Posted: Wednesday 13th June 2012
The world of mobility: it appears everyone’s on the boat yet no-one really knows where it’s going or, worse still, who is at the helm! In other words, its a bit of a feeding frenzy!
Lets look at the operating landscape – mPay, CMS, CRM, M2M, instore Wifi, multi channel, Digital Media, TV, IPTV, E-commerce, M-commerce, Online, Retail, Apps, SAP, LBS, workforce optimisation, salesforce automation. You name it, it’s got a “mobile” agenda attached to it. I don’t think there’s a consulting organisation or technology service out there that isn’t leading with a “mobility” angle right now, so can you imagine the confusion for any company trying to navigate this landscape?
Restricted knowledge at CIO level and lack of IT agility within organisations are causing major problems. One switched-on executive candidly said to me recently: “anyone with a roadmap longer than 6 months right now will be out of date in a month as this market is moving so fast no-one can call it, and one thing’s for sure – it’ll never be slower than this!” Phew that’s scary!!
So, whilst the mobility space picks up pace, companies from both sides (suppliers and users) are trying to hoover up the mobile skills on the employment front. The problem is, however, they don’t know what they are buying as there is no answer yet to the ideal mix of solutions and services. Risky strategy? You bet! Someone listing “apps” on their CV is no indication that they can cut in it in the complexity of enterprise mobile or mobility. And whilst on the topic of buzz words, nobody is happy with the term “mobility” either. It delivers both wheelchairs and technology companies in search results.
Companies are “piecemealing” their approach in an effort to avoid spending out on wholesale IT Infrastructure change and so patching and carving up becomes a turf war between Marketing and IT. This will bring some very interesting budget clashes, for example; £4m for an “app” to be developed for your average bank- come on, who signed that one off??
Now everyone’s busy running around with neat campaigns and great ideas but it appears little thought has gone into addressing the bigger issue here; how do you put mobility at the heart of your organisation in a rapidly changing world without locking yourself into a multitude of providers, spending millions on wholesale IT change programmes and, all the while, deliver realend user experiences?
50% of traffic to some organisations’ websites is from mobile devices, but marketing are still leading with their budget spend on revamping their traditional PC web rather than optimising for other platforms. This makes very little sense! And why are we still beating the same choice drum out there? It’s still “choose your weapon: iPhone or Android”. It should be anything, everything, everywhere!
Also, are apps really viable anymore? Are people really going to continue to download an app for everything they do? You can’t possibly anticipate all of your consumer needs and interrupt every mobile browsing moment by forcing them to download apps to cover their every waking thought. Don’t get me wrong, there are some interesting solutions being sold out there; for example an app informing your insurance company when you crash your car – simple, fast and paperwork free. But really how likely am I to download that when it comes through the post with my insurance renewal?
There are millions of pounds of “billable consultancy hours” being spent with retrograde testing and over runs on developer time which is completely unnecessary when there are enterprise mobile platforms built specifically to cut out the need for this. Call me a cynic but clients are being held to ransom over outdated business models. There’s also unnecessary margin being added to client solutions by creative agencies and user experience agencies, all neatly wrapped up in “mobility” solutions.
So thanks to an extremely fast-paced and complex market, the destination of the “mobility boat” is unknown. But I have gained an overview of the mobility world, along with the joy of working with some great individuals who happen to have just the right blend of skills to "tale the helm"! I also have information that might help individuals de-risk their own situation. Get in contact; let’s create some dialogue on this out there!