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[ 0 ] Oct. 4, 2011 | SBO Editor

Incorporating mobile into business strategies.

By Oliver Mauss

Mobile communication has quickly become an essential part of our daily lives. With the advent of application marketplaces and the ability to multitask at an all time high, the reliance on Smartphones for any and everything has reached new heights. Especially in business, the impact of mobile technology is being strongly felt as new opportunities are developed for managing strategy and operations remotely.

As Smartphone users know, the presentation of websites on a mobile device is quite different than when it is viewed on a computer. In many cases, formatting and layouts may be inconsistent, links may not activate properly, and visitors may experience a longer loading time on certain Web pages. Moreover, the difference in screen size can hinder the ability to have all of the most significant information clearly displayed on a smaller screen.

In a survey conducted last year by 1&1 Internet, Inc.1, it was discovered that half of US businesses do not check their own company websites from mobile phones, in turn neglecting the potential for improving the site’s design, functionality and features for mobile customers. Additionally, of those businesses that have checked their website on a mobile device, 43% find that it is reduced in appearance and functionality as compared to on a full-size screen. It is quite surprising in the end, that the impact of mobile technology has not influenced more business owners to take the time to evaluate their website and work to improve its accessibility on mobile platforms.

Some Web hosts offer software for mobile website optimization inclusive with their hosting packages. Taking advantage of additional services from Web hosts, like NetObjects and Dreamweaver software, provides greater potential for SMB customers on the go to find a business online and learn about the company from the most credible source, its website.

While making certain that a website can be viewed perfectly from a Smartphone, it is also useful for business owners to take advantage of other ways that they can benefit from mobile Web access. Behind the scenes, servers are the primary piece of equipment for hosting a website. Therefore, it is important for SMBs to have the ability to check on their hosted solutions and ensure they are running consistently on dependable, secure hardware at all times. Web hosts may offer unique monitoring applications so business owners can visually see how well their servers are operating, track when, if any, server downtime is experienced during a particular timeframe, and even receive  automatic alerts of any change to a server’s status.

There have also been apps developed to support people using Cloud servers so adaptations to a server’s system and space can be implemented directly from their mobile device. Providing the same capabilities as a dedicated server, a Cloud server stores any information virtually using the resources of multiple servers. Additionally, when hosting in the Cloud, businesses have the flexibility to scale elements of their server such as RAM, CPU and disk space, up or down which ensures that they only pay for what they use – an important feature for small- and medium-sized businesses with limited budgets. When applied to a mobile environment, access to the server’s system via a unique application or through the mobile Web browser can protect the business from overspending their budget on internal IT.

Apps have also been created to help business owners manage the frontend processes of their business. Some Web hosts offer online storage capabilities with their hosting packages which allows business owners and their employees to view and manage documents directly from mobile phones. Updated versions of all important documents can be stored in this virtual space and be readily available when outside the office. Using a Smartphone app can drastically increase productivity due to the convenience of instant access. The same can be said for mobile email, especially if email service is provided through a Web host. Depending on the host, the ability to monitor email accounts through an app on a mobile phone is another way in which businesses can supplement their strategy using mobile technology.

In the age of mobility, SMBs have increasingly begun to seek out new tools that provide them with the efficiency and accessibility they need for success. Optimization software for example, has emphasized the need to develop a website supported by Smartphone devices. Web hosting applications are also growing in importance as Web hosts start to offer them as tools for monitoring their customers’ services. By taking advantage of these opportunities, businesses can thrive in the mobile era and accomplish business tasks from the palm of their hand.

(Endnotes) 1. 818 US small companies with a website surveyed via electronic feedback form.

Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet, Inc. As CEO, Dr. Oliver Mauss manages 1&1’s international Web hosting operations focusing on strategic developments of the company as well as driving growth and profitability for the US, UK, France, Spain, Poland and Romania.   Before joining 1&1 as the CEO in the spring of 2008, Dr. Mauss had significant international experience in marketing and product management for businesses and consumers with various telecommunication companies. He also earned his Ph.D. in Communications Engineering from the University of Aachen, Germany. Contact Information:Phone Number: 610-560-1530/Email: press@1and1.com/Website: www.1and1.com

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Category: Magazine, Small Business Opportunities, Small Business Opportunities Jan 2012