Mobile Computing and the end of the Desktop

16 May 2016

With the advancement of hardware and software technology advancing at an ever-increasing rate, mobile office is fast becoming a reality.

What is Mobile Computing?

Mobile computing is the application of portable technological devices to process data. These wireless devices allow transportation of data without having to be connected to a fixed physical link. Many of these devices are handheld, and are therefore much easier to carry around than larger objects. They consist of similar software applications and components as in traditional desktop computers, such as processors, memory storage, and internet. They’re also capable of operating, executing, and providing services like desktops. However, they differ from desktops because they are constructed specifically for mobile architecture and allow portability.

Mobile computing allows users to do what they couldn't with conventional desktops; they expand the workplace out into the world, allowing access to information, processing power and communication wherever the user needs it.

Examples of mobile computing include:

  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Bluetooth devices
  • E-book readers
  • Handheld game consoles
  • Cameras

For years, mobile computing has enabled users to access the web and data while being away from home. The range of where they can use it and how much of it they can use depends on their data plan and service providers; some users are able to use the internet from anywhere in the world. However, if a wireless network is not encrypted or if a user is looking to save data usage, Wi-Fi can of course be used in public places wherever it’s available. Internet dongles are also commonly used for laptops.

Mobile computing is already very established throughout the world but there’s no doubt that it’s on the rise; the use of this technology is rapidly increasing and is expected to innovate massively in the future.

Mobile Computing Today

Mobile computing is essentially enabled by one key component: the Internet. Accessing large amounts of data is now possible through cloud infrastructure solutions like Cloud storage, private and public access cloud databases and cloud computing.

The technology that enables mobile computing is now so prolific that most executives no longer need their desktop to work. Today we can work on the commute while updating our files to the cloud in real time via broadband networks.

Multinational organisations are now beginning to decentralise their workforce. Instead of providing dedicated work desks for each employee, many businesses now simply provide collaboration space.

IT Infrastructure

Companies that use a decentralised work force usually rely on a more expansive technology infrastructure and information technology support staff. Laptops, tablets and mobile technology are sometimes provided to employees who telecommute or work out in the field. Significant Internet bandwidth, web conferencing tools and virtual team software are also used in many instances to allow dispersed work teams to communicate and to engage in file sharing. This means more expenditure on IT and more emphasis on technology support.

The Future

By 2020, new technology in the workplace will force businesses into a new era of decentralisation. 63 per cent of business leaders surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit predict a migration towards more decentralised business models. This will result in a shift towards the Teal organisational model.

The new era will not be typical of the decentralisation structures of the past which were generally criticised for their inefficiency, duplication and lack of consistent strategic direction.

Instead, businesses will take a process orientated approach. Critical information will be centralised via cloud infrastructure so that data can be more readily received, stored and retrieved by members of your organisation.  This will ensure that processes are more streamlined and efficient than ever before, and will in turn give team member greater authority to find the data they need to collaborate directly with customers and make important business decisions, without delay.

In the new era of decentralisation it will be essential for business leaders to choose the right partners to help them optimise business critical processes so they are controlled, information is integrated and it remains secure. It should also be easily accessible by employees and project teams to act in the organisation’s best interests. Only with this approach can they reduce duplication, ensure consistency, and importantly gain an accurate insight into the costs that are being incurred across the business.

If you’d like to find out more about Cloud Computing, new technologies and how they can benefit your organisation, visit Insight’s Azure Cloud page here.