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There’s no question that mobile is the next technology wave that needs to be recognized and addressed by businesses.

Today, employees use their smartphone for more than just texting other employees. They use it to access company information, like business intelligence, wherever and whenever they want it. The employee expects to ask “what if”, have an immediate answer within a few clicks, and then have the ability to act on the result. The question for businesses now is, “Are we prepared for this?”

ComScore reported that more than 110 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in June of 2012. Many of those smart phones are used by businesses. Milja Gillespie, in her post in SAP for Mobile, referenced a J. Gold Associates report that showed primary users by company title. “Every category is at or above 50% adoption and no one is being left behind,” noted Milja.

So if more than half of the employees in any given department are using mobile devices for work, the question then becomes, are they using them effectively?

For the business users, it’s not about the device – it’s about business applications. SAP recently conducted an enlightening survey on mobility that aggregated results from SAP and non-SAP customer companies. Fifty-six percent of the respondents said they’d received an increase in requests for mobile business applications. The full survey results are available in this interactive dashboard.

Employees in small and medium-sized businesses know they need to stay agile as they grow and compete in a global market, as covered in my post The SMB Stays Agile through Self-Service Data Visualization. Use of business applications on mobile devices is already significant and rising.

The IT staffs of businesses recognize the mobility trend and understand the challenges. One challenge is to make sure that mobile apps with high business impact are available to their users. Another is to manage these mobile devices so that the user has a productive experience and the company’s data, flowing through these mobile devices, is safe and secure.

SAP offers a selection of mobile applications for business intelligence that works on “Big Data” for small budgets. In addition, SAP provides solutions that ensure the data and applications on company mobile devices are secure and accountable.

Mobilize Analytics

SAP Crystal Server Add-On for Mobile Solutions can help you transition to a mobile platform. In an earlier post I talked about SAP seizing the opportunity to address the Big Data needs of the small to medium-business (SMB) with this integrated solution because of the trend we are seeing in this market. With this add-on for mobile, companies providing self-service business analytics can get up and running fast with reports and analytic data being shared on mobile devices throughout the company.

Prerequisites to mobilize SAP Crystal Server:
• Named user license for SAP Crystal Server 2011 software
• Service pack 4 and SAP Crystal Server
Add-on for mobile solutions

Mobilize Visualization

SAP Visual Intelligence enables users to acquire data and build interesting visualizations on their PC. When they want to share them with other business intelligence (BI) users via iPad, iPhone, or Web browser, SAP BusinessObjects Mobile is the solution. Your team will have secure access to critical business intelligence on any device, no matter where they are.

SAP Crystal Dashboard Design support for iPad is now delivered out-of-the-box by SAP. Your SAP interactive dashboard can be available on your iPAD anywhere you go. Ask “what if” and get the answer immediately. Learn more with this “How to Mobilize Your Dashboard” video.

Prerequisites to mobilize your dashboard are:
• SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) platform 4.0 with service pack 5
• Mobile BI server installed (simple application server)
• SAP BusinesssObjects Dashboards 4.0, with service pack 5
SAP BusinessObjects Mobile iOS app version 4.4

Manage Your Mobile Devices and Applications

Once access to business data and applications is available through mobile devices at your company, keeping it safe and secure becomes “Job One.” SAP Afaria brings its industry leading mobile device and application management solution to the cloud, providing a low cost, high return model for deploying a comprehensive enterprise mobile strategy.

The Mobile Wave is Here

For the small and medium-sized business, there’s no doubt that the mobile wave is here. This new and exciting technology trend poses challenges, but the good news is that the answers have arrived along with this wave. See how SAP’s real-life mobile solutions can help you address these challenges.