Since the smartphone hit the market, more consumers have relied on it to get through their lives. According to Pew Research, 77 percent of Americans now own a smartphone, up from 35 percent in 2011. Why is this important? As more individuals use smartphones, these devices have shaped how we do business, how we meet people and how we shop. In addition, these devices will continue to change the digital landscape – and businesses will need candidates that are well-qualified to adapt to those changes. An MS MIS degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham can provide the tools candidates need in a changing technological environment. See 12 ways the rise of mobile use matters to these different industries below:
1. Corporate America
Due to the increase of mobile use – which includes laptops, iPads and smartphones – employees in many industries can work from anywhere in the world. Instead of taking vacations, we can now take workcations, or working vacations, career site The Muse noted. All we need is an internet connection. However, that is coming at a price: Half of Americans didn’t take one day of vacation in 2014, noted Skift, a travel marketing firm. We have the ability to work more – yet we are also battling the pressure to work non-stop.
2. Online Shopping
The rise of mobile online shopping – or m-commerce as Business Insider calls it – leaves many shoppers equal parts excited and frustrated. Sites like Amazon have catered to the boom in mobile shopping with apps – yet many shoppers still turn to their laptops and desktops to complete their purchases. Security continues to concern many shoppers for conventional apps. Paypal used to dominate the space for secure payments for online purchases. However, Venmo, the mobile payment network, has risen in popularity – with security being its main priority.
It seems that we are carrying less cash when we shop. Small businesses – whether they are food stands, locally-owned retailers or markets – have had to adapt with the use of electronic POS systems or tap-and-go payments like Apple Pay. More shoppers are integrating Apple Pay and Samsung Pay into their smartphones. Since its debut, Apple Pay has had 12 million users join the mobile payment network, according to Bloomberg Business. Samsung Pay has also increased its user base, reaching 5 million users by 2016.
4. Book Publishers
Readers have been decrying the death of the paperback since 2012 when e-reader software was introduced into the marketplace. The Wall Street Journal cited a Nielsen survey that showed more smartphone users are turning to these devices instead of e-readers like the Kindle or the Nook to do their reading. Publishers, in response to the higher number of readers downloading books onto their phones, are designing book covers to look better on these smaller screens. In addition, it is changing how publishers are promoting new books. Instead of simply just focusing on displays in bookstores, publishers are offering free downloads that connect to a phone’s physical location. For instance, passengers riding the Amtrak Acela train were offered samples of Paula Hawkins’s “Girl on the Train.”
5. Magazine Publishers
Glossy magazines are making the move to digital only: InStyle UK stopped its print publication in October – and it may not be the only publication that needs to adapt in the face of increasing mobile use. Magazine publishers may face more challenges drawing in paying subscribers as more content is available for free online with a few taps on a smartphone. As a result, it may require publishers to come up with new ways to draw in readers who prefer reading on a mobile device.
Developers have to keep up with the demands of the marketplace. Mobile platforms will have to be easy to use while integrating with social media sites. For B2B, developers can create mobile software that can help employers manage payroll or assist hospitals in tracking samples. The rise of mobile use also presents a challenge for developers working with B2C clients. User interfaces must be easy to understand and need to work across a number of devices – which may present more challenges as Google adds to the available interfaces in the marketplace.
We all know the rules about email security: Don’t click on links you don’t recognize – especially from unfamiliar email addresses. According to a report from Zenith Media Consumption Forecasts, more individuals are accessing the internet from their phones compared to their desktops – and it is a trend that is expected to increase by 28 percent in the coming year. Security measures need to stay up to speed to keep mobile users’ information safe.
Doctors and therapists alike are utilizing mobile devices to keep in touch with their patients. According to a 2015 Survey from Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, 62 percent of physicians have taken advantage of telehealth using a mobile device. Patients can use their mobile devices to reach out to a doctor to inquire about symptoms before going to the emergency room – saving both time and money.
Our phones seem to always be within reach, making it easier to open food delivery apps like Grubhub or Seamless to order lunch at the office. The pressure is on food establishments – ranging from local eateries to fast food chains – to make sure that their mobile platforms are in line with customer expectations. A recent study from Deloitte noted that mobile users are only downloading three food apps, adding to the pressure for these companies to differentiate from their competitors. The rewards for restaurants that can tap into this increased mobile use, according to the same Deloitte study, include customers spending 20 percent more money when they return to an establishment. To create the most value in these apps, some chains – like McDonald’s – are saving users’ most recent purchases to make it easier to reorder. Others, like Starbucks, are focused on recommending drinks based on incorporated weather data from a mobile phone.
10. Travel and Vacation
More travelers are using their smartphones to book their vacations, noted a study released from TripAdvisor. Nearly half of those surveyed reported using their smartphones to book a hotel, a flight or an adventure when they reach their destination. Hotels and resorts also have to keep an eye on social media: Travel customers will take to Twitter to vent their frustrations. However, resolving a customer’s issues on such a public forum can turn into a marketing opportunity for these companies.
Due to new banking apps, we can carry our banks with us in our pocket. According to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, nearly 60 percent of mobile phone users have created push notifications to alert them about their account. These notifications can include information related to a low balance or suspicious account activity. Banking customers now have easier access to information about their bank’s services. As a result, mobile banking is influencing how customers make financial decisions.
12. Your Home
According to technology writer Amy Nordrum, the devices in our homes are increasingly becoming smarter: She estimated that the number of devices that can be controlled via mobile technology fluctuates between 9 billion and 17 billion. As more of these items hit the market, our mobile phones function as their control. Wired Magazine predicted that the smart home of the future will be able to rely on one piece of technology – whether it is a wearable device or a smartphone itself – that can transmit important information to each device in the house. As homeowners and renters download more of these apps – ranging from Nest, which allows you to remotely control your home’s temperature, to Fitbit – a mobile device will be the one tool you need to manage a home.
Mobile continues to grow – can businesses keep up?
Multiple industries are affected by increased mobile use. As a result, employers are looking for well-qualified candidates that can help them stay relevant to tech-savvy consumers. The Pew Research Center estimated that by 2019, the number of Americans that will own a smartphone will only rise. This will bring additional questions as to how we will continue to interact with these devices. Earning an MS MIS degree can help candidates address these questions.