These numbers from Cisco don’t lie: Global mobile internet traffic grew by 81% in 2013 and had accounted 1.5 exabyte of data traffic per month by the end of 2013. Over half a billion (526 million) mobile devices were added in 2013 and, between 2013 and 2018, global mobile data traffic is estimated to witness 11 folds growth. According to Pew Research, 58 percent of American adults own a smartphone. Businesses that adapt to the move to mobile are the ones that will have the most success in 2014 and beyond.

Mobile data traffic 2013 -2018

Top Brands Embracing Technology

Salesforce1, a business-specific social and consumer cloud platform, reported a 96 percent increase in active users of its mobile app one month after it was launched. According to the company blog, businesses are attracted to the platform due to its ability to reach customers and complete transactions from anywhere at anytime.

A 2012 survey conducted by the Luxury Institute, a New York-based research firm specialising in wealthy consumers, found that affluent shoppers are especially receptive to brands with mobile apps. Sixty-four percent of wealthy consumers viewed brands with mobile apps more favorably than those without them, and 71 percent said they feel more connected to said brands. The key finding that should pique the interest of companies like Versace, Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue? Seventy-two percent of wealthy shoppers said there was no upper limit on the amount they are willing to spend online.

Luxury Daily reported that Gucci began equipping its sales associates with iPhones in 2012 to enable transactions anywhere in the store and improve the overall experience for customers. Company CIO Simon Pacciarini was the keynote speaker at MicroStrategy World 2014, and he told attendees that Gucci aims to further engage customers in the mobile realm. He said that practicality and a willingness to adopt new mobile technologies will determine the overall success of all businesses as profits continue to be driven by mobile commerce. The YouTube clip below features Pacciarini’s speech at the conference:

21st-Century Standards

One of the more mind-boggling statistics in the world of business pertains to the lack of business websites. Amazingly, only 53 percent of American small businesses have a Web presence, according to data from the U.S. Census, eMarketer and Jupiter Research. Granted, this number is up from 45 percent in 2009. eMarketer reports that online sales have eclipsed the $1 trillion mark every year since 2012, which is more than enough reason for even the smallest mom-and-pop outfit to have a website.

Businesses already operating by 21st-century standards are streamlining processes both internally and externally. Quickbooks is the top-selling accounting software because it’s easy to use and simplifies processes, while people call Yammer the “Facebook for business” because of its internal communication capabilities. Ten years ago, business owners simply needed a Microsoft Office suite and an email address to compete in the market; today, there are mobile apps for everything from scheduling to project management.

Adapt (or Else)

The business world has transformed from a brick-and-mortar setup to a PC-based environment and now to smartphone technology all in a matter of 10 years. Businesses that adapt to these technological upheavals will come out on top. Remember, Kodak refused to adapt and is now defunct. Meanwhile, Canon embraced new technology and is now one of the top camera manufacturers in the world. The choice is yours.

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