Jun 20, 2011
Applied Mobility is the seventh of ten articles I am publishing from the Deloitte Tech Trends 2011 series
“The edge” has become the new battleground for innovation
The rise of mobile computing is staggering in sheer scale (5 billion subscribers by December 2010) and in its breadth of adoption – crossing age groups, economic classes and geographies. Consumer interest in smartphones, tablets and untraditional connected devices such as set-top boxes, telematics, video games and embedded appliances is growing faster than with any other product segment, with a projected growth of 36% in the coming year. Connectivity is nearly ubiquitous with today’s mobile computing infrastructure and will only improve with the widespread roll-out of 4G, LTE and WiMAX in primary markets, and the impending launch of 3G in India in 2011. As importantly, the mobile application (app) movement is fully underway, as traditional telephone service takes a back seat to messaging, email, media, social sites, games and productivity tools.
As new devices find their way into the hands of business stakeholders, organizations are realizing how powerful a mobile presence at the edge of their enterprise can be. The underlying network, form factor, user interface (UI) and raw device computing power are necessary enablers, but what really matters is harnessing these features into rich yet simple and intuitive apps to solve real business problems.
These solutions can be as simple as placing a mobile veneer over existing offerings and business processes – that is, conducting business as usual, but through channels untethered from physical locations. Think of nurses accessing electronic health records from their tablets instead of a stationary hub or nursing station; or of banks allowing customers to deposit checks anywhere by using their mobile phone cameras, resulting in customer convenience with the added benefit of off-loading processing tasks to the customer.
These new mobile solutions serve the full spectrum of transactional, analytical and social computing capabilities. Accordingly, they may depart from traditional app design and deployment concepts. Focused in scope and simple in execution, if only from the user’s perspective, these apps have more in common with “applets” than with conventional multi-purpose feature-rich enterprise applications. This is precisely what makes them so powerful – they are elegant solutions to well-defined problems, and designed for operations on-the-go. The enterprise arms race has begun in these spaces and more – with big disruptions ahead for organizations that trail their competition.
The changes may be even more dramatic. For example, companies are already rethinking business processes and enabling new business models that would not have been possible without mobile technology. Evolutions in location-based services, social networks, mobile payment processing, low-cost device add-ons and integration with enterprise systems has led to the potential for employees, customers and suppliers to consume and produce sophisticated information, goods and services from anywhere. And with the extension of mobile solutions to sensors and actuators in physical goods and equipment, otherwise known as asset intelligence or “the internet of things,” there is the potential for almost anything to become part of the mobile solution footprint. This will lead to entirely new business models like Zipcar’s disruption of car rental – and even ownership – models, or to the connected consumer driving purchase decisions based on immediate access to product alternatives, price comparisons, reviews, inventory levels and direct-purchase options. The trend is toward a future where everything will be digital and available anywhere at any time, and mobile devices will be the medium of consumption. Tapping into this trend presents the opportunity for organizations to define real and lasting value in applied mobility solutions.
Read the full article . . . . Deloitte Tech Trends 2011 – Applied Mobility
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