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Consulting Trends in the Mobile Industry

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Mobile consulting is a fast growing and ever changing field.  Mobile devices have been changing the way professionals do business for nearly two decades, ever since the popularity of Palm Pilots.  Today, the majority of businesses use mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets in their daily operations.  Work is not just a 9-5 desk job anymore because we can always be connected. In order to be successful with mobile consulting, you will need to be familiar with current mobile device offerings and keep up with the trends by making sure your skills are sharp and current.  The following are some helpful tips and suggestions on how to maximize your mobile device for your independent business needs.

Selecting the Device that Best Suits your Needs: There is a wide variety of different brands, shapes, sizes and functions for mobile devices these days.  The right one for you depends on what you plan to use it for, how often and where you will primarily use it.  Smart phones are generally small, lightweight and portable, making them ideal for any consultant on the go.  The three most popular brands include the iPhone, the Google Android and the Blackberry.  Each serves a similar purpose, but choosing the right one for you depends on the format you like, as well as choosing the best option for the functions you need it to perform such as email, scheduling and internet access.  Tablets are also a useful tool when it comes to having a portable, convenient device.  They have larger screens, which can be very beneficial for using your device to present information to clients or for viewing graphs and charts pertaining to your work.

Connection Configurations: Although they are convenient and popular with individuals, mobile devices can present complex technical issues for many businesses.  The main factors that should be taken into consideration with any mobile device are how secure it is, as well as device ownership. Security issues relating to access and data storage must be a top priority when planning out your mobile strategy.  Independent consultant’s devices often contain access to email accounts, copies of private documents, and lists of confidential information.  Having a lock option on your phone can help to protect items such as these. When you are clicking links and downloading apps, always be sure that they are coming from a trusted, reliable source.  Another way to protect your device is by making sure that you choose a good protective case for it that has a goal of function, rather than fashion. Most warranties are and protection plans don’t cover accidental damage, so a broken device can mean a costly loss as well as a loss of productivity for your business.

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Mobile Applications: In order to be successful with mobile consulting, you will need to be familiar with current mobile device offerings and mobile app platforms. Mobile apps maximize the efficiencies associated with mobile devices.  Using mobile versions of installed applications, such as the mobile version of the online expense system, Concur, provides consultants with access to the tools they need regardless of where they are at any given time.  Some of the most commonly used apps include GPS, document managing, social media, marketing, and banking.  Market your business through joining consulting associations, networking and having an internet presence.  The programs you use on an everyday basis for your business needs may have mobile apps, so make a point to browse your app store frequently to see how you can improve your mobile consulting.

Backing Up Your Data: It is always important to regularly back up all information and data on your mobile devices.  When considering the amount of data you download or store on your mobile device in just one week, a device failure or loss without proper back up could result in the loss of a significant amount of data.  Be sure to make a habit of saving all data at the end of each day to ensure safety and privacy.

Mobile technologies will continue to play a large role in day-to-day business operations.  By properly planning and setting a strong foundation, you will be much better prepared to take full advantage of the great possibilities these devices have to offer.

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