud services can be a significant challenge that overwhelms employees. Business process management software is gaining popularity as a solution to this problem, as it unifies the diverse technological climate and helps workers turn new equipment and IT solutions into everyday work improvements.

Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS, said the rapid rise of smartphones is a surprising development that is accelerating the mobile market as a whole.

“This represents a major upgrade for the outlook compared to a year ago, when smartphones weren’t expected to take the lead until 2015,” said Lam. “Over the past 12 months, smartphones have fallen in price, and a wider variety of models have become available, spurring sales of both low-end smartphones in regions like Asia-Pacific, as well as mid-range to high-end phones in the United States and Europe.”

As device diversity increases within the workplace, the need for BPM becomes even clearer. Having a software solution in place that ensures workers can get to the data they need without having to jump through hoops at the process level is vital to making the most of mobility, but having a variety of devices in place can make that a complex task. BPM simplifies the entire landscape by automating repeatable processes and enabling employees to focus on the important information.