Hitting the Road: How Smartphones Have Transformed Business Travel

Hitting the Road: How Smartphones Have Transformed Business Travel

Improvements in mobile technology have seen mobile devices become widespread across every user group. There has been an uptake in mobile device use in recent years. And consumer usage extends far beyond recreational.

Business travelers have recognized the importance of wireless communication: voice connectivity and mobile technology. Mobiles devices have become an integral part of business travel. In fact, business travelers are becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile devices.

Mobile devices represent the changing ways in which business travelers communicate and engage in business functions. Equipped with mobile devices, business travelers are afforded accessibility to everything they need to stay connected while on the road.

Here are a few ways smartphones have changed business travel.

1.  Travel

Whether it’s hailing a cab or booking your return plane ticket, smartphones have had an impact on how business travelers move. Smartphones have had a huge influence on both air and ground travel. Where once taxis were cash-only monopolies, apps like Uber and Lyft have transformed ground transport.

Airlines have also become participants in the app game. Business travelers are now afforded the opportunity to book a flight in minutes. Even aggregate sites like Skyscanner and Expedia have developed their own app to make finding flight deals simple and easy.

From booking to payment, business travelers can manage their transport requirements all through their mobile device.

2.  Accomodations

Like airlines and the rideshare economy, hotel chains have emerged as strong players in the app game. Sophisticated hotel apps do more than just assist business travelers with online bookings. Many offer special deals and discounts for frequent travelers.

Third-party hotel booking apps offer business travelers choice and convenience right on their mobile device. They can help stranded business travelers find last-minute hotel deals and some apps even allow travelers to check into their room directly through their smartphone.

3.  Tracking expenses

With more and more merchants accepting mobile payments, many business travelers are turning to their smartphones to monitor the expenses of their business travel. With virtual cards becoming more and more commonplace, managing expenses must also become more mobile.

Expense management solutions like Certify or Concur make it easier for business travelers to track their travel expenses. Even apps like Uber have expense management solutions available to turn purchases into expense line items.

4.  Productivity

Even if you’re on the road, work doesn’t stop piling up. Traveling across different time zones can make it difficult to stay productive. Luckily, mobile devices present numerous solutions to help you get more done, despite being on the road.

Your mobile device can help you manage your emails, calendar, meeting agendas, and collaborative documents. The portability of your smartphone means you are able to respond immediately to emails, monitor important information, manage logistical details, and crunch numbers on the go.

With easy access to productivity tools and apps, smartphones can serve as an important organization tool for business travelers looking to do work while aboard a flight or stuck in traffic.

5.  Communication

Even if you’re away from your office for extensive periods of time, your smartphone can be used to effectively communicate with team members and clients. Smartphones enable effective collaboration through the use of virtual meeting spaces, videoconferencing, and collaboration apps like Dropbox.

With many countries offering 4G technologies, it’s become easier for business travelers to collaborate with their teams and work with clients. As a business traveler, international SIM cards can eliminate roaming fees while enabling you to stay in contact.

Apps like Skype can accommodate peer-to-peer communication and Wi-Fi calling, making working with others, even those on the road, easy.

Going mobile while on the move

Smartphones have changed the way we do business. For business travelers, or any traveler for that fact, one of the best things they could pack for their trip can be found on the palm of their hand.

If you frequently travel for business, having your smartphone on hand will help you make the most of your travel experience.

Azhar Abulhamayel is the Head of Marketing – National Segment and High Value at Zain KSA. The company was the first operator in the Middle East to commercially launch the 4G/LTE network. Zain serves +10M customers, has extended its network coverage to 94% of the population, and attracts thousands of new customers daily.

Categories: Technology

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