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Mobility is one today’s most prominent business trends – and for good reason. Businesses that fail to embrace it will become increasingly difficult to deal with.

More mobile competitors will be where the customer is (and where the markets are) while businesses limited by the restraints of geography will struggle to keep their place on the map.

Here’s what businesses that embrace mobility can expect – and why I think SMEs, in particular, should get in on the mobility act.

1. Productivity

The way we work is changing. Anywhere-anytime work is now the norm. This is creating its own set of challenges, as well as benefits.

However, with the right mobility tools, we can make more of the working day – and whether we’re at home, the office or an airport lounge, there should be no difference when it comes to the data and applications we need to access.

2. Speed and efficiency

Making sure that infrastructures are mobile also drives operational effectiveness, allowing your business to be more nimble and integrated. Increased speed-to-market can be achieved as a result.

3. Access to new markets

In addition to speed, mobility also delivers reach. With a mobile infrastructure, establishing a presence in new markets requires fewer resources and less investment. Mobility should mean that your business is able to pick and choose the markets it wants to pursue based on their business appeal, not their geographic proximity. This gives light-footed SMEs an edge.

4. Going international

Remember, for example, that with a population of 1.35 billion and an economy growing at about 10 percent per annum, opportunities don’t come any bigger than China.

By making mobility a priority, businesses will be able to target emerging Asian economies with lower costs and lower risk – gaining confidence from the knowledge that if their business can succeed in Australia, where labour costs are so high, it can probably succeed anywhere (and succeed better).

Go mobile in Australia and you can reach a population of around 22 million. Do it in India or China – leveraging virtual offices for both a technological and physical presence – and you can reach billions.

Better customer service

We’re at the point where if you can’t instantly send product information, check inventory, lodge an order, or do whatever else it is you need to do when visiting a customer, you’re at a disadvantage.

The same goes for being able to respond to customer requests as quickly as possible – not just when you reach your office desk.

Summing up

Mobility is going to play a crucial role in the coming decade – which, for reasons including the struggling manufacturing sector, will also be a decade in which SMEs thrive. Businesses who fail to embrace mobile solutions and infrastructures will face less flexibility, and, ultimately, less capability than their competitors.

If you’re not making as much of mobility as you could be, take the time to devise a strategy for how your business can best exploit it.