The Mobile Ecosystem: How Can it Benefit Your Business?

The NextWomen is happy to be able to provide information on mobile ecosystems through knowledge partner Dialaphone. 

The concept of mobile ecosystems is a relatively new one, but as with any technological development it’s subject to enormous changes over a short period of time and its impact, particularly on businesses look set to be huge.

What is a mobile ecosystem?

A mobile ecosystem is a common platform which allows a range of devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops to integrate efficiently with each other to share data. An ecosystem builds on making the existing infrastructure within a business more mobile ready granting stakeholders’ easier access to files and ongoing projects.

Users can build up an ecosystem from just one device running a particular operating system, whether it be Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android or Microsoft’s Windows. From here more devices can be added to build up the ecosystem meaning devices integrate efficiently with each other, improving communications and allowing instant access to project files and documents.   

What ecosystems are available?

There are currently three main ecosystems in place; Apple, Google and Microsoft. Although they are very different they all rely on cloud storage namely Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive or Microsoft’s SkyDrive. Users are able to store data onto a remote server so it can be wirelessly accessed anywhere from any device.

Apple was one of the first manufacturers to bring all its devices together, with the iOS operating system running on its iPhone, tablets, TV, laptops and desktop computers creating a unified platform. Because Apple produces all of its hardware and software the user experience across the devices is, by and large, the same.

The Google ecosystem is very different because of the operating system’s open-source nature which enables various manufacturers to modify the Android software depending on the device it’s being made for, be it smartphones, tablets, laptops or TVs. Whilst services such as Google Drive, Google Play and the rest of the Google suite of applications, including YouTube and Google Maps will be constant across the various devices, there is the issue of fragmentation to contend with. As many different iterations of Android are in use across different devices, apps installed on one piece of hardware may not be compatible with another – the recently launched Google Now being a prime example.

In Windows 8 Microsoft has developed a platform which unites a range of devices with the same user interface. The new operating system looks to provide seamless navigation, unifying the user experience so it looks the same regardless of the device using it and meaning file types supported by one device will also be supported by another. Apps and programs will work the same whether you’re accessing your data via a tablet, smartphone or laptop.

What are the benefits for businesses?

  • Users are able to share information across different devices without having to use wires or cables.
  • Cloud services mean data recovery is easy if it’s lost, damaged or stolen.  There have been security concerns about the cloud services because users don’t know exactly where their data is stored or who has access to it.  However, a number of mobile management solutions are available for businesses to control the amount of access users have to particularly sensitive or confidential data.
  • Cloud storage services such as iCloud and SkyDrive also make for a seamless user makes work projects easier to share in a secure manner.
  • Data on one device can be picked up in exactly the same format on another, which is very useful if colleagues want to work on the move. It also lets users avoid duplicating content, because users across the business will be able to see what projects are being worked on and amended.
  • If everyone in a business uses the same software it makes it even easier to chop and change devices.

So, what does the future hold for mobile ecosystems?

The launch of Windows Phone 8 has signalled a huge move in mobile technology by integrating PC-like capabilities such as the Office suite into other devices. Cloud storage services such as SkyDrive and shared Dropbox accounts make for hassle-free sharing and access to files from any device, whether working from the office or remotely.

Improved front-facing cameras are increasingly featuring on new mobile devices too, which when coupled with VoIP services such Skype and FaceTime’s closer integration with operating systems, means conference calls are easier than ever. These are just some of the ways in which a mobile ecosystem could work to benefit your business and your client base, which in this ever-changing complex digital world can’t be a bad thing.

Written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone.

This article is made possible through Dialaphone. The NextWomen is not responsible for the views or opportunities expressed in this article.

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