by December 1, 2011 0 comments

Prakash Sreewastav, CEO, Win IT

Mobile Phones have been around for a long time and so has been the capability to consume and exchange data using mobile phones. However, the marriage of the two in a meaningful, engaging and value creating method took the genius of a certain Steve Jobs. One day he will be knighted and we would call him Sir Steve Jobs. Widgets and poor experience providing WAP sites failed to provide engagement on mobile devices. In 2009, Apple launched a commercial for the iPhone 3GS and called it “There’s an app for that”. It was done to show the world that in two years after the launch of the first iPhone that there is an app for almost everything that one could think of. Almost 3 years have gone by since this commercial was released and the creation and download of mobile apps have continued to steam roll. But let’s say you pick ten of your favourite brands, utilities or companies and see if they have a mobile presence you will conclude that most of them still have not yet adopted mobility. This goes to prove that while there are a plethora of apps, there is still a lot more to come. There are serious reasons why enterprises now have to start “Thinking Mobile”.

3G to push mobile app development

The advent and spread of 3G networks has provided the pleasure for users to lead an always connected life. So connected have our Facebook centered lives become that the access to the internet in many parts of the world is now more from a mobile device as compared to a traditional desktop. Keeping with the trend, now mobile devices outsell PCs and desktops. Mobile devices are the new and the largest internet medium and Mobile apps are the new Web sites. App icons are the new URLs. The current app world has lead to a good foundation for apps consumption and a buffet worthy appetite. What next? While apps have fueled the connected lives they have also created a platform and means for connected devices to interact. Homes are becoming smarter and we will see more homes automated and controlled via mobile apps. The Health sector has gained and will continue to gain heavily as medical devices become smarter and get connected via mobile devices to chart, monitor and share critical health data. Several new cars have an app platform allowing developers to create apps for their users. Idiot boxes are now Smart TVs. We will see more apps embedded within TV making the watching experience more social and interactive. Wallets will mean mobile wallets that are virtual and will be used to pay for services or goods with a magical swoosh of the mobile phone — powered by Near Field Communication. Siri, the talkative and loveable virtual assistant on the new iPhone 4S will become more popular and we should see similar virtual assistance built within niche apps. Data would now be stored on clouds thus giving users access to the same information from multiple devices. Mobile games will score over outdoor games and games in general will continue to be most used app category. More searches will happen via mobile devices as compared to the web. Governments will vote for mobile apps and a lot of government data would be made available for mobile apps to consume and innovate around.

What future holds

While these are some future trends and it can be used to draw parallels to ones business, it is important that companies think long term and adopt a mobile strategy and a long-term mobile roadmap. It’s obvious that enterprises have to adopt mobility; a common pitfall has been to rush the initiative and mimic what has been done on corporate websites. Mobile app and mobile versions require a different thinking and approach. It is important to map the business, process and people and think how mobility could be used to bring benefits. Some of the obvious thinking could be around, “How can I use location as a context to my business”? “What parts of my business could be used to satisfy the need for instant information”, “How can my business benefit from the strong social connection from within mobiles?” For example, do I have something that a user would like to share about to their social circle? These are some of ways one could think mobile and there are surely many others that are specific to certain business and their consumers. While mobility for business to consumers comes as first thought, there is a growing trend and need for businesses to bring about mobility for their internal needs. Think Intranet and Extranet for mobile devices but fine tune this thought with Mobile Thinking.

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