At every turn you see advertising for a new smartphone. 2012 is the year of the tablet. Skype, FaceTime, Instagram, and Hipstamatic are rapidly becoming verbs. We live in a technology-oriented society, and it is no surprise that technology companies are household names.
What’s been different over the last decade is how influential technology reaches our hands. Traditionally, we got access to technology at work first, and eventually in the home. Today, that dynamic is reversed. Businesses are scrambling to meet employee demands to connect their shiny new smartphones and tablets to the company network.
Part of the reason why there is such a scramble is that most organizations assumed they had plenty of time to implement new mobile solutions. The generally held belief was that this new technology was really only valued by the young, emerging employee population. The reality was quite different. Some industry analysts have discovered that the average age of the technology advocate is over 50.
What does this trend mean for the NFPA member or customer?
First: we hear you! You want to use our content in more mobile-friendly ways. We’re burning the midnight oil to develop and deliver content in new formats, how and when you need it.
We’ve already begun to feel the real impact of this trend. Everywhere you turn, you hear customers’ stories about how their jobs are changing:
- Installation and maintenance crews don’t rally up at the office first thing in the morning anymore – they can get their maps, job orders, and contact information via email or text message.
- Sales teams can bring video demos of project work right to the customer.
- Team leaders can send video of a repair right to the home office, streamlining repair reporting.
- Inspectors can tag video to a violation report with voice commentary.
Add it all together and you get a mobile workforce that can save a lot of time, energy, and money by getting connected while out of the office.
Image by Jeff Bundy via Flikr. CC attribution license.