The smartphone might very well prove to be the most important and divisive invention of the early 21st century. Even a couple of decades ago it would have been unthinkable that such a humble device could cause such a disruption across global industries. Rather than stick their heads in the stand and fight against the tide, businesses should instead be taking the reins and seeing these ubiquitous pocket computers for what they actually are – incredibly valuable assets.

Here, we’ll be underlining exactly why and how businesses should be embracing the smartphone as a device that that is more than just a vacuous selfie machine. Indeed, with the right attitude and the right approach, it could bring a sizeable boost to your bottom line.

Always on – If your business frequently takes you out of the office and you frequently spend hours a day waiting (either on clients or at the coffee shop), your phone is your savior when it comes to productivity. As long as you have your company smartphone on you, you’re in the office so you’ll never miss an important email or phone call again. On the flip-side, your phone will also be there to offer respite when you want to relax, offering an endless bounty of app-based entertainment.

Information – 24/7 internet access is something we could have only dreamed of even around the turn of the century. Today, however, it’s a reality that could be taken for granted. Even on a basic level, the concept of being able to access breaking news, reliable GPS locational information, and almost the entirety of recorded history from a mobile device is pretty astonishing. For businesses, the applications should be obvious.

Marketing – Whilst the virtues and effectiveness of social media marketing have been covered at length elsewhere and cannot possibly be overstated, smartphones are capable of offering far more than just posting status updates and ad tracking when it comes to marketing. Intelligent call tracking, for example, can trace exactly what it is about a campaign that makes a customer pick up their phone, which can be incredibly valuable data that conclusively links phone and online sales to your marketing activity.

Hotspot – It’s predicted that by 2021, wired internet connections will make up only 27% of total internet access and with 5G about to go mainstream, wireless internet and our access to it has never been more powerful. The ability to use your phone as a hotspot could prove a lifesaver if you’re struggling to get work done in a location where WiFi is patchy or non-existent.

Storage – Cloud computing is a marvelous tool that has transformed countless businesses across the world and perhaps the most wonderful thing about it is the sheer flexibility it offers. From your phone, you can potentially access your entire business and have the security of a backup,  should anything go wrong. Of course, there are security risks associated with cloud computing, but the protocols put in place to prevent hacks and leaks are getting smarter by the day.

Customer support – Very few (if any) major brands will be without their own bespoke apps offering customer support on the go. That these apps can also interact with other apps and features on your phone (from GPS triangulation to syncing with your calendars and contacts) only make them that much more useful.

Smartphones cannot save failing businesses but they can elevate successful ones. Ultimately, whilst we could comfortably wax lyrical about how they have revolutionized the media, the working world, and our very lifestyles, smartphones are, underneath it all, tools. How you choose to use that tool is very much app to you, but if your business is avoiding smartphone integration due to stubbornness, it might be time to get off your high horse and join the rest of the world.