Mobile use penetrating business, consumer habits

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New research continues to show the key role mobile devices play in modern life. From the boardroom to the shop floor, more consumers are using mobile devices in more contexts now than ever before. Here is a small sampling of studies that show just how mobile the preferences of consumers have become:

Mobile in the business world

BYOD, or bring your own device, policies have been a subject of plenty of contention in the recent past. Many employees prefer to work with a mobile device they've chosen and find familiar rather than one provided by their employers. There are issues for businesses to work out with regard to security and data safety, but the popularity of BYOD policies shows how connected people tend to be to their mobile devices. Even at work, people prefer to use their own mobile devices.

Additionally, the way meetings happen is significantly impacted by the prevalence of mobile devices. Blue Jean Network's bi-annual "State of the Modern Meeting Report" found one-third of all meetings include someone participating on a mobile device. This study was compiled using data from more than 1 million of the company's customers in 177 countries and a survey of 391 business decision-makers. Mobile participants in meetings may be calling in or even participating in cloud-based video conferences from their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This trend in meetings means remote workers or employees on business trips can still remain well connected to their workplace while they are absent. Furthermore, these meetings can be virtual versions of face-to-face interactions for mobile device users, not just audio conferences.

Mobile devices and consumer habits

Outside the workplace, people are also increasingly dependent on their mobile devices. Consumers often use their devices to browse the Internet. According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, it is estimated that 20 percent of all Internet traffic comes from a mobile device. Indeed, some consumers will rarely use a desktop or laptop computer to go online, preferring mobile devices entirely.

The possibilities of mobile in the consumer space are many. For example, many retailers offer consumers the option to pay through their mobile devices rather than with cash or physical plastic. Other innovations in the mobile space include using Apple's iBeacon technology to sense a consumer's location within a store and show which deals are nearby. Giant Eagle and Safeway locations are testing this marketing service, and similar initiatives are likely to follow at other retailers.

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