Dematerialization is a Hard Trend — we know that computer technology has only decreased in size while increasing in functionality, and it’s going to continue in that direction. The use of mobile devices in the workplace is just the next step in this process. From desktops to laptops to smartphones, we’ve finally arrived at a portable office that fits in your pocket.

The question is: How do businesses profitably incorporate this next wave of dematerialization? This question affects not just the devices themselves, but your office design and management. The dematerialization and digitization of your mobile-centric business could mean less real estate because of smaller IT infrastructure needs thanks to another Hard Trend virtualization and the increasing ability of employees to work remotely.

It’s important to note that simply adding mobile devices to your businesses does not necessarily make your company an Anticipatory Organization™. Without the Foresight to prepare for implementation of new developments, your company risks doing more harm to itself than good.

More than just a change in the device itself, the mobile turn requires your company to restructure its IT. Use of mobile devices will increasingly drive the digitization of your company, first and foremost migrating many services to the cloud. One of the many benefits is a quicker means of sharing data and installing updates across devices, this also comes with particular threats to data breaches that your company needs to prepare for.

And while these risks are important to consider, the benefits of the mobile turn in business management comes with many opportunities. Some are obvious and well trod — others have yet to be explored. Since dematerialization and virtualization will only continue, a company should invest its intellectual resources and capital into using mobility to transform every business process. Even in Hard Trend developments like dematerialization and virtualization, companies need to analyze the viability of Soft Trends — or trends that may happen. Along with your company, others, too, are experimenting. New best practices will emerge, both inside and outside your company. Keep in dialogue with the wider world to ensure that you stay ahead of the game.

A mobility problem, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) created an opportunity for mobile-centric companies who found that BYOD policies provide greater flexibility, along with cost savings and user satisfaction.

For a company looking to switch to a BYOD model or one that wants to add a WYOD (Wear-Your-Own-Device) model when implementing mobile tech, security, again, is a number one concern. Containerization — the separating of personal and company data on a single device — is a simple security strategy a company can use when adapting to mobile-centric models. Even if your company issues devices to avoid this particular risk, your company needs to prepare for any data breaches that might come from hacked or stolen devices moving outside the office.

With a proper analysis of this new development, your company can ride the crest of this new wave in business development — at which point, you’ll only be more prepared for the next stage in dematerialization and digitization.

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