By: Lily Shabani
There’s all this talk about “big data” and “data mining” in the business world to help companies better serve their customers. And undertaking the task of electronically storing, organizing, and analyzing all of your business data may be quite overwhelming. It seems like something that requires hefty start-up costs and a high degree of technological sophistication to be able to maintain. And who has time for all of that when you’re just trying to run a business in a struggling economy?
You do. Believe that. Because relative to the innumerable benefits that will come with mobile data capture, the initial investment is extremely low, and much easier to operate than you realize. Dan Briody refers to your “gold mine” of business data as a way to “boost sales, fatten margins or increase customer loyalty”. These are all huge benefits for your company, so adopting a mobile data system to sift through this treasure and draw golden nuggets of valuable insight is of the utmost importance to better your business on several different playing fields.
It’s understandable that adopting a new technology sounds intimidating and expensive, but in actuality it’s quite affordable. First and foremost, companies can use their existing technology systems to adopt a mobile data solution. There is no need to buy a whole new set of iPads if your company currently uses Lenovo Thinkpads. Now if you want to, and your company has the finances, then go for it. But again, this is not necessary.
Then there’s the cost of data. Visage mobile data management company found that in 2008, a business had to pay about 46 cents to use one megabyte of data. Today, the same business only has to pay about 3 cents per megabyte of data. And the best part about this is that networks are only becoming faster and faster as time goes on, as shown by the 66% increase in cellular network speeds in 2011. Furthermore, 45% of the global population is now covered by a 3G mobile network (with 60% planning to be covered by 4G services in 2013). This data coverage throughout the world facilitates more data transmission for a business environment that is becoming increasingly globalized.
With mobile data capture becoming a more financially viable option for companies of different sizes, these same companies are increasing their data usage more and more. In fact, Visage found that global mobile data traffic is expected to grow 18 times over from 2011 to 2016. This can be attributed to the continued increases in video streaming, file creation and downloads, and even teleconferencing. It is important that for companies to control data usage, video usage is the biggest data-eater and should have any superfluous use restricted. Too much video-based data sharing can cause data costs to spiral out of control.
Once you have invested in a mobile data capture solution that best fits your business’ needs, the solution provider often provides technology maintenance and support. This support can start with the original integration of the mobile data solution, or can come years down the road when an unanticipated issue arises with the technology. For instance, when needed, Mi-Corporation provides its clients with a support team to help develop their electronic data capture forms. Mi-Co’s technology department aids each client in developing a unique electronic solution that best meets its data capture needs. This team also provides technological assistance when their clients encounter any issues while utilizing the electronic data management solutions. Former clients have referred to Mi-Co’s “great support staff” as being “very skilled and very helpful in solving all issues”. One client says that he values Mi-Co’s “personalized attention and good response to questions and needs”.
Mi-Co also provides training sessions for its clients on how to use the Mi-Forms software to develop and use electronic data forms. This way, Mi-Co clients have the option to work with the electronic form integration software themselves, if this is their preferred method of mobile systems adoption.
So transitioning your business over to an electronic method of data capture isn’t as scary as you might originally have imagined. Mobile data solutions are affordable, easily implemented, and also quite simple to maintain. Mi-Corporation works with businesses of all sizes to provide them with effective mobile data solutions.
Briody, Dan. "What's Your Business Telling You?" Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur Media, Inc., 4 Mar. 2010. Web. 31 Dec. 2012. <http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/205336#>.
Rowinski, Dan. "The Rising Cost of Mobile Data for Enterprise [Infographic]." Readwrite. SAY Media, Inc., 5 Sept. 2012. Web. 31 Dec. 2012. <http://readwrite.com/2012/09/05/the-rising-cost-of-mobile-data-for-enterprises-infographic>.