Smartphones have become the norm for consumers and employees alike, thanks to the devices’ immense functionality. These gadgets make it possible for users to access email, browse the internet and download music and applications, regardless of location.
It is no wonder that the information technology (IT) industry is embracing mobile solutions like smartphones. A recent Gartner report said that manufacturers sold nearly 426 million mobile phones during the first quarter of 2013, with 210 million units being smartphones. Samsung and Apple led the smartphone sector, selling roughly 65 million and 38.3 million units, respectively.
“There are two clear leaders in the OS market and Android’s dominance in the OS market is unshakable,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.
With other operating systems, such as FireFox, Jolla and Tizen entering the smartphone market in the future, Android’s dominant place atop the industry will be impacted to some extent, but not enough to displace it as unquestioned leader, Gupta added.
BYOD driving cloud’s adoption
The growing popularity of smartphones is having a significant impact on many other areas of the IT sector, especially cloud computing. As more people adopt these powerful devices for personal use, they are then bringing them into work, fueling the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon and the adoption of the cloud.
A survey of 1,242 IT professionals conducted by CDW found that more than 70 percent believe workers’ use of mobile devices and cloud applications has affected their companies’ adoption of hosted environments. The study also found that 68 percent of respondents said employee requests to access the cloud have grown in the last two years.
In 2011, CDW found that 28 percent of organizations had adopted the cloud. In 2013, this figure has increased to nearly 40 percent. Stephen Braat, general manager at CDW, indicated that the cloud and mobile solutions offer firms many benefits.
“By aligning cloud services with critical applications and preferences of employees that use mobile devices, organizations can better capture business value that includes cost savings, increased efficiency, improved employee mobility, and an increased ability to create innovative new products and services,” Braat said.
The popularity of both mobile devices like smartphones and cloud computing is showing few signs of dissipating. Firms supporting these technologies can empower their workforces by providing unprecedented access to corporate data and applications, regardless of an employee’s physical location.