Business travel is on the rise, but with the rapid adoption of mobile technologies, a variety of mobile workers have evolved. Businesses need an approach to mobile data which suits their diverse needs.
In the five years since its release, the near ubiquity of smart devices, cloud services, and record consumption of data on the move has changed mobile working extensively, but the basic elements remain the same.
At the start of the new millennium, tools such as web-conferencing, always-on email and collaboration platforms led some to forecast the end of business travel. However, this has been proved wrong to a massive extent. This year, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation, predicted that total spend would expand by 4.9% year on year by the end of 2014, and then 6.6% in 2015. In the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, business travel spend is expected to reach €156.8 billion by the end of 20151.
The explosion of mobile technology adoption in business combined with the continued growth of travel and mobile working means that new types of mobile worker have evolved in the workplace: regular travellers, field agents and device fanatics.
In Europe, many countries are only a one-hour flight from each other. Regular travellers often work abroad, and can visit several countries in the space of a week. The regular traveller therefore needs to be constantly connected. You know you are a regular traveller if your priorities are being able to use your home plan when you are abroad and making sure your mobile plan is flexible and adapts to what you need every month.
Field agents spend large chunks of time away from the office, so rely heavily on mobile data to stay in contact. 4G is standard for this lifestyle, and the field worker needs an efficient approach to data – so that the more you use the cheaper it gets. The field worker needs a way to prevent paying over-the-odds for data and so having the ability to monitor data usage in real-time is ideal for this type of mobile worker.
Whereas some mobile workers and business travellers will rely on one device more than others, device fanatics are equally comfortable using smartphones, tablets and laptops interchangeably, depending what is being worked on. A device fanatic does not want to be tied down by several different data allowances, so needs data to be shared across devices – all connecting to the same data bundle. You know you are a device fanatic if your mobile priorities are ensuring data and devices are safe and secure and that you can stay connected on your laptop, smartphone and tablet at all times.
The freedom to work anywhere
In business, no two months are the same, so companies need a flexible approach to mobile connectivity that automatically adapts to employees’ needs . Vodafone Red for Global Enterprise has been specifically designed to give your business the confidence to embrace mobile ways of working fully. This service provides unprecedented roaming value, safe and secure devices, a single contract, and all the tools needed to monitor and manage costs. It’s innovation in mobile communications like this which allows businesses to communicate without constraints right across the country or the globe.
1 GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook – Western Europe (November 2014):