If knowledge is power then access to information is the lynchpin upon which it is realised. Where once information was stored in filing cabinets and carried around in briefcases, now that same information is stored digitally and available via a range of electronic devices. However, the sheer size and scope of information that companies need to access and manage has grown to the point where communications networks have to be ever more robust to deal with the volume of data.
The advent of 4G is in part a response to the increase in data volumes but 4G is more than just another communications network – it has the potential to transform the way business is conducted. At the heart of this transformation will be the evolution of new apps designed specifically to capitalise on the speed and bandwidth that 4G delivers. For many organisations, embracing 4G will put in place the lynchpin that can deliver greater flexibility, productivity and mobility across the business.
App development and the 4G revolution
While demand for more intuitive apps continues to grow unabated, developers have often been held back by the limitation of 3G networks which makes downloading larger apps a time consuming and costly affair. The 4G revolution is set to sweep aside these obstacles and allow developers to create apps that are far more interactive, intuitive and in-tune with an ever changing market.
At a stroke, developers no longer need to worry about whether certain features or capabilities can be incorporated into their apps as 4G is more than capable of handling large volumes of data. What 4G brings to app developers is an air of certainty – a certainty that they can create stunning, more powerful apps that push the boundaries of app development and meet the continued expectations of their clients. The 4G revolution is set to transform the business landscape by unleashing the full creativity and ingenuity of app developers onto an expectant and increasingly demanding audience.
4G: greater flexibility, mobility, application performance and productivity
Technology is an engine for economic growth and the arrival of 4G is no exception. Telecoms giant EE has paved the way with its 4G network rollout over the past months and other telecom operators are poised to do the same. The question many businesses will undoubtedly ask themselves is whether they should make the transition to 4G now or wait and see how it unfolds. The answer is a resounding yes as the benefits far outweigh anything that could be gained by waiting.
Flexibility, productivity and mobility are commonly used terms in business circles yet it takes something such as 4G to prise open the broader meanings behind these much used phrases. The beauty of 4G lies in its ability to enable individuals and companies to access data-intensive applications and services at blistering speeds from 4G enabled smart phones and tablet devices. Essentially broadband on the go, the only limitation is in the mind of the individual. What that means can be illustrated in the way popular business jargon takes on a new meaning and purpose.
For businesses striving to achieve flexibility, equipping their employees with 4G enabled smart phones or tablet devices delivers reliable and consistent teleworking. At a stroke, employees can work en-route to or from the office; during periods of downtime or whenever they are struck by an idea or inspiration. The reliability and robustness of 4G networks means that you are always connected and critically can access a wealth of data and rich-media files effortlessly without having to resort to camping in cafes with free or public wifi facilities.
Mobility is more than just the freedom to move about. 4G offers companies the agility to conduct business nationally and internationally from a tablet or smart phone while out and about. With over 59 countries boasting 4G networks, conducting videoconferences or sharing graphic-intensive presentations with business partners or potential customers based in Europe or the Americas becomes second nature. 4G networks are designed to handle large bandwidth traffic, so streaming a corporate video from the cloud to your tablet and sharing it with others is a seamless activity.
Application performance, set in the context of 4G, becomes a metaphor for responsiveness, in particular responsive customer service. The days of faceless call centres are numbered as customer service can become more personal. Enterprise applications, such as CRM systems, can be readily accessed remotely and key information downloaded onto a 4G enabled smart phone or tablet with ease. For field operation teams, utilising vital data stored in enterprise applications makes for a more efficient service through better time management and just-in-time work processes.
4G liberates the enterprise by taking applications that were once the preserve of an office environment and making them accessible to a mobile workforce. Moreover, the bandwidth that 4G delivers is set to drive the development of more media-rich, content-heavy apps that will further turn tablet devices and smart phones into the modern day desktop.
Productivity needs no introduction but what 4G networks offer is the opportunity for greater collaboration and co-operation between individuals. Ingenuity, innovation and inspiration are born from an exchange of ideas that can flow freely and take any form. In a digital centric world, those ideas are most likely to be data-intensive and require ever more volumes of information in order to come to fruition.
All 4it or 4get it?
A recent report by the Federation of Small Business and Intellect entitled ‘The Digital Imperative, Small Business, Technology & Growth’ highlighted that 85 per cent of small businesses identify investment in new technologies as a key driver for business growth. If investment is the key, then businesses have nothing to worry about as the telecom providers have done the heavy lifting by investing huge sums in creating the necessary infrastructure.
The number of countries that have deployed 4G networks currently stands at 59 and growing. In the UK, EE is about to be joined by O2, 3 and Vodafone as they roll out their 4G networks. By comparison, the only investment that companies need to make is in 4G enabled-devices. The return however in terms of flexibility, mobility and productivity across the business is immediate. In today’s always connected digital world, access to information remains as important as ever.
Yet as the nature, scope and size of the information changes, so businesses need to ensure they are one step ahead. The advent of 4G is therefore not some passing whim that can be ignored or overlooked but a very real opportunity to unleash the creativity, ingenuity, innovation and inspiration that remains undiscovered and untapped within every business.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in the development of new apps specifically designed to draw on the robustness and speed of 4G networks. 4G’s success is intrinsically linked to the development of ever more intuitive and powerful apps, as each complements the other. Knowledge, powerful apps and rapid access to information – 4G brings it all together. I, for one, am all 4 it.