By Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics, an IBM Business Partner and IBM SmartCamp NYC winner
Phones may be smart today, but how smart is the process of developing and optimizing mobile applications?
There are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers today — that’s 77 percent of the world’s population — and each subscriber wants something slightly different from his or her mobile experience. There’s a mobile app for every facet of our everyday lives, from monitoring your stocks to finding a recipe for dinner to getting the most out of your workout. App developers need to be able to see what their own users want out of the mobile experience so they can tailor their apps accordingly.
To determine this, developers need to be able to do something that some critics feel is impossible: analyze mobile data effectively. Some say mobile analytics are inaccurate and cannot be trusted. Reasons have ranged from “some mobile devices do not support browser cookies” to “some carriers randomly change subscriber identifiers” to “there’s a high percentage of broken requests caused by interrupted connections.” However, those are just excuses, and as we continue to show, the right analytics product can overcome them and make app developers’ lives easier.
At Localytics, we know clients just need the right tools. In the early days of the application space we were creating mobile applications, but realized that a lot of the tools and platforms that publishers needed to create strong businesses simply didn’t exist. We partnered with a number of top publishers and started building the best analytic solution to address their needs. Instead of going after the gold in this gold rush of mobile applications, we decided to supply the pick axes and shovels and help other businesses create stronger business models.
We’ve since laid the foundation for a new mobile universe where the need to understand the mobile consumer and enhance customer loyalty is more important than ever. We focus on providing the developers of iPhone, iPad, Android, and other smartphone and tablet applications with much deeper insights into their users. For example, we found that over a quarter of all mobile apps are used only once.
A recent IBM midmarket survey finds that while cost and efficiency are still major priorities, 80 percent of the IT leaders surveyed are actively searching for innovative ways to spur growth, improve decision-making, and increase customer loyalty.
That includes investing in new analytics to turn oceans of data into predictive insights and actionable decisions. Many business leaders are making analytics a top priority. In another recent IBM study, conversations with 622 CIOs from midsize organizations around the world uncovered that 83 percent of them have visionary plans that include business intelligence and analytics.
According to a study by The Business Journals, those adapting to the new way of conducting business on-the-go are bringing in double the revenue of those reluctant to adopt mobile technology as part of their day-to-day business practices. On average, mobile-fluent firms earn $10.8 million annually, compared with $5.7 million for mobile laggards, according to the survey conducted in early 2011.
As a small business and IBM Business Partner, our relationship with IBM is critical as we look to grow our business rapidly in the coming years. One of the biggest challenges for small businesses has been a lack of financing to fund their ideas and progress. According to the Small Business Administration, well over 50 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years of doing business because they don’t have the necessary capital.
IBM is helping change this by providing $1 billion in financing to help credit-qualified SMBs globally over the next 18 months take advantage of advanced technologies such as cloud and analytics. As an IBM Business Partner, it’s our role to help make this financing available to clients — as well as to facilitate access to a set of new, affordable IBM software, systems, and services offerings focused on analytics and other new technologies.
Besides funding we’ve found there are two other ingredients needed for innovation: access to mentors and access to customers. For us partnering with large businesses such as IBM has been critical to helping us find experts who have grown through innovation and paved the way for others like us. It’s a two-way street. We partner with IBM to extend analytics to mobile devices and fill the gaps with innovative solutions using advanced technologies. We get access to their customer base, reach new markets, and gain access to some of the leading thinkers in the business.
It’s smart business.