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According to Cisco, 5.5 billion people - about 70% of the world’s population will have a mobile device by 2020. The number of people with mobile phones will outnumber those with a car, running water, and electrical service. In several parts of the world, this will mean that people will have a connected device ahead of access to basic municipal and transportation services.

These are dramatic projections. What they do not immediately reveal is the equally powerful impact mobile growth will have on how businesses are run.

Already, mobility is altering the definition of what is possible. Connected devices are enabling employees across domains to access work files, documents, and other office resources online from any location at any time. This is leading to several beneficial outcomes. One, it is boosting productivity. With employees gaining time and flexibility in their work schedules, more is getting done. With less time and money spent on travel, employees are working in ways more conducive to their personal commitments. PwC says when employees are given the opportunity to work flexibly, they are nearly 50% more likely to report being highly satisfied with their jobs.

Two, as companies prepare to scale, they do not have to factor in overhead costs that they would have incurred in opening branches in new locations. Research conducted in 2013 by Vodafone UK revealed that British businesses could save up to £34bil by instituting flexible work practices that helps save resources spent on office rentals, furniture and other related investments.

Three, with mobility enabling businesses to have easy access to a global talent pool, organizations can hire the best talent from practically anywhere in the world. This is ensuring a far better fit between skillsets and vacancies. For instance, The Washington Post uses a digital platform called The Talent Network to help its editors and writers find skilled journalists from anywhere in the world. This delivers to the American daily valuable inputs sourced credibly without the additional costs of hiring new staff.

Four, customers are leveraging enhanced mobility and anytime availability that businesses are now equipped to offer by transmitting their requirements digitally. They are expecting to be understood better, quickly and when possible in real time. Salesforce’ recent creation, Einstein, promises to help meet this need. Powered by AI, Einstein enables its customer relationship managers to know in advance how their contacts are ‘feeling’ by classifying their email message or customer review for patterns of ‘Intent’ and ‘Sentiment’ before even opening it.

Together, these changes are having a cascading effect on businesses. For one, they are offering companies across industries a landmark opportunity to revisit their business models and plans. Those whose future lies in roping in a full-fledged mobile strategy would be well advised to start investing in enterprise mobility platform technologies and solutions on priority.

However, there are a couple of factors they must keep in mind. To ensure minimal disruption in everyday business processes, they must ensure that the enterprise mobility solutions they select are iterative. This ensures they fit in easily with an organization’s legacy IT systems while also enlarging their scope and reach.

Another important factor is assessing its ability to co-exist with emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing and IoT. This is because each of these technologies has the capacity to dramatically improve and enhance the functionality of enterprise mobility. For instance, when an enterprise mobility platform is empowered with IoT, it can provide employees and customers with up-to-date information that can be vital to expedite decision-making in potentially high-risk scenarios such as construction sites, senior living facilities or international shipping ports.

Given the various advantages a well-thought mobile enterprise strategy delivers, I have no doubt that enterprise mobile apps will emerge to drive the next phase of enterprise mobility. These specialized apps will not only make it possible for a workforce to access contacts, email, and calendars, but also provide businesses with collaborative tools to coordinate business operations while on the go, safely, online. Our collaboration platform, based on Zyter™, is a case in point. Its Intelligent Chat module enables employees, customers and partners to stay in touch with one another via the privacy of ‘one-to-one’ instant chats while providing the security and intimacy of in-person meetings. Powerful 256-bit encryption ensures that these interactions are secure including for the exchange of confidential files, documents, images and videos. Further, the Zyter™ messaging feature provides businesses seamless multi-channel access to customized enterprise messaging services over any device allowing employees to stay connected and access enterprise data from anywhere securely.

In my view, it is just a matter of time before enterprise mobility platforms and applications form the core of businesses. By inter-operating with multiple platforms and applications, they will deliver added value to both employees and customers in ways that will change forever how business is done.

In the short-run, I foresee the imperative to ‘keep up’ with numerous operating systems, device configurations, and technology improvements posing a few challenges. However, I have no doubt that organizations which invest in a robust enterprise mobile strategy, in alignment with their business outlook, can be assured of certain growth.

Sanjay Govil

Sanjay Govil is the founder and Chairman of Infinite Computer Solutions. Infinite is global company that provides Platformized™ business solutions as well as next generation mobility products and services to the Healthcare, BFSI, Media & Publishing and Telecommunications verticals.

Sanjay worked for IBM and Verizon prior to establishing Infinite with an investment of just $1,000 in 1999. The company grew with minimal outside funding and had its IPO on the BSE and NSE in Feb 2010. It was one of the most successful IPOs of the year. The Executive team’s goal was to raise around $50 million for a primary dilution of around 13% in one of the most challenging financial conditions worldwide. In actuality, the Infinite IPO was about 43 times oversubscribed to $1.8+ Billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, the share offer for 11.5 million shares received more than 422.56 million bids.

Under his leadership, Infinite has grown to a multi-national team of over 5,000 employees located in India, US, UK, Germany, China, and Singapore. The main development center is located on a sprawling development campus in Bangalore. It’s Platformized™ solutions focus on the areas of mobile messaging, product engineering, business intelligence and analytics, mobility, compliance and social listening.

In May 2011, Infinite created a wholly owned subsidiary called Infinite Convergence Solutions to support its mobility business which comprises an integrated approach towards mobility, social, and cloud. Infinite Convergence provides complete messaging products and services to Tier1/Tier2 Operators and Enterprises worldwide. Infinite Convergence is a result of Infinite’s strategic alliance with Nokia Siemens Networks (formerly Motorola). Infinite leverages communication related Intellectual Property to develop a range of mobility products. The business processes 900+ Billion mobile messages annually serving 130 Million+ mobile subscribers around the world. In 2012 Infinite Convergence rolled out its award winning Enterprise Messaging Service (EMS) and Rich Communication Suite (RCS) while continuing to be an exclusive MMSC provider to the largest multimedia messaging services in the USA (considered the most successful in the world as measured by MMS uptake). The business continued its innovative product launches by releasing Netsfere in 2014. Netsfere is a new cloud-based enterprise messaging service that provide businesses with a secure platform for internal communication and give IT departments complete control over how employees send and access information across multiple devices.

Infinite continues to be recognized for its achievements and thought leadership for many of the markets it serves. In 2011 and 2013, Forbes rated Infinite as Asia’s 200 Best Under A Billion. In 2012 NASSCOM rated Infinite amongst Top 20 Players in IT Services and Infinite Convergence has been the recipient of the Red Herring Top 100 North America Award in 2013, the Red Herring Top 100 Global Award in 2013 just to name a few. The company was also recognized as the 5th Best employer by IDC in India.

Sanjay has done his BSEE degree from Auburn University and graduate work from Syracuse University and at the Wharton School of Business. He is a Fellow of the Wharton School of Business. Sanjay is a member of the Global CEO Advisory Council for the Wharton Fellows program. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Future of Advertising Project at the Wharton School of Business, and was nominated to be a member of the Graduate Board for the Wharton School of Business.

Sanjay has been recognized and featured in media throughout the world. Despite his businesses successes, Sanjay remains involved in the community through his philanthropic activities. He is particularly interested in supporting education related activities including the TiE DC’s Young Entrepreneurs Program. Sanjay is also diversified in other global businesses.

Blogs by Sanjay Govil