Businesses are moving away from traditional desktops to portable technology. As more millennials come into the workforce, traditional desktop sales are down, but sales of Chromebooks and ultraportable PCs are up, reports eWeek.com. Meanwhile, 92 percent of senior executives now use a smartphone for business, with 77 percent using it to research products and services for their business and 50 percent using it to make business technology purchases, according to an IDG Global Mobile survey.
These shifts towards portable PCs and smartphones enable entrepreneurs to slim down their technology and go with more lightweight, portable options. Here are a few ways you can condense your business technology to make it more portable and mobile.
Choose a More Portable PC
Today’s most popular PC options are ultraportable laptops and Chromebooks. Ultrabooks or Steambooks have a processor more powerful than an Intel Atom, weigh less than 4 pounds, have screens 14 inches or smaller and last most of a workday on a single battery charge. They run from about $300 to over $1,250. Chromebooks are specialized, slimmed-down laptops that run on a Chrome OS operating system and are optimized for browsing online and running cloud-based software. They run from less than $200 to about $800.
If you spend most of your computer time on the cloud, don’t need to run too many applications at once or don’t need much memory, you can probably get by with a Chromebook. If you need to run offline applications or native Windows applications or if you need more computing power or memory, you may want an ultraportable laptop instead. PCMag provides reviews of today’s top ultraportable laptops and Chromebooks.
Go With a Business Smartphone or Tablet
Many business computer applications can also be run from a smartphone or tablet. As with Chromebooks, you should pick a smartphone that is compatible with your computer’s operating system and software applications and can sync your documents and files between the two devices. Other considerations for choosing a business mobile device include display size and resolution, support for split-screen multitasking, stylus accessories, battery life and security features such as fingerprint scanners.
Earlier this year, Business News Daily reviewed today’s top business smartphones, ranking the Samsung Galaxy S6 as the best overall business phone. Since then, Samsung has released the Galaxy S7, which is ranked by Consumer Reports as the best smartphones on the market. IT Pro rates the Apple iPad Pro 9.7 as the best business tablet currently available.
Use Wearables for Business Applications
Another portable option for certain business applications is wearables. While wearables currently have more limited functionality than PCs and smartphones, they can be effectively used for a number of specific business functions, such as hands-free communication, remote time tracking and data input, notification delivery and mobile customer service support. The Inquirer ranks some of today’s top wearable options.
Migrate to Cloud Software Applications
You’ll find it easier to adopt more portable hardware if you move some of your software applications to the cloud. There are now cloud-based versions of most common business applications, including productivity suites, customer relationship management tools and accounting software. Today’s most popular business cloud software packages include Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps.