By Bridget van Kralingen
The mobile revolution has transformed the way we connect, relax, navigate, enjoy our music and document our lives in photography.
Yet, for the most part, the impact of all this native capability on the devices we carry hasn’t penetrated the world of serious business. No doubt, millions of people use their personal mobile devices at work for tasks such as email, calendaring or instant messaging – all providing value. We reclaim some “niche time” and gain the convenience of untethering from our desktops. But that state of play – mobility as we know it today – is hardly transformative.
IBM and Apple have joined forces to unlock a new generation of value and possibility in mobility for business. Our companies have come together from two independent positions of strength, combining the best of what we’ve each built our reputations and market positions on: Apple’s legendary ease and user experience, with IBM’s depth in analytics, industry, enterprise-class software and cloud.
Via that combination, we’re going to bring new levels of both intelligence and enjoyment to mobile workers using iPhone and iPad. And when that starts, we’re going to unlock an entirely new category of value and an opportunity that’s largely untapped today. This is very important moment, one that aims at nothing short of the transformation of work.
This opportunity exists for a couple of very good reasons.
First, the people making technology decisions in business express a few opinions on mobile, and they express them with astounding consistency. They question the security of the data. They struggle with integrating a mobile play with the core data and processes of the rest of the enterprise. And they still haven’t seen the straight line to real ROI on mobile investments.
Then, where the device meets the palm – business professionals have rarely seen, and so can’t yet fully imagine, how their work might change when it’s transformed by the simplicity and ease of a truly irresistible experience; in tandem with the analytics that delivers to their fingertips the collective intelligence of the entire enterprise.
At both ends of that spectrum, this partnership will take down the existing barriers, and in the process, redefine the nature of work.
That’s going to happen around four categories of new capability:
- Mobile solutions that transform business: 100+ IBM MobileFirst for iOS apps targeting specific industry pain points. Each app will be built in an exclusive collaboration that draws on technical and design experts from Apple, working with the industry and domain consultants and application developers of IBM, more than 100,000 strong.
- Mobile cloud platform: IBM MobileFirst Platform for iOS deliveres unique IBM cloud services and required for an end-to-end enterprise capability — from analytics, to cloud storage, security, fleet-scale device management, integration and workflow, all available on IBM’s cloud development platform, Bluemix.
- Mobile service and support: An enterprise-grade edition of award-winning AppleCare for business, with on-site support options.
- Packaged service offerings: IBM MobileFirst Supply and Management for device supply, activation and management services, with leasing, for iPhone and iPad.
What we’ve announced represents a powerful extension of our MobileFirst portfolio for business, and more. The entire IT industry is reordering around three strategic shifts – Data emerging as the new natural resource; Cloud, remaking enterprise IT; and Engagement at the level of individuals. Any one on its own is significant. Together, they are redefining the agenda of global business, and this announcement cuts across all three.
Perhaps most important, as we project what results from a mobile-led era of business transformation, will lie in how we capture the incredible wealth of data and insight that will be generated when mobility becomes the platform for global business.
Our partnership with Apple marks another milestone in our strategy to lead this evolving industry, and unlock the next great possibility for our clients all over the world.