By Phil Buckellew
Being a mobile business used to be straightforward – dishing up a web site for customers and partners to learn more.
But in less than a handful of years, mobile computing has shifted from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘how to get ahead’ proposition. Our devices got smart and being connected and on the go, meant being in-the-know.
Smart phones and tablets now serve every whim and need, enabling people to accomplish virtually anything from almost anywhere, whether it is comparing prices, paying a mortgage, checking on the status of the supply chain, or providing quotes to a business partner.
For organizations today, providing a meaningful mobile experience means getting ahead and the companies that can’t adapt to this swiftly evolving definition of what it means to be a mobile business, risk getting left behind. Because with a swipe or tap of their finger, the would-be customers or partners will just find someone else who can.
That is why a new breed of organizations are redefining themselves, turning to advances in technology not simply to use mobile computing to meet customers’ needs today, but to re-imagine the way mobile will change how individuals perform their daily tasks and how organizations will interact with their constituents in the future.
Every industry will have its version of a mobile business, from mapping transactions and customer feedback with real-time intelligence to finding untapped potential and efficiencies.
And in emerging markets, mobile is creating a tremendous opportunity for these economies to leverage mobile to foster economic development, competitiveness, productivity, and growth. In regions like Africa, Latin America and India, more than half of these residents are using the web do so exclusively through mobile channels for banking, managing healthcare supplies or sending citizens time sensitive alerts.
In developed markets, industries are realizing the possibilities mobile presents.
After the economic downturn, construction company VCC armed its project managers with mobile devices and sent them out to pitch new projects in higher-growth industries. By using real-time analytics to evaluate projects, they were able to respond to RFPs more quickly and accurately and win 40 percent more business from one year to the next.
In theNetherlands, the city ofEindhovenis using mobile data to re-route traffic more efficiently. Drivers use an app to share their cars’ braking and acceleration patterns to the city, which analyzes this data in real-time to suggest alternative routes.
It’s clear that mobile will reshape industries, society and business the way the Internet did is a reality whose time has finally come true, after years of waiting.
This is putting enormous pressure on organizations to become mobile-enabled businesses, even as customers and technology keep changing the definition of what that means. Yet, industry leaders are pushing ahead, feverishly working on figuring out what works and what doesn’t, putting themselves out ahead on the path towards the mobile future.
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