How to carry out a mobile technology audit

If your phone is a breezeblock with an aerial that wouldn't look out of place on a roof then the chances are you need to upgrade your mobile technology. But what to upgrade and what to buy are considerations not to be taken lightly. Read on for our indispensible guide.

The decision to upgrade your mobile technology could be motivated by negative factors (your current set-up is holding your business back) or positive factors (you want to buy mobile technology that will help you to grow).

Before you do anything, consider why you want to upgrade. It will influence the outcome of your audit. Ask yourself too:

  • How and in what ways do you expect grow in the short term future?
  • What aspects of your mobile technology do your employees complain about regularly? These will need to be addressed as a priority.

Large businesses undergo technology audits every year; for your small business this might be prohibitively expensive, but depending on your needs it's okay to leave it a little longer, or indeed to tweak your network instead of completely replacing it annually.

If you're doing the audit yourself (you could use consultants but they will charge a pretty penny) then you will need to consider a number of factors. In no particular order, they are:

  • How many devices do you have and how many do you need?
  • What services plans are in place and when will they expire?
  • Can you calculate a likely return on investment - ie will purchases help you to make money?
  • What information is accessed through current networks and can this be improved with an upgrade?
  • Can you put a figure on increased productivity through the upgrade - is it 10 or 30 per cent?
  • How will you transfer critical data using new handsets?
  • What do you need the technology to do: take payments? View customer data? Calculate stock and accounts?

When you have all the answers, research business packages from the major mobile networks. Which of these represent value for money while allowing your employees to do everything they need to do?

Aim for a fixed package with generous terms, this way you will have dependable monthly outgoings and won't be surprised with a shock bill after a particularly hard month of data use. It's just as important that you sign up to a package that gives you to grow - the last thing you need to be forced into another audit three months down the line!

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